Tennessee Titans travel to Detroit to fact the Lions
Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Detroit Lions (1-0)
Sunday, September 18th, 2016 | 1:00pm EDT/Noon CDT
Detroit, MI | Ford Field | TV: CBS
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (0-1) play their first road game of the regular season this week, traveling to take on the Detroit Lions (1-0). Kickoff at Ford Field (capacity 64,500) is scheduled for 1:00pm EDT/noon CDT on Sunday, September 18th.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon will call the action alongside analysts Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein.
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.
Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray (29) leaps over Minnesota Vikings cornerback Terence Newman (23) for a touchdown during the first half at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
The Tennessee Titans
Titans look to Bounce Back from Opener
Last week at Nissan Stadium, the outlook appeared promising as the Titans launched the regular season. They built a 10-0 halftime lead over the Minnesota Vikings behind a stout defense and a ball-control offense. Ultimately, however, they were undone by three second-half turnovers in a 25-16 defeat.
The Vikings took the lead in the third quarter on a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Eric Kendricks, and they added a fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter by defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota passed for 271 yards, the fourth-highest total in his 13 career NFL games. He completed two touchdown passes, both of which went to running back DeMarco Murray.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (19) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jabari Price (25) after catching a pass during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Minnesota won 25-16. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Murray, who was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles during the offseason, was making his regular season debut with the club. He tallied 77 total yards in the contest, including 42 rushing yards and 35 receiving yards.
Mariota’s favorite target against Minnesota was Tajae Sharpe, who became became the team’s first rookie wide receiver to start a season opener in the “Titans era” (1999–present). The fifth-round pick from the University of Massachusetts caught seven passes for 76 yards. His seven catches rank second in franchise history for a rookie in a season opener, trailing only Sid Blanks’ 13 catches in the 1964 opener.
Defensively, the Titans limited Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to 31 yards on 19 carries for an average of 1.6 yards per attempt. During Peterson’s career, which began in 2007, there has been only one other occasion in the regular season or playoffs in which he had at least 19 carries and an average of 1.6 or fewer yards (1.5-yard average at New Orleans on October 6th, 2008).
The Detroit Lions
The Titans will be the second consecutive AFC South opponent that the Lions will face to begin the season. They opened last week with a dramatic 39-35 win on the road against the Indianapolis Colts.
Matt Prater booted a 43-yard field goal in the game’s final seconds to put the Lions ahead, and they tacked on a safety when the Colts committed a penalty in the end zone on the ensuing kickoff. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 31 of 39 passes at Indianapolis for 340 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Now in his eighth NFL season, Stafford already owns Detroit’s single-season and career records for passing yards, eclipsing 4,000 yards in each of the last five seasons. In 2015, he passed for 4,262 yards and 32 touchdowns and became the first quarterback in NFL history to complete at least 60.0 percent of his passes in all 16 games.
Stafford’s top wide receivers in 2016 include Middle Tennessee native Golden Tate and a pair of 2016 veteran free agent additions: Anquan Boldin and Marvin Jones, Jr. The Lions are in their third season under head coach Jim Caldwell.