The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open their 2019 preseason schedule tonight, traveling to Philadelphia to face the Eagles (0-0). Kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CDT.
TITANS IN YEAR 2 UNDER VRABEL’S DIRECTION
The Titans enter their second preseason with Mike Vrabel as head coach. In 2018, he directed the club to a 9-7 regular season record and within one game of a playoff berth.
The 2019 Titans defense returns nine of its 11 regular starters from a year ago. Orchestrated by defensive coordinator Dean Pees, the 2018 unit allowed the third fewest points in the league (18.9 per game). The defense also ranked eighth in total defense (333.4 yards per game), sixth in passing defense (216.9) and second in the red zone (44.7 percent touchdown rate).
On the opposite side of the ball, this week marks the preseason debut of Arthur Smith as Titans offensive coordinator. After originally joining the organization in 2011, Smith has worked his way up the coaching ladder under four different head coaches. He served as the tight ends coach for the last three and a half seasons.
Smith and the Titans will look to quarterback Marcus Mariota to captain the offense in his fifth NFL season. The former second-overall draft pick won 27 games as a starter from 2015 through 2018, which was the highest total by any quarterback in his first four seasons with the franchise since George Blanda (34 wins from 1960-63). Mariota also became the fifth quarterback in NFL history with at least 12,000 passing yards (12,004) and 1,200 rushing yards (1,270) in his first four seasons, joining Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Jeff Garcia and Blake Bortles.
This is the first of four preseason games. The Titans return home next week to face the New England Patriots (Aug. 17), followed by a nationally televised Sunday night home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (Aug. 25) and finally a road contest at the Chicago Bears (Aug. 29). The regular season begins Sept. 8 at the Cleveland Browns.
Like the Titans, the Eagles went 9-7 in 2018. However, their record was good enough to clinch a wild card playoff berth and their second consecutive playoff appearance under head coach Doug Pederson. They survived until a divisional-round loss at New Orleans one year after representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Eagles fourth-year quarterback Carson Wentz has produced singleseason team records in passing touchdowns (33 in 2017) and completion percentage (69.6 percent in 2018) during the last two campaigns. He returns for the preseason after missing the conclusion of 2018 due to a back injury.
Wentz was the second-overall draft choice in 2016, one year after Mariota had the same distinction.
The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-News 2 in Nashville. Within the Nashville television market, fans can livestream the WKRN broadcast on their mobile devices at the Titans app and the Titans mobile website (TitansOnline.com). Additionally, local fans can watch on desktop computers at TitansOnline.com.
The Titans Radio Network, including Thunder Radio, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Amie Wells and gameday hosts Rhett Bryan and Jonathan Hutton. Thunder Radio will join the Titans broadcast immediately following the 1st National Bank Hometown Sports Series broadcast of Westwood football.