NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The Tennessee Titans (1-6) reach the midpoint of their season this week, traveling to New Orleans to face the Saints (4-4). Kickoff at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (capacity 73,000) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, Nov. 8.
This is the 14th all-time meeting between the two franchises during the regular season. In the first 13 matchups, the Titans took a 7-5-1 series lead, although the Saints won the most recent game at Nissan Stadium in 2011 (22-17 on Dec. 11).
This week's contest will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties alongside analyst Rich Gannon.
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 Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
TITANS LOOK TO GET BACK IN WIN COLUMN**
The Titans traveled to Houston last week, looking to end a five-game losing skid. The AFC South-rival Texans, however, had other plans. The Texans sacked Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger seven times and forced three turnovers to defeat the Titans by a final score of 20-6.
Mettenberger started for the second consecutive week in place of Marcus Mariota, who suffered a knee injury Oct. 18 against the Miami Dolphins. Mettenberger was 22-of-31 passing for 171 yards with an interception against the Texans.
The Tennessee defense limited Houston's offense to 270 total yards, which was the second-lowest total of the season by a Titans opponent (209 against Buffalo on Oct. 11). Additionally, the Texans' 56 rushing yards were the lowest by a Titans foe since Nov. 10, 2013, when the Jacksonville Jaguars rushed for 54 yards at Nissan Stadium.
But it was the Texans defense that won the day, as linebacker Whitney Mercilus and defensive end J.J. Watt combined for six sacks. The unit held the Titans to a pair of field goals by Ryan Succop, and two touchdown passes by Brian Hoyer provided the winning margin.
Mariota started the first five games of the season before he was sidelined. The second-overall draft pick owns a 93.2 passer rating as a rookie, completing 103 passes for 1,239 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions on 161 attempts.
*SAINTS WIN WITH RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE BY BREES *
The Saints pulled to .500 last week with a memorable 52-49 victory at home against the New York Giants. It marked the Saints' third consecutive win and their fourth win in five contests following an 0-3 start. They are trying to keep pace in the NFC South race with the division-leading Carolina Panthers (6-0 prior to their Monday night game, Nov. 2) and the second-place Atlanta Falcons (6-2).
The Saints and Giants combined for 13 touchdown passes, the most in NFL history in a single game. Their 101 combined points tied for the third-highest single-game total ever and were the most in a contest since 2004.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees passed for a career-high seven touchdowns to tie the single-game NFL record, completing 40 passes on 50 attempts for 511 yards. Now in his 15th NFL season, Brees ranks fourth all-time in passing yards (58,415) and fifth all-time in passing touchdowns (411).
The Saints are led by head coach Sean Payton, now in his 10th season at the helm. In his first nine campaigns, his teams earned five playoff berths and the Super Bowl XLIV title at the conclusion of the 2009 season.
This year, Payton's offense ranks second overall in the NFL (423.1 yards per game) and third in passing yards per game (323.9). Brees has passed for 2,382 yards through eight games, while running back Mark Ingram is on pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season (530 yards in eight games).