NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** The Tennessee Titans (0-0) launch their preseason schedule this week with a trip to face the New York Jets (0-0). Kickoff at MetLife Stadium (capacity 82,500) is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday, Aug. 12.
The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-News 2 in Nashville. Play-by-play announcer Dan Hellie and analyst Charles Davis will call the action, and Cory Curtis 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 HEAD INTO SECOND FULL SEASON UNDER MULARKEY
Mike Mularkey enters his second season as head coach after leading the Titans to a 9-7 record in 2016, tripling the win total from 2015. The six-win improvement tied for the most in franchise history (1967 and 1974).
Last year's squad defeated six teams with winning records—Detroit, Miami, Green Bay, Denver, Kansas City and Houston—to tie the Dallas Cowboys for the most such victories in the NFL. Five of those wins were against playoff teams (all but Denver), which tied the Packers' total for the most in the league. This year's team will be tested similarly in the early stages, as four of the Titans' first five regular season opponents—Oakland, Seattle, Houston and Miami—made the playoffs in 2016.
Under Mularkey's watch, five Titans players were voted to the Pro Bowl in 2016: tight end Delanie Walker, left tackle Taylor Lewan, running back DeMarco Murray, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. It was the team's most Pro Bowl selections since 2008, and all five of the all-stars return to the squad in 2017.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is back in 2017 from a right fibula injury that ended his second NFL campaign prematurely. His 2016 statistics were among the franchise's all-time best for a single season, as he completed 276 of 451 passes for 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns with nine interceptions. His touchdown total finished fourth in team history, and his 95.6 passer rating ranked third in team annals for a single season, behind only Steve McNair's 100.4 passer rating in 2003 and Warren Moon's 96.8 in 1990.
The returning veterans will share the spotlight this week with several teammates anticipated to make their first appearance with the Titans. The list of free agents signed by general manager Jon Robinson during the offfseason includes cornerback Logan Ryan (from New England), safety Johnathan Cyprien (Jacksonville) and nose tackle Sylvester Williams (Denver). Wide receiver Eric Decker was signed late in the offseason and makes his return this week to New York, where he was a member of the Jets for the last three seasons.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, Robinson spent first-round picks on wide receiver Corey Davis (fifth overall) and cornerback Adoree' Jackson (18th overall). It marked the first time the franchise had a pair of first-round draft selections since 1987. Davis and Jackson were the initial two players of a nine-player draft haul that also featured wide receiver Taywan Taylor and tight end Jonnu Smith in the third round
The Jets enter their third season under head coach Todd Bowles. In 2016, Bowles' team went 5-11 after a 10-6 finish and a playoff berth in 2015.
Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty are vying for the starting quarterback job with the Jets. McCown, whose first NFL season was 2002, spent the past two years with the Cleveland Browns. Hackenberg was a second-round pick in 2016 but did not appear in a game, while Petty, a fourth-round pick in 2015, started four games for the Jets in 2016.
Rookie safety Jamal Adams was the Jets' first-round pick. Adams, a product of Louisiana State University, was selected with the sixth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, one spot after the Titans took Davis.