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Tennessee Titans Football

First Look: Titans vs. Cardinals

Posted by Craig Peters on December 10, 2013 – 5:35 pm

The Titans (5-8) host the Cardinals (8-5) at 3:25 p.m. (CT) on Dec. 15 at LP Field. Here’s a first glance at the matchup:

Recent action

Tennessee led Denver on the road last week by 11 points midway through the second quarter but lost 51-28 after committing two turnovers in the second half. The Titans scored three rushing touchdowns (two by Shonn Greene and one by Chris Johnson) and scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick to Justin Hunter, who had his second 100-yard receiving game. The Broncos, however, railed with 10 points late in the second quarter and scored four touchdowns on their first five possessions of the second half, including twice after the turnovers gave them short fields. Arizona has won five of its past six after going 3-4 in its first seven games. Veteran Carson Palmer, who joined the Cardinals this season, has developed a chemistry with seven-time Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald (67 catches for 774 yards) and second-year pro Michael Floyd (56 catches for 886 yards).

Team stat comparisons

Titans rookie Justin Hunter has had two 100-yard receiving performances in the past three games.

Titans rookie Justin Hunter has had two 100-yard receiving performances in the past three games.

Tennessee’s Offensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 21st (328.7)
Rushing Yards/Game: 15th (115)
Passing Yards/Game: 23rd (213.7)
Turnover Ratio: Even (tied for 14th in NFL)

Arizona’s Defensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 5th (311.7)
Rushing Yards/Game: 3rd (84.5)
Passing Yards/Game: 11th (227.2)
Points Allowed/Game: 7th (19.8)

Tennessee’s Defensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 14th (343.8)
Rushing Yards/Game: 20th (117.1)
Passing Yards/Game: 10th (226.8)
Points Allowed/Game: 17th (24.5)

Arizona’s Offensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 18th (337.9)
Rushing Yards/Game: 25th (90.2)
Passing Yards/Game: 14th (247.7)
Turnover Ratio: Even (tied for 14th in NFL)

Series history

The Titans/Oilers and Cardinals franchises have only met nine previous times, which is the fewest number of encounters against any team that was part of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Arizona leads 5-4, with Tennessee claiming the most recent matchup 20-17 on Nov. 29, 2009. The Cardinals’ organization was founded in 1898 and is the oldest continuously existing professional football franchise in America, having operated as the Morgan Athletic Club, the Normals, Racine Cardinals, Chicago Cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals, Phoenix Cardinals and Arizona Cardinals.

The previous meeting

Kenny Britt caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Vince Young as time expired to convert a fourth-and-goal and cap a 99-yard drive with a 20-17 Titans victory. The possession began at the Tennessee 1-yard line with 2:37 remaining and was extended by two other fourth-down conversions (catches of 10 yards by Britt and 13 yards by Lavelle Hawkins) and a third-down conversion. Young was 9-of-16 passing for 94 yards on the drive.

A quiet first half that had two field goals (52 and 24 yards) by Rob Bironas and a 41-yarder by Arizona’s Neil Rackers, Chris Johnson busted loose for an 85-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but the Cardinals answered the score with a 98-yard return by LaRod Stephens-Howling on the ensuing kickoff to cut the Titans’ lead to 13-10. The Cardinals claimed their first lead early in the fourth quarter, but were unable to stop the late rally, despite forcing a turnover with less than five minutes left and then getting a 64-yard punt by Ben Graham.


Tennessee is aiming to win its final three games of the season to finish 8-8. The Titans are still mathematically alive in the playoff standings but are two games behind Baltimore and Miami (both 7-6) and one game behind San Diego and the New York Jets (both 6-7) for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.

The Titans are hoping to have Delanie Walker back from a concussion suffered on Dec. 1 this week, and the Cardinals will be compensating for the loss of talented rookie Tyrann Matthieu to a knee injury.

Tennessee is returning to LP Field for the first time in more than a month after going 1-2 in three straight road games. The Titans are 2-4 at home, and the Cardinals are 2-4 on the road this season. Arizona is 8-1 this season when it scores 22 or more points. Tennessee has held opponents to 22 or fewer points seven times this season and is 5-2 in those games.

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Posted in Blog | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “First Look: Titans vs. Cardinals”

  1. By Kevin Neely on Dec 12, 2013 | Reply

    titans are gonna win! hopefully

  2. By addicted2football on Dec 12, 2013 | Reply

    I hate to say this, but no, hopefully we lose. I know Munchak has said the important thing now is to finish 8-8, but all that’s going to do is screw us out of a good draft pick. At this point, I’d rather dump the rest of the season and fininsh 5-11, that could potentially put us in the top 10. 8-8 won’t get us to the post season and it would probably have us picking at about 20th or so.

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