NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- **The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open the regular season this week by hosting the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots (0-0). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 9.
This is the second time the two clubs have met in Week 1 and the first occasion since 1975, when the then-Oilers began their season with a 7-0 victory over New England, one of 15 shutouts in franchise history. All-time on opening day, the Titans/Oilers are 27-25.
This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties, while Phil Simms provides analysis.
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, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
Additionally, Sports USA will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Ross Tucker (analyst) have the call.
MUNCHAK ENTERS YEAR TWO
The Titans begin their second season under head coach Mike Munchak, who is in his 31st overall season with the franchise. Last year, the former offensive line coach and Hall of Fame guard led the Titans to a second-place finish in the AFC South with a 9-7 record. They finished a game behind the 10-6 division champion Houston Texans and narrowly missed out on a Wild Card playoff berth.
The Titans concluded their preseason slate last week with a 10-6 win over the New Orleans Saints. After dropping their first game of the preseason at Seattle, they came back with consecutive wins against Tampa Bay, Arizona and New Orleans.
Prior to the third game of the preseason, Munchak announced that Jake Locker would be the team's starting quarterback in 2012. Locker, the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, served as a back-up to Matt Hasselbeck as a rookie. The former Washington Husky passed for 542 yards and four touchdowns without throwing an interception and added a rushing touchdown in limited playing time.
In 2011, the Patriots won their fifth conference title and ninth AFC East crown in the last 12 years under head coach Bill Belichick. They advanced to Super Bowl XLVI, where they lost to the New York Giants by a slim 21-17 margin. The Patriots have won three Super Bowls during Belichick's tenure.
Tom Brady has been under center for each of those title teams. The two-time NFL MVP is entering his 13th season since being selected out of Michigan in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. In 2011, he passed for 5,235 yards, claiming one of five 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history.
New England was 1-3 during the preseason, including last week's 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Giants. However, the Patriots rested virtually all of their starters in the loss.
"CODE BLUE" IN EFFECT THIS WEEK
This week's contest is a "Code Blue" game for the Titans. Fans are encouraged to wear Titans light blue to work and school during the week, as well as to the game Sunday, and Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance will provide all fans in attendance at LP Field with Titans Code Blue hats.
On Friday, Sept. 7, the Titans are partnering with The Tennessean to present the Code Blue Season Kick-off Pep Rally at Music City Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville from 4-7:30 p.m. The free, public event will feature appearances by Titans Cheerleaders, T-Rac and players, a kids area, musical performances and prizes for fans.
More Code Blue elements will be announced later in the week. This is the fifth consecutive season the Titans have held a Code Blue game.
YWCA "UNDIE SUNDAY" DRIVE
Fans attending the game are encouraged to participate in the "Undie Sunday" charitable drive benefitting the YWCA Weaver Domestic Violence Shelter. The YWCA and the Titans are asking fans to provide much-needed new women's undergarments for shelter residents, including all sizes of underwear, bras and socks. Volunteers will be stationed at several drop sites around LP Field to collect donations.