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Tennessee Titans (2-4) at Washington Redskins (1-5)
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 | 1:00pm EDT/Noon CDT
Landover, MD | FedExField (85,000) | TV: CBS
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (2-4) travel to face the Redskins (1-5) this week. Kickoff at FedExField is scheduled for 1:00pm EDT/noon CDT on Sunday, October 19th.
The Titans and Redskins have met on only 11 prior occasions in the regular season, with the Titans holding a 6-5 advantage. In two appearances at FedExField, which opened in 1997, the Titans are 2-0, earning wins in 2000 and 2006. Meanwhile, the Redskins have won both matchups at LP Field in the same time period (2002 and 2010).
Tennessee Titans running back Leon Washington (29) catches a pass during warm ups prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties, while Rich Gannon will serve as analyst.
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, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
Tennessee Titans Last Week
Last week the Titans broke a four-game losing skid with a 16-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field. With 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, nose tackle Sammie Hill blocked a 55-yard field goal attempt by Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee to preserve the win.
The Titans defense recorded six sacks and forced a pair of second-half turnovers in the contest. Defensive tackle and defensive captain Jurrell Casey led the charge with two sacks, while second-year cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson notched his first career interception. The other turnover came as a result of a forced fumble by cornerback Jason McCourty and a recovery by rookie linebacker Avery Williamson.
Tennessee Titans running back Dexter McCluster (22) carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at LP Field. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)
Charlie Whitehurst received the start at quarterback for the Titans in place of Jake Locker, who was inactive with a right thumb injury. Whitehurst led four scoring drives, completing 17 of his 28 pass attempts for a career-high 233 yards. The ninth-year veteran did not throw an interception, as the Titans completed their second consecutive game without a turnover.
Now, with two games remaining before their bye, the Titans hope to build on their performance against the Jaguars. They face their second NFC opponent of the season in the Redskins and then return to LP Field for a date with the division-rival Houston Texans in Week 8.
In their first interconference matchup of 2014, the Titans fell to the Dallas Cowboys 26-10 in Week 2. Since realignment in 2002, they have been one of the NFL’s best teams against the opposite conference, building a 30-19 record versus the NFC. Only four teams boast a better interconference record in that time frame.
The Washington Redskins
Like the Titans, who are in their first campaign under head coach Ken Whisenhunt, the Redskins have new leadership on the sideline. Jay Gruden was named the 29th head coach in the 83-year history of the franchise in January after spending three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Last week Gruden’s squad traveled to Arizona, where they suffered their fourth consecutive loss. The Redskins kept the score tight throughout the game and even led in the second quarter.
However, the Cardinals got a late interception return for a touchdown to seal their 30-20 win.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been inactive the last four weeks due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 2. As a result, Kirk Cousins has filled in as the starter, completing 116 of 188 passes for 1,571 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions (88.3 passer rating). Against the Cardinals, Cousins threw for 354 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown to wide receiver De-Sean Jackson.
Titans-Redskins Series At A Glance
Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 6-5
Regular season series: Titans lead 6-5
Postseason series: None
Total points: Titans 216, Redskins 196
Current streak: One win by Redskins
Titans at home vs. Redskins: 3-2
Titans on the road vs. Redskins: 3-3
Longest winning streak by Titans: 2 (twice, last 1997-00)
Longest losing streak by Titans: 1 (five times, last 2010)
Titans vs. Redskins at LP Field: 0-2
Last time at LP Field: Redskins 19 at Titans 16 in OT (11/21/10)
Titans vs. Redskins at FedExField: 2-0
Last Time at FedExField: Titans 25 at Redskins 22 (10/15/06)
First time: Oilers 13 at Redskins 22 (10/10/71)
Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Redskins: 0-3
Jay Gruden’s record vs. Titans: 0-0
Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Jay Gruden: 0-0
A Titans Victory Would
Improve Ken Whisenhunt’s career record as a head coach to 52-57 (including playoffs).
Improve Jake Locker’s career record as a starting quarterback to 10-13 or improve Charlie Whitehurst’s career record as a starting quarterback to 3-4.
Improve the Titans’ interconference record to 31-19 since 2002 realignement.
What To Look For This Week
RB Shonn Greene (3,908 career rushing yards) needs 92 rushing yards to reach 4,000 for his career.
S Michael Griffin (24 career interceptions) needs one interception to tie Ken Houston for eighth place on the franchise career interceptions list.
S Michael Griffin (738 career tackles) needs one tackle to break a tie with former LB Steve Kiner (738) for ninth place on the team’s all-time tackles list.
QB Jake Locker (4,738 career passing yards) needs 201 passing yards to pass Matt Hasselbeck (4,938) for ninth place on the franchise’s passing yards list.
PR Dexter McCluster (997 career punt return yards) needs three punt return yards to reach 1,000 for his career.
TE Delanie Walker (2,400 career receiving yards) needs 43 receiving yards to reach 2,500 for his career.
KR Leon Washington needs one kickoff return for a touchdown to become the NFL’s all-time leader (currently tied with Josh Cribbs for first in NFL history with eight).
WR Kendall Wright (1,928 career receiving yards) needs 66 receiving yards to reach 2,000 for his career.
Titans-Redskins Series History
The Titans-Redskins rivalry dates back to 1971, a year after the merger of the American Football League and National Football League. The Redskins defeated the then-Houston Oilers by a final score of 22-13 on October 10th, 1971 in the first of 11 meetings in the regular season.
In 1975, the Oilers earned a 13-10 win over the Redskins, giving them their first franchise win over an NFC team. Tennessee holds a 6-5 advantage in the series. The Titans have a 3-2 record at home against the Redskins and are 3-3 on the road.
In the most recent matchup at FedExField, the Redskins hosted the Titans in Week 6 of the 2006 season. The Titans were able to escape with a 25-22 victory, their first of the season and the beginning of a run in which they won eight of the final 11 games. It also was then-quarterback Vince Young’s first career victory.
The most recent battle between the Titans and Redskins took place at LP Field in 2010.
In that game, Graham Gano booted a 48-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Redskins to a 19-16 win. Although Young began the game at quarterback, his injury in the third quarter forced third-stringer Rusty Smith into the game with Kerry Collins inactive due to a calf injury.
The Redskins’ first trip to LP Field was October 6th, 2002. With Steve Spurrier in his first season has head coach, Washington’s defense held Eddie George to just 26 rushing yards and kept Tennessee off the board in the second half, and Redskins rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey came off the bench to lead his team to a 31-14 victory. Following that game, the Titans went on to win 11 of their next 12 games, including an AFC Divisional Playoff game, before falling to the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship.
On August 12th, 1995, a historic preseason game was played when the then-Houston Oilers traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, to play a preseason game with the Redskins. The teams spent the previous two days practicing together at Maryville College outside of Knoxville.
The same weekend, then-owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. entered into an exclusive negotiating period with the city of Nashville to relocate the Oilers to Tennessee. An agreement was finalized by November of the same year.
Titans-Redskins: The Last Meeting
Washington Redskins 19 at Tennessee Titans 16 (OT)
Sunday, November 21st, 2010
LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
A total of nine field goals were attempted between the Titans and Redskins in Week 11 of the 2010 season. The final one, a 48-yarder by Graham Gano in overtime, gave the Redskins a 19-16 victory at LP Field.
The game-winner came after the Titans were called for a combined 35 yards of penalties on the Redskins’ lone drive of the extra period. A key moment occurred with the Redskins facing a second-and-22 from their own 27. Cornerback Alterraun Verner appeared to intercept a Donovan McNabb pass and then returned the ball to the Washington 33.
However, the ruling was changed to an incomplete pass after a booth review revealed the ball hit the ground. Furthermore, Jason Babin was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty at the end of the play to give the Redskins a first down.
Another personal foul penalty was later called on linebacker Will Witherspoon, and finally, an illegal contact infraction on Verner gave the Redskins a first down at the Tennessee 25. Four plays later, Gano’s kick ended the game.
The Titans were trying to win the game in overtime with third-string quarterback Rusty Smith. Starter Vince Young was injured in the third quarter after completing 12 of 16 passes for 165 yards. Smith was called upon because Kerry Collins, normally the team’s second-string signal caller, was listed against the Redskins as the inactive/third quarterback due to a calf injury.
The Titans jumped ahead of the Redskins early in the first quarter. After the Redskins’ second offensive series, Titans returner Marc Mariani fielded a Hunter Smith punt at the 13-yard line and followed his blockers 87 yards for a touchdown.
The Redskins came right back to take the lead with two long scoring drives. McNabb found Santana Moss in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass, capping a 79-yard drive that evened the score at 7-7.
Then, at the conclusion of a 72-yard drive, Gano booted a 19-yard field goal to give the Redskins the lead.
The Titans eventually regained the lead with a pair of field goals by Rob Bironas. A 73-yard drive ended with a 25-yard field goal, and then, after Gano missed a 51-yard attempt at the end of the first half that would have given the Redskins the lead, the Titans scored on their first drive of the third quarter. Bironas capped a 66-yard series with a 32-yard field goal.
Soon after a 40-yard field goal by Gano tied the score, the Titans were forced to make a quarterback change. On a 37-yard completion to Nate Washington with 2:50 on the clock in the third quarter, Young hurt his right thumb, and Smith entered. On Smith’s second pass, a 36-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss was called back for offensive pass interference.
In the fourth quarter, Smith recorded his first career completion, locating Washington for a 52-yard pass. That led to a 40-yard field goal by Bironas that put the Titans in front 16-13. But Gano quickly tied the score again with a 42-yard field goal.
The Redskins were in position to win at the end of regulation, but a 47-yard attempt by Gano was short.
The Titans received the ball to start overtime but could only muster one first down, setting the stage for the Redskins’ game-winning drive.