NASHVILLE —** The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open the 2017 regular season at home this week against the Oakland Raiders (0-0). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 10.
This is the 50th all-time meeting between the former American Football League rivals, including regular season and playoff games. In 2016, the Raiders beat the Titans at Nissan Stadium by a final score of 17-10 (Sept. 25). Nine of the previous 49 battles have taken place in Week 1, with the Titans owning a 6-3 advantage. Most recently, the Titans hosted the Raiders on Kickoff Weekend in 2010 and prevailed 38-13.
The Titans are 30-27 all-time in Week 1, including a 5-4 Kickoff Weekend record at Nissan Stadium. They won three consecutive openers on the road from 2013–2015 (at Pittsburgh, at Kansas City and at Tampa Bay) before falling at home to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 last season.
The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and analyst Tony Romo will call the action, and Tracy Wolfson 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.
LP PENCIL BOX SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
Fans attending the game are encouraged to participate in the LP PENCIL Box School Supply Drive. LP PENCIL Box, a collaborative non-profit venture between PENCIL Foundation and LP Building Products, offers Nashville Metro teachers the opportunity to acquire school supplies for the city's most in-need children. Collection locations will be positioned outside of Nissan Stadium to collect donated items such as pencil boxes, paper towels, backpacks, construction paper, notebook paper, art supplies, primary tablets, kleenex and classroom cleaning supplies.
TITANS ENTER YEAR 2 UNDER MULARKEY**
Mike Mularkey enters his second full 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.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has fully recovered from a right fibula injury that prematurely ended his second NFL campaign. His 2016 passing statistics—3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns with nine interceptions—were among the franchise's all-time best for a single season, and his touchdown total finished fourth in team history. Steve McNair (100.4 passer rating in 2003) and Warren Moon (96.8 passer rating in 1990) are the only two quarterbacks in franchise history to complete a season with a better passer rating than Mariota's 95.6 in 2016.
Mariota has several new teammates scheduled to make their debut in Two-Tone Blue this week. General manager Jon Robinson's free agent acquisitions during his second offseason with the team included cornerback Logan Ryan (from New England), safety Johnathan Cyprien (Jacksonville), nose tackle Sylvester Williams (Denver) and wide receiver Eric Decker (New York Jets). In the 2017 NFL Draft, Robinson used first-round picks on wide receiver Corey Davis (fifth overall) and cornerback Adoree' Jackson (18th overall) and added wide receiver Taywan Taylor and tight end Jonnu Smith in the third round.
The Raiders are led by Jack Del Rio, who begins his third campaign with the Raiders and his 12th as a head coach in the NFL. In 2016, Del Rio guided his team to a 12-4 record and a Wild Card playoff berth, just missing out on the AFC West crown to the Kansas City Chiefs as a result of a tiebreaker. The 2016 squad included a league-best seven players who were named to the Pro Bowl.
Although quarterback Derek Carr was named to the Pro Bowl, he was unable to participate due to a broken fibula suffered in Week 16—the same day Mariota sustained a similar injury. Carr, now healthy, is the first quarterback in Raiders history to throw for 3,000 yards in each of his first three seasons and has orchestrated 12 career fourth-quarter comebacks/game-winning drives.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Oakland Raiders. (AP Photos)