NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (1-2) close their 2015 preseason schedule this week at home against the Minnesota Vikings (4-0). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Sept. 3.
The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-News 2 in Nashville. Play-by-play announcer Cory Curtis and analyst Eddie George will call the action, while Dawn Davenport 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 Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
FINAL CUTS LOOM AS TITANS READY THEMSELVES FOR OPENER**
One final tune-up is all that remains prior to the Titans' regular season opener at Tampa Bay on Sunday, Sept. 13. They hope to end the preseason on a winning note after dropping two of their first three exhibitions.
The Titans traveled to Kansas City last week and fell by a final score of 34-10. They scored on a two-yard touchdown run by Antonio Andrews and a 34-yard field goal by Ryan Succop, but they were unable to match the pace of the Chiefs, who scored on their first three drives of each half.
Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota saw his most extensive action through three preseason games, playing the entire first half along with the majority of the starters. He was 7-of-11 passing for 99 yards against the Chiefs, and he added another 22 yards on three rushing attempts.
With one game to go in the preseason, Mariota is completing more than 70 percent of his passes. He is 19-of-27 for 252 yards with a passer rating of 84.2, and in 10 total drives commanding the offense, he has passed for at least one first down eight times. His 51.9 percent of passes resulting in first downs leads all rookies and ranks second in the NFL among all quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts (Colt McCoy, 54.2).
The Titans will be permitted to carry 75 players into Thursday's game following the first round of roster cuts no later than Sept. 1. Then, at 3 p.m. CDT on Sept. 5, all clubs must reach the regular-season limit of 53 players. Players placed on reserve lists such as Injured Reserve, Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Suspended do not count towards the 53-man active roster limit. After the final cutdown, a 10-player practice squad may be established as early as noon CDT on Sept. 6.
One week later, the Titans kick off their regular season schedule against the Buccaneers, and they remain on the road in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns. The home opener is scheduled for Sept. 27 versus the Indianapolis Colts.
The Vikings are off to a 4-0 start to the preseason. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game and then defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders consecutively at home. Last week they went to Dallas and came away with a 28-14 victory over the Cowboys.
The Vikings are entering their second campaign under Mike Zimmer, a longtime NFL defensive assistant who was named head coach in January 2014. In his first season with Minnesota, Zimmer helped the Vikings defense go from last in the NFL to 13th in offensive points allowed, and the pass defense improved from 31st to seventh in the league. The 2014 Vikings finished with a 7-9 record.
Much of the optimism in the North Star State centers around second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. As a rookie in 2014, the former Louisville signal caller earned a 6-6 record as a starter and set virtually every franchise rookie passing record.
Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson has yet to play this preseason. Entering his ninth season, the 2012 NFL MVP leads the league in rushing yards (10,190) and rushing touchdowns (86) since the start of his rookie season despite missing all but one contest in 2014.