NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (0-2) return home this week to face the Detroit Lions (1-1) at LP Field (capacity 69,143). Kickoff is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 23.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on FOX, including Nashville affiliate WZTV FOX-17. Ron Pitts will handle play-by-play duties while Mike Martz provides analysis. Kristina Pink is the sideline reporter.
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, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
The Titans lost their second consecutive game to begin the season last week, falling to the Chargers in San Diego by a final score of 38-10.
Locker made his second career start despite battling a left shoulder injury suffered in the opener. He completed 15 of 30 passes for 174 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Meanwhile, the Lions traveled to San Francisco last week to appear on Sunday Night Football. They battled the 49ers to the wire only to come up short in a 27-19 loss.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 230 yards in the loss, while wide receiver Calvin Johnson caught eight passes for 94 yards. Jason Hanson provided the majority of Detroit’s scoring with four field goals.
LIONS LED BY FAMILIAR FACE
For the first time, the Titans will face a Lions team led by Jim Schwartz, a Titans assistant coach for 10 seasons (1999–2008) before becoming Detroit’s head coach in 2009.
From 2001 through 2008, Schwartz served as the team’s defensive coordinator. He helped the Titans make four playoff appearances during that time, including a pair of AFC South titles (2002 and 2008). Over the course of his tenure, the Titans ranked fifth in the NFL rushing defense (103.5 yards per game) and sixth in third-down defense (36.1 percent).
There are other members of Schwartz’s staff with ties to the Titans: defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham coached the Titans linebackers from 2001–2003; defensive assistant/secondary Marcus Robertson played for the Titans from 1991–2000 and spent an additional nine years in the front office and on the coaching staff (2003–2011); linebackers coach Matt Burke was with the Titans from 2004–2008, the final three seasons as a defensive assistant/quality control coach; defensive line coach Kris Kocurek was with the Titans as a player in 2001 and 2002.
Additionally, Detroit’s 2012 defensive captains are both former Titans players: linebacker Stephen Tulloch and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.
PLAYING THE NFC
The Titans hope to continue their recent success against NFC foes with four games against the NFC North in 2012.
Since divisional realignment in 2002, the Titans are 28-12 against the NFC, including a 6-2 combined mark against the Lions, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. The Titans’ .700 interconference winning percentage ranks third in the NFL over that timespan, trailing only the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
LP PENCIL BOX SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
At the game this Sunday, fans are encouraged to participate in the LP PENCIL Box School Supply Drive. LP PENCIL Box, a collaborative non-profit venture between PENCIL Foundation and LP Building Products, offers Nashville Metro teachers the opportunity to acquire school supplies for the city’s most in-need children. Collection locations will be positioned outside of LP Field to collect items from erasers and pencil boxes to hand sanitizers, colored pencils, pens and rulers.