Titans Open up Regular Season Sunday at Jacksonville


Mike Munchak makes his regular season head coaching debut when the Titans take on the Jaguars Sunday in Jacksonville.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (0-0) kick off their regular-season schedule this week, as they travel to face the AFC South-rival Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0).  Kickoff at EverBank Field (capacity 67,246) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 11.

The Titans and Jaguars square off in the regular season opener for the third time in five years.  They opened the schedule against each other in 2007 and 2008, with the Titans winning both matchups.  In the only other Kickoff Weekend game between the two clubs, played in 1995, the Oilers defeated the Jaguars 10-3 in the inaugural game in Jaguars history.


This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties, while Dan Fouts will provide 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, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.


The Titans concluded their preseason with a 3-1 record after last week's 32-9 victory at New Orleans.  The Titans forced five turnovers against the Saints (three fumbles, two interceptions), and rookie quarterback Jake Locker completed 15 of 17 pass attempts for 132 yards and a touchdown (118.6 passer rating).  Locker also rushed for 39 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown.

In their first preseason under new head coach Mike Munchak, the Titans finished first in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing an average of 10.5 points per contest.  Additionally, the Titans ranked second in the league in turnover differential at plus-nine, losing the ball just once and taking it away 10 times (six interceptions, four fumbles).

Offensively, the Titans broke in two new quarterbacks during the preseason: Locker, the eighth overall draft pick from the University of Washington, and Matt Hasselbeck, a 13-year veteran who was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Seattle Seahawks.  Hasselbeck, the Titans' starter, has passed for 29,579 career yards and has been named to three Pro Bowls.  During the 2011 preseason, he completed 26 of 42 passes for 301 yards.

One of the familiar faces returning to the Titans is running back Chris Johnson, who signed a contract extension and ended his holdout on Sept. 2.  The former first-round draft choice accumulated 4,598 total rushing yards from 2008 through 2010, leading the NFL during that timespan and ranking fourth in league history over a player's first three seasons.  Johnson's career rushing average of 4.97 yards per carry ranks seventh in NFL history.

In 2010, the Titans finished in fourth place in the AFC South with a 6-10 record.  Then, in February, owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. named Munchak the team's 16th head coach, replacing Jeff Fisher, whose tenure dated back to 1994.

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Munchak enters his 30th season with the organization.  He played on the offensive line for 12 years (1982-93) and earned nine Pro Bowl berths before spending three campaigns (1994-96) as an assistant/quality control coach.  In 1997, he took over as offensive line coach, a post he held for 14 years.


Jack Del Rio enters his ninth season as the team's head coach in 2011.  His Jaguars squad looks to rebound from an 8-8 record and a second-place finish in the AFC South in 2010.

Like the Titans, the Jaguars have an established veteran quarterback and a first-round draft pick expected to one day claim the starting job.  The Jaguars moved up six spots in the draft (to 10th overall) to take Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert.  He joins David Garrard, who has been the team's starter for the majority of the last five seasons.  The passing game is complemented by running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who enters his sixth season.

The Jaguars finished the preseason with a 1-3 record.  They ended their preseason slate last week with a 24-17 loss at home to the St. Louis Rams.

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