NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Titans (0-0) begin the regular season this week with a trip to face the Cleveland Browns (0-0). Kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium (capacity 67,431) is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT/noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 8.
The contest marks the second season opener in franchise history against the Browns. The only other time it happened was a Browns win in Cleveland in 1971.
The Titans are 30-29 all-time on Kickoff Weekend, including a 10-10 mark in the Titans era, which began in 1999. They won three consecutive openers on the road from 2013–2015 before suffering Week 1 losses the past three years, including last season's seven-hour affair at Miami due to a pair of weather stoppages.
This week's game will be televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz, analyst Tony Romo and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson.
Within the Nashville and Cleveland television markets, fans can livestream the game on their mobile devices from the Titans app (iOS devices) and the Yahoo! Sports app (iOS and Android devices). Restrictions apply. For more information visit TitansOnline.com.
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, sideline reporter Amie Wellsand gameday hosts Rhett Bryan and Jonathan Hutton.
Compass Media Networks will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer Chris Carrino and analyst Brian Baldinger will have the call.
VRABEL BEGINS SECOND YEAR WITH TITANS
The Titans embark upon their second campaign with Mike Vrabel as head coach. In 2018, he directed the club to a 9-7 regular season record and within one game of a playoff berth.
The 2019 Titans defense returns nine of its 11 regular starters from a year ago. Orchestrated by defensive coordinator Dean Pees, the 2018 unit allowed the third fewest points in the league (18.9 per game). The defense also ranked eighth in total defense (333.4 yards per game), sixth in passing defense (216.9) and second in the red zone (44.7 percent touchdown rate).
On the opposite side of the ball, this week marks the regular season debut of Arthur Smith as Titans offensive coordinator. After originally joining the organization in 2011, Smith has worked his way up the coaching ladder under four different head coaches. He served as the tight ends coach for the last three and a half seasons.
Smith and the Titans will look to quarterback Marcus Mariota to captain the offense in his fifth NFL season. The former second-overall draft pick won 27 games as a starter from 2015 through 2018, which was the highest total by any Titans/Oilers quarterback in his first four seasons with the franchise since George Blanda (34 wins from 1960-63).
After finishing 2018 with a 7-8-1 record and a third-place finish in the AFC North, the Browns are launching a new era in 2019 with Freddie Kitchens as their head coach. Kitchens joined the team as running backs/associate head coach in 2018 but was promoted to offensive coordinator during the season. The former University of Alabama quarterback and Gadsden, Ala., native coached 11 seasons (2007–2017) for the Arizona Cardinals prior to joining the Browns.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was the first-overall draft pick in 2018 after winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Oklahoma. He then set the NFL rookie record with 27 passing touchdowns, throwing at least one in each of his 13 starts.
One of Mayfield's targets is wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who will make his first appearance with the Browns this week. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants during the offseason after collecting 390 receptions for 5,476 yards (14.0 avg.) and 44 touchdowns in five seasons in New York.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Cleveland Browns. (Photos, Donn Jones, AP)