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Tennessee Titans Football

A Look at Titans Opponents in 2014: Jets, Chiefs

Posted by Craig Peters on January 2, 2014 – 6:23 pm

The Titans’ second-place finish in the AFC South will pit Tennessee against teams that finished second in the AFC East (New York Jets) and AFC West (Kansas City Chiefs) in 2014. (The schedule of dates will be announced in spring).

Vs. New York Jets

Jake Locker completed 18 of 24 passes for 149 yards and three TDs against the Jets in 2013.

Jake Locker completed 18 of 24 passes for 149 yards and three TDs against the Jets in 2013. Slideshow.

Jets’ 2013 Finish: (8-8); Points For: 290; Points Against: (387); Net: (-97); TDs: 27; Home: 6-2; Away: 2-6; Conf: 5-7; Last 5: 3-2

Jets’ 2013 Rankings: Total Offense (25th, 318.1 yards per game); Total Defense (11th, 334.9)

Titans vs. Jets Overall: (23-17-1); Most Recent: Titans 38, Jets 13 on Sept. 29, 2013

Early Outlook: The Jets have announced that coach Rex Ryan will be back for another year, and it will be the third season in a row that the Jets have traveled to Nashville. Tennessee has won the past two (14-10 in 2012 and 38-13 in 2013). As a rookie, Jets QB Geno Smith had the lowest qualifying passer rating in the NFL (66.5) in large part to his completion percentage of 55.8 and his ratio of 12 TD passes to 21 interceptions. If the Jets go with Smith in 2014, they’ll need him to boost those numbers.

Jake Locker had his best first half as a pro the last time the teams met. He was 18-of-24 passing (75 percent) for 149 yards and three TD passes (career-high passer rating of 130) before suffering knee and hip sprains early in the second half on a hit involving Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson and LB Quinton Coples. Alterraun Verner had two interceptions of Smith and recovered a fumble forced by Zach Brown, and Karl Klug stripped Smith during a sack and recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

At Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs’ 2013 Finish (11-5); Points For: 430; Points Against: 305; Net (125); TDs: 52; Home: 5-3; Away: 6-2; Conf: 7-5; Last 5: 2-3

Chiefs’ 2013 Rankings: Total Offense (21st, 337.3 yards per game); Total Defense (24th, 367.8)

Titans vs. Chiefs Overall: (20-27); Most Recent: Chiefs 26, Titans 17 at LP Field in 2013; Last time in Kansas City: Chiefs 34, Titans 14 in 2010

Early Outlook: The Chiefs will enter 2014 on the heels of their second playoff season in the past four after improving from 2-14 in 2012 when they had six Pro Bowlers to 11-5 in 2013 when eight players garnered selection to the all-star game. Quarterback Alex Smith and coach Andy Reid will be in their second season in Kansas City, and the Chiefs’ offense is likely to rely heavily on Jamaal Charles, who led the AFC with 1,980 yards from scrimmage. Charles had 1,287 yards on 259 carries (5.0 per attempt) and 693 yards on 70 receptions (9.9 per catch).

The Titans limited Charles to 37 yards on five catches, but the back managed 108 yards and a rushing TD on 22 carries when the teams met in October. Three Titans turnovers — a bad bounce off a punt that was recovered in the end zone and two interceptions — loomed large in that contest. Tennessee rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit with 17 straight points, including a 49-yard TD by Chris Johnson on a short pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was making his first start as a Titan in place of Jake Locker (hip and knee sprains), in the third quarter and a 9-yard run by Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter.

Both teams entered that game tied for the NFL lead at plus-9 in turnover ratio, but Kansas City finished second in the NFL at plus-18 and Tennessee fell to a tie for 14th at even in the final 12 games.

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Chris Johnson Hits 1,000; Bironas Nails 55-yard Field Goal

Posted by Craig Peters on December 29, 2013 – 1:36 pm

Rob Bironas kicked a season-long 55-yard field goal as the first half expired to bring Tennessee within a point at 7-6 of Houston.

The Titans drove 58 yards on seven plays in 1:53 to cut into the Texans’ lead and will get the ball to start the second half.

The possession started at Tennessee’s own 5, and was started by a 23-yard run by Chris Johnson that put him over 1,000 yards for the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with Kendall Wright on a screen pass that gained 34 yards, and the Titans overcame a holding penalty against Delanie Walker with a screen from Fitzpatrick to Johnson that gained 11 on third-and-20 to move the ball to the Houston 37.

Tennessee let the clock tick down to four seconds left in the first half before using its final timeout.

The possession followed a successful challenge by Titans coach Mike Munchak of a play that was originally ruled a completion from Matt Schaub to DeAndre Hopkins. After review, officials determined the pass had been broken up by Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner, and Tennessee was able to force a punt two plays later.

The Titans’ first field goal made it 7-3 with 9:45 remaining in the first half. Bironas capped a seven-play, 32-yard drive with a 42-yarder. The drive started at the Tennessee 44-yard line and included a 13-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to Wright and runs of 9 and 4 yards by Johnson.

The possession was slowed by an illegal shift penalty, but Fitzpatrick’s 9-yard pass to Walker on third-and-13 moved Tennessee back to the 24.

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Chris Johnson Goes for Six Consecutive 1,000-Yard Seasons

Posted by Gary Glenn on December 26, 2013 – 3:06 pm

_DSC4453Titans running back Chris Johnson has rushed for 950 yards through the first 15 games of 2013. With 50 more rushing yards, he will reach the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth consecutive season—every season since entering the NFL in 2008.

Johnson’s streak would tie him for fifth place in NFL history to begin a career. The only previous players to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of their first six seasons are Barry Sanders (10 seasons), Curtis Martin (10), LaDainian Tomlinson (eight), Eric Dickerson (seven) and Corey Dillon (six).

Most consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons to begin a career, NFL history:

10 – Barry Sanders (1989-98)
10 – Curtis Martin (1995-04)
8 – LaDainian Tomlinson (2001-08)
7 – Eric Dickerson (1983-89)
6 – Corey Dillon (1997-02)
5 – Chris Johnson (2008-12) – active, needs 50 more rushing yards
5 – Eddie George (1996-00)
5 – Tony Dorsett (1977-81)

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Chris Johnson Approaches 8,000 Rushing Yards

Posted by Gary Glenn on December 26, 2013 – 3:04 pm

_DSC2162Chris Johnson could reach another rare career milestone this weekend, but he will need one of his best career performances to do so.

Johnson currently sits at 7,838 career rushing yards. With 162 rushing yards in the finale against the Texans, he would become the eighth player in NFL history to reach the 8,000-yard rushing mark within his first six seasons. The only players to previously accomplish the feat are Eric Dickerson (9,915 yards from 1983-88), LaDainian Tomlinson (9,176 from 2001-06), Emmitt Smith (8,956 from 1990-95), Adrian Peterson (8,849 from 2007-12), Barry Sanders (8,672 from 1989-94), Walter Payton (8,386 from 1975-80) and Earl Campbell (8,296 from 1978-83).

Johnson has rushed for 162 yards in a game five times in his career. His high this season is 150 rushing yards at St. Louis on Nov. 3.

Most rushing yards in a player’s first six seasons, NFL history:

9,915 – Eric Dickerson (1983-88)
9,176 – LaDainian Tomlinson (2001-06)
8,956 – Emmitt Smith (1990-95)
8,849 – Adrian Peterson (2007-12)
8,672 – Barry Sanders (1989-94)
8,386 – Walter Payton (1975-80)
8,296 – Earl Campbell (1978-83)
7,838 – Chris Johnson (2008-13) active

In franchise history, Johnson currently owns the second-best rushing total for a player’s first six seasons. Last week he passed Eddie George, who rushed for 7,813 yards for the team in his first six years (1996-01). Campbell ranks first on the team’s list.

Most rushing yards in a player’s first six seasons, franchise history:

8,296 – Earl Campbell (1978-83)
7,838 – Chris Johnson (2008-13) active
7,813 – Eddie George (1996-01)

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Titans Turn to Ground Game for TD

Posted by Craig Peters on December 22, 2013 – 2:19 pm

A short touchdown by Shonn Greene has brought the Titans within three points at 16-13 with 4:01 left in the third quarter.

After opening the possession with three straight throws, including a 15-yard completion from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Nate Washington on third-and-3, the Titans ran the ball eight straight plays.

Chris Johnson had runs of 4, 8 and 9 to move the ball to the Jacksonville 46-yard line. Tennessee then brought in Shonn Greene, who gained 3 before busting lose for a 29-yarder, the team’s longest run of the day. Greene took the next three carries for 2, 2 and the 1-yard score. Greene broke tackles by Paul Posluszny and Johnathan Cyprien.

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First Look: Titans at Jaguars

Posted by Craig Peters on December 18, 2013 – 8:16 am

The Titans (5-9) visit the Jaguars (4-10) on Dec. 22 at EverBank Field. Here’s a first glance at the matchup:

Recent action

Tennessee fell 37-34 in overtime against Arizona last week in a game that eliminated it from postseason contention. The Titans scored 17 points in the final 3:12 of regulation to tie the game against the Cardinals but lost in overtime. Ryan Fitzpatrick set career highs in completions (36), attempts (58) and yards (402) and tied a career high with four touchdown passes, and Kendall Wright led receivers with career highs of 12 catches for 150 yards to go over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his two-year career. The Jaguars lost 27-20 to the Bills Sunday but have won four of six in a stretch that began Nov. 10 at Tennessee.

Team stat comparisons

Ryan Fitzpatrick set career highs in completions (36), attempts (58) and yards (402) against Arizona.

Ryan Fitzpatrick set career highs in completions (36), attempts (58) and yards (402) against Arizona.

Tennessee’s Offensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 21st (338.1)
Rushing Yards/Game: 20th (111.5)
Passing Yards/Game: 21st (226.6)
Turnover Ratio: Minus-3 (tied for 18th in NFL)

Jacksonville’s Defensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 28th (381.8)
Rushing Yards/Game: 30th (131.9)
Passing Yards/Game: 19th (249.9)
Points Allowed/Game: tied at 30th (28.5)

Tennessee’s Defensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 14th (345)
Rushing Yards/Game: 23rd (119.1)
Passing Yards/Game: 10th (225.9)
Points Allowed/Game: tied at 19th (25.4)

Jacksonville’s Offensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 31st (290.1)
Rushing Yards/Game: 29th (82.5)
Passing Yards/Game: 26th (207.6)
Turnover Ratio: Minus-4 (tied for 21st in NFL)

Series history

The Titans lead 21-17 (including a 33-14 win in the 1999 AFC Championship game on Jan. 23, 2000 at Jacksonville). The teams have split in each of the past four seasons, with Jacksonville claiming the first matchup and Tennessee taking the second in each of the past two seasons.

The previous meeting

The Titans fell behind 13-0 after a fumble by Chris Johnson on the first play from scrimmage of the game that led to a Jaguars touchdown and a pair of field goals by Josh Scobee, one of which followed an interception. Tennessee also lost Jake Locker for the rest of the season to a Lisfranc injury. Locker tried to play through the pain but was unable to complete a handoff to Chris Johnson a play after the injury, resulting in a fumbled exchange between the QB and Johnson in Jaguars territory. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Locker and helped the Titans score 20 points in the second half, but Will Blackmon blitzed, stripped the QB and returned the ball 21 yards for a touchdown to help Jacksonville win 29-27.


This one is personal to the Titans, who enter the game with five losses in the past six, a streak that began when the teams last met and Tennessee was 4-4. The Titans have been unable to recover from that game in the win column but want to finish the season with a fight. After allowing 28 or more points in six of their first eight games, the Jaguars have allowed 28 points one time in their past six. Jacksonville was outscored 264-86 in its first eight games, but has played even (135 to 135) in its past six.

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Titans Score TD to End First Quarter

Posted by Craig Peters on December 15, 2013 – 4:09 pm

The Tennessee Titans answered a touchdown drive by the Arizona Cardinals with a touchdown drive.

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chris Johnson celebrate their TD pass that ended the first quarter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chris Johnson celebrate their TD pass that ended the first quarter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick got solid initial blocking, then bought extra time in the pocket and found Chris Johnson down the left sideline through a window in the defense. Johnson caught the ball, smoothly accelerated and made a nifty cut intl the end zone for a 10-7 lead as the first quarter expired. The drive also included a 12-yard run by Johnson and a 22-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to Delanie Walker on a cleverly designed play.

The Titans took a 3-0 lead on the Arizona Cardinals with 9:34 left in the first quarter at LP Field.

Rob Bironas kicked a 45-yard field goal to cap an eight-play, 37-yard drive that lasted 4:28.

The Titans won the coin toss, deferred and forced a quick three-and-punt by the Cardinals.

Leon Washington returned the punt nine yards, and Fitzpatrick opened with consecutive completions to Nate Washington and Walker. Johnson gained 6 on his first carry, and Tennessee followed with a screen pass to Kendall Wright that gained 7.

Johnson added runs of 2 and 5 to bring up a third-and-3. Fitzpatrick lost the ball as he was trying to elude pressure, but center Brian Schwenke caught the ball and plowed forward two yards to set up the field goal.

Arizona responded with a nine-play, 77-yard drive that Rashard Mendenhall ended with a 1-yard TD run. Carson Palmer was 3-of-3 passing for 53 yards on the drive.

The Cardinals tied the game at 10 on a 25-yard field goal by Jay Feely with 7:21 left in the first half to end a 13-play, 67-yard drive that lasted 7:39.

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Titans’ Gamble Leads to Shonn Greene’s 2nd TD

Posted by Craig Peters on December 8, 2013 – 5:00 pm

Tennessee took a chance and reaped a substantial reward midway through the second quarter.

Facing a fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee 49-yard line, Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick faked a handoff to Chris Johnson, rolled to his right and threw a short pass to Johnson, who had enough running room to gain 23 yards.

Shonn Greene busted through the line on the following play for a 28-yard touchdown. It was his longest run as a Titan and gave Tennessee a 21-10 lead with 6:58 remaining in the first half.

Denver answered with a 10-play, 81-yard drive that was capped by an 8-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Julius Thomas to trail 21-20 with 1:50 left. The Broncos forced a Titans punt on the ensuing possession and got the ball back with 52 seconds remaining at their own 15-yard line.

Denver moved it to the Tennessee 46 with three seconds remaining, which was just close enough for Matt Prater to attempt and make an NFL record 64-yard field goal as time expired.

Tennessee leads Denver 21-20 at half, and Denver will get the ball to start the second half.

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Titans Start Hot Despite Freezing Temperature

Posted by Craig Peters on December 8, 2013 – 4:15 pm

Despite a game-time temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver, the Titans opened with a hot start against the Broncos.

Eight minutes into the game, Tennessee led 14-7 after short touchdowns by Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson that were set up, respectively, by a 57-yard reception by Justin Hunter and a 95-yard kickoff return by Leon Washington.

A power run by Greene gave Tennessee a 7-0 lead with 12:37 left in the first quarter. Greene kept his legs churning after initial contact and knifed into the end zone.

The plunge ended a scoring drive that was five plays and covered 73 yards in 2:23. The catch by Hunter was a career-long 57 for the rookie. Ryan Fitzpatrick also hit Hunter one play earliers to convert a third-and-5 with a 10-yard gain.

The Broncos tied the game at 7 with a 13-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Wes Welker.

Washington, however, helped the Titans answer immediately by fielding the ensuing kickoff at the 2, streaking through a substantial hole in the middle of the coverage and picking up a block by Jackie Battle. Washington was finally corralled at the Denver 3, but Johnson scored one play later.

The Broncos added a 25-yard field goal by Matt Prater with 25 seconds left in the first quarter after two plays that were initially ruled touchdowns were ruled a completion shy of the end zone and an incompletion during reviews by officials.

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Chris Johnson Has Most Career Receptions by a Titans-Oilers running Back

Posted by Gary Glenn on December 5, 2013 – 12:15 pm

Chris JohnsonLast week at Indianapolis, Chris Johnson totaled six receptions, including a one-yard touchdown catch. With his effort, the sixth-year running back moved into the franchise’s top 10 list for career receptions. He has caught 263 passes for 1,926 yards and seven touchdowns since entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2008.

On the career receptions list, Johnson passed former running back Eddie George, whose 259 receptions with the team from 1996–2003 set the previous standard for franchise running backs.

Additionally against the Colts, Nate Washington became the 13th player in franchise history to reach 250 career receptions.

Most career receptions in franchise history:

542 – Earnest Givens (WR) 1986-94
515 – Haywood Jeffires (WR) 1987-95
482 – Frank Wycheck (TE) 1995-03
480 – Drew Hill (WR) 1985-91
453 – Derrick Mason (WR) 1997-04
410 – Charlie Hennigan (WR) 1960-66
408 – Ken Burrough (WR) 1971-81
322 – Curtis Dunkin (WR) 1987-93
273 – Drew Bennett (WR) 2001-06
263 – Chris Johnson (RB) 2008-13
259 – Eddie George (RB) 1996-03
251 – Bo Scaife (TE) 2005-10
250 – Nate Washington (WR) 2009-13

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