NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** With two games remaining in the regular season, the Tennessee Titans (8-6) host a Christmas Eve showdown this week with the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams (10-4). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, Dec. 24.
Sunday's game marks the Rams' third trip to Tennessee in the regular season. Their last visit was on Dec. 13, 2009, a game the Titans won 47-7. However, the Rams lead the all-time series 6-5.
The game will be televised regionally on FOX, including Nashville affiliate WZTV FOX 17. Play-by-play announcer Chris Myers and analyst Daryl Johnston will call the action, and Laura Okmin 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.
Additionally, Sports USA will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer Larry Kahn and analyst Hank Bauer will have the call.
TITANS HOST BACK-TO-BACK GAMES FOR PLAYOFF PUSH
The Titans are coming off two consecutive road contests. After falling in Arizona in Week 14, they traveled to San Francisco last week to face the 49ers. Ryan Succop made a 50-yard field goal to provide the Titans a one-point lead with 1:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the 49ers responded with a 45-yard field goal by Robbie Gould as time expired to give them a 25-23 victory.
In the loss, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 23 of 33 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating of 110.8 established a season high and was his best since a 126.4 passer rating at Chicago on Nov. 27, 2016. He tossed touchdown passes of four yards to tight end Delanie Walker and eight yards to wide receiver Rishard Matthews.
The Titans defense got sacks from linebackers Avery Williamson, Wesley Woodyard and Jayon Brown, recording the unit's fifth consecutive game with at least three sacks. Over those five weeks, the Titans totaled a league-high 26 sacks.
The defense also allowed the 49ers to rush for only 51 yards on 22 attempts (2.3 avg.). Tennessee currently ranks third in the NFL and first in the AFC in rushing defense, allowing only 87.2 ground yards per game in 2017.
The loss put the Titans two games behind the Jaguars (10-4) in the AFC South race. The Jaguars, who take their turn this week traveling to face the 49ers, need a win or a Titans loss to clinch the division title. A Jaguars loss this week coupled with a Titans win would set up a Week 17 showdown at Nissan Stadium between the clubs to decide the division champion. The Titans won the first of two annual meetings with the Jaguars on Sept. 17 in Jacksonville.
The Rams have found early success in their first season under head coach Sean McVay, who became the youngest head coach in modern NFL history when he was hired in January. McVay spent the previous seven seasons with the Washington Redskins, including 2014 to 2016 as offensive coordinator.
Last week the Rams traveled to Seattle, where they took a commanding lead in the NFC West with a 42-7 win over the second-place Seahawks. They can clinch the division with a win or a Seahawks loss in either of the last two weeks of the regular season.
Second-year quarterback Jared Goff has started every game at quarterback for the Rams this season, completing 274 of 439 passes for 3,503 yards with 24
touchdowns and seven interceptions. The former California Golden Bear was selected with the first-overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The pick the Rams used on Goff was the original property of the Titans. However, two weeks prior to the draft, the clubs completed one of the biggest trades in recent NFL history. The Titans gave up the No. 1 pick and a fourth-rounder in order to receive the 15th overall pick, two second-rounders and a third-rounder in 2016, plus the Rams' first- and third-round picks in 2017. The players acquired by the Titans with those picks, or as a result of further trades involving those picks, include tackle Jack Conklin, defensive lineman Austin Johnson, running back Derrick Henry, wide receiver Corey Davis and tight end Jonnu Smith.
The Tennessee Titans take on the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. (AP Photos)