NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (1-0) go on the road this week for the second consecutive game to begin the season, traveling to face the Cleveland Browns (0-1). Kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium (capacity 67,431) is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT/Noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 20.
A win this week would give the Titans a 2-0 start to the regular season for the first time since 2008, and it would mark only the second time in franchise history the Titans won back-to-back road games in Weeks 1 and 2 (1981).
This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Tom McCarthywill handle play-by-play duties alongside analyst Adam Archuleta.
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.
*LAST WEEK *
Last week the Titans opened their second season under head coach Ken Whisenhunt with a 42-14 victory at Tampa Bay, as rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota passed for four touchdowns in his first NFL start. The second-overall draft pick was 13-of-16 passing for 209 yards without throwing an interception, and he led the team to touchdowns on five of his seven drives before exiting in the third quarter.
Mariota achieved a perfect passer rating of 158.3, becoming the first player since at least 1933 with a perfect passer rating in his first game and the first player in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) with a perfect rating in his first start (minimum 10 attempts).
Also, Mariota joined former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton as the only rookies in NFL history with four touchdown passes in a season opener. No rookie in NFL annals had thrown four touchdown passes in one half before Mariota did so.
Mariota's top target in the game was wide receiver Kendall Wright, who led the team with 101 yards on four catches, including a career-long 52-yard touchdown reception early in the first quarter. It marked the fourth career 100-yard game for Wright, who reached 2,500 career receiving yards in the contest.
Defensively, the Titans got big contributions from a number of players. They recorded four sacks, including a pair of sacks by outside linebacker Derrick Morgan, and they also posted a pair of interceptions—the first a pick-six by cornerback Coty Sensabaugh and the second an athletic grab by rookie outside linebacker Deiontrez Mount. In 55 previous season openers in franchise history, the team had recorded four sacks and an interception return for a touchdown only once (Sept. 4, 1988 at Indianapolis).
*BROWNS IN SECOND SEASON UNDER MIKE PETTINE *
Like the Titans, the Browns are in their second year under their current head coach. Mike Pettine was hired in January 2014, and in his first season, the Browns finished 7-9, accumulating their highest win total since 2007.
Sunday's matchup is Cleveland's home opener. In Week 1, they went to New York and fell to the Jets by a final score of 31-10. Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown, who was beginning his 13th NFL campaign, was lost for the game in the first quarter due to injury.
When McCown left, 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel entered the contest, and on Manziel's second pass, he connected with Travis Benjamin for a 54-yard touchdown. Manziel was 13-of-24 passing for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Jets.
The Browns defense, which finished second in the NFL last season with 21 interceptions, features one of the NFL's top defensive back groups. The unit returns three Pro Bowl selections from 2014: cornerback Joe Haden and safeties Dashaun Gipson and Donte Whitner.