NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (0-2) play their third preseason game this week, as they host the defending NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons (0-2). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Aug. 24.
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In 13 all-time regular-season meetings between the Titans and Falcons, the Titans hold a narrow 7-6 advantage that includes a five-game winning streak from 1993–2007. However, the most recent matchup was won by the Falcons by a score of 23-17 in Atlanta on Nov. 20, 2011. This week's game comes almost exactly 14 years after the Titans and Falcons christened LP Field (then named Adelphia Coliseum) with a preseason game on Aug. 27, 1999.
The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-Channel 2 in Nashville. Cory Curtis will handle play-by-play duties, while former Titans running back Eddie George and former Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck will provide analysis. Dawn Davenport will report from the sidelines. A full listing of preseason affiliates is available on page 2 of this release.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck and sideline reporter Cody Allison.
LAST WEEK AT CINCINNATI
The Titans were on the road last week at Cincinnati and were unable to keep up with the Bengals in a 27-19 loss. The Bengals never relinquished the lead they took in the first quarter. Andy Dalton completed nine of 14 passes for 115 yards and a score, and the Bengals rushing attack accounted for 193 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on 31 carries.
Most of the Titans starters played the entire first half, including quarterback Jake Locker. He led five total drives, four of which ended with field goal attempts (one made), and finished the evening with 12 completions and 116 yards on 20 attempts.
The Titans outrushed the Bengals in the first half thanks to 30 yards on seven carries from Chris Johnson and six attempts for 29 yards by Shonn Greene. The Titans won the time-of-possession battle in the first half (16:06 to 13:54) and in the game (32:48 to 27:12). For the second consecutive preseason game, they did not commit a turnover.
But it was not until the second half that the Titans were able to reach the end zone. Ryan Fitzpatrick took over at quarterback and completed a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Barden and a 46-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Michael Preston on back-to-back possessions.
The Falcons were on the road last week for a Thursday night battle against the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. They built a 23-7 lead in the second half, but the Ravens then scored 20 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to win 27-23.
Mike Smith is entering his sixth season as head coach in Atlanta. In 2012, he led the Falcons to a tie for the NFL's best regular-season record (Denver) at 13-3, marking their second division crown in three years and the club's fourth playoff appearance in five seasons under Smith. The 2012 Falcons came up one game short of the Super Bowl, falling to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Smith's arrival coincided with the drafting of quarterback Matt Ryan. In five seasons, the former first-round pick from Boston College has passed for 18,957 yards and 127 touchdowns with a 90.9 career passer rating. In 2012, he broke his own franchise record for most passing yards in a season with 4,481.
Ryan, who was named to his second Pro Bowl in 2012, is joined on offense by several other notable Pro Bowl performers, including tight end Tony Gonzalez, running back Steven Jackson and wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones.
FIRST CUTS LOOMING
The Titans are permitted to carry a roster of 90 players into this week's game. On Aug. 27, three days after the game, the team must be trimmed to a maximum of 75 players by 3 p.m. CT. The final cutdown to 53 players on the active roster must occur by Aug. 31.
LP PENCIL BOX SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
At the Titans-Falcons game this week, fans are encouraged to participate in the LP PENCIL Box School Supply Drive. LP PENCIL Box, a collaborative non-profit venture between PENCIL Foundation and LP Building Products, offers Nashville Metro teachers the opportunity to acquire school supplies for the city's most in-need children. Collection locations will be positioned outside of LP Field to collect items from erasers and pencil boxes to hand sanitizers, colored pencils, pens and rulers.