NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** The Tennessee Titans (8-4) travel this week to face the Arizona Cardinals (5-7). Kickoff at University of Phoenix Stadium (capacity 65,000) is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. MST/3:05 p.m. CST on Sunday, Dec. 10.
The Titans will make their first appearance at University of Phoenix Stadium, which opened in 2006. The Cardinals, who lead the all-time series 6-4, have not hosted the Titans since 2005.
The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon and analyst James Lofton will call the action, and Jay Feely will report from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
TITANS LEADING AFC SOUTH WITH FOUR GAMES REMAINING
The Titans welcomed the division-rival Houston Texans to Nissan Stadium last week and earned their sixth victory in their last seven outings. Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed a go-ahead, 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Delanie Walker late in the third quarter, and running back Derrick Henry helped secure the 24-13 win with a 75-yard touchdown run.
Henry rushed for 109 of the team's 198 rushing yards, which amounted to the club's highest total since a 214-yard rushing output against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 27, 2016. The second-year running back tallied his second career 100-yard game.
Defensively, the Titans limited Houston's ground attack to 53 yards on 22 carries (2.4 avg.), recording the eighth consecutive game in which their opponent failed to rush for more than 100 yards. It is the longest streak of its kind in the NFL in 2017. Over that span of eight games (nine weeks), the Titans are fifth overall in total defense (299.4 yards per game) and second in rushing defense (73.0 yards per game).
The Titans also sacked Texans quarterback Tom Savage four times. Combined with their eight sacks against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 26, their 12 total sacks tied for the most by the club over any two consecutive games since the start of the 1999 season.
The victory helped the Titans keep pace with the 8-4 Jaguars, who defeated the Colts at home to maintain their share of the AFC South lead. Due to their victory in Jacksonville on Sept. 17, the Titans currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Jaguars, who visit Nissan Stadium to close the regular season Dec. 31. Until then, the Jaguars host the Seattle Seahawks (Dec. 10) and the Texans (Dec. 17) and travel to face the San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 24).
Sunday's matchup will be the Titans' first of three consecutive games against NFC West teams and the first of two consecutive road contests. Following their appearance at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Titans will remain in Arizona for the week to prepare for their Dec. 17 clash with the 49ers in San Francisco. Then they will return home to host their final two games of the regular season—Dec. 24 against the Los Angeles Rams and Dec. 31 against the Jaguars.
The Cardinals are at the tail end of a three-game homestand. They edged the Jaguars 27-24 on Nov. 26 before falling last week to the Rams by a score of 32-16.
Injuries hit the Cardinals at key positions earlier in the year. Running back David Johnson, the NFL's 2016 leader in scrimmage yards (2,118) and total touchdowns (20), was lost to a wrist injury after only one game. Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer was placed on injured reserve with an arm injury after appearing in seven contests.
QB Vince Young guides an 18-play, 99-yard drive, capping it off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt on fourth down on the game's final play for a 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 29, 2009. (AP Photos)
Blaine Gabbert received the start at quarterback in each of the last three games. His season statistics include 719 passing yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions.
While the Cardinals have lost some key starters, they are still with one of the NFL's top receiving threats for the last 14 years, 10-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. In NFL history, the former third-overall draft pick ranks third in career receptions (1,207) and fourth in career receiving yards (15,267).
Head coach Bruce Arians is in his fifth season with the Cardinals. The two-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year led the team to 41 wins between 2013–2016, the most by any head coach in Cardinals history in any four-year span. The 2015 squad won the NFC West and advanced to the NFC Championship Game before going 7-8-1 in 2016.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Arizona Cardinals. (AP Photos, Donn Jones)