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Titans-Saints Game Notes

Posted Aug 30, 2012

TITANS 3-1 IN PRESEASON: The Titans finished the preseason with a 3-1 record, recording consecutive victories against Tampa Bay, Arizona and New Orleans after losing the opener at Seattle.  The Titans have recorded three preseason wins in five of the last six years, with the exception being a 2-2 mark in 2010.

PRESEASON WINNING STREAK AT LP FIELD: With their victory over the Saints, the Titans extended their preseason home winning streak to 11 games.  They have not lost a preseason game at home since a 14-6 defeat at the hands of the Washington Redskins in 2007.

DEFENSIVE IMPACT IN PRESEASON: While the Titans ranked 11th in the NFL during the preseason with 293.5 yards allowed per game, they ranked even higher in other categories.  They were first in the league with eight interceptions, tied for second with five fumble recoveries, and tied for fifth with 13 sacks.

PASS PROTECTION HOLDS UP: During the 2011 regular season, the Titans tied for second in the NFL in pass protection by allowing only 24 sacks.  The trend continued during the 2012 preseason, when they tied for first in the league with only three allowed sacks.

TITANS TOTAL FOUR TAKEAWAYS: With two interceptions and two fumble recoveries against the Saints, the Titans finished the preseason at plus-six in turnover differential.  The Titans turned the ball over once on a Jake Locker fumble versus New Orleans.  The previous week against the Cardinals, the Titans totaled five takeaways.

LOCKER IN THE PRESEASON: Jake Locker played well into the second quarter against the Saints.  He completed nine of 16 passes for 81 yards (70.1 rating).  In four preseason games, Locker was 31-of-60 for 316 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 71.3.

DAWSON TAKES SACK LEAD: Defensive end Keyunta Dawson notched two sacks against the Saints to finish the preseason with a team-high three sacks.  The total tied for ninth in the NFL during the preseason.  Dawson, who received his first preseason start, notched a four-yard sack of Saints quarterback Sean Canfield in the first quarter. Late in the fourth quarter, he dropped Canfield for an 11-yard loss.  Dawson, a five-year veteran who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, recorded a sack earlier in the preseason at Tampa Bay.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

SHAW’S INTERCEPTION PROVIDES SPARK: in the second half, reserve middle linebacker Tim Shaw provided a spark for the Titans with a takeaway.  With the Titans trailing 10-3, Shaw intercepted a Sean Canfield pass and returned the ball 12 yards to set the Titans up with a first down at the New Orleans 33-yard line.  Seven plays later, the Titans took the lead on a Jamie Harper touchdown run.  For the game, Shaw led the Titans with 14 tackles, the most by a Titans player during the preseason.                                                                                   

BROWN TAKES PRESEASON TACKLE LEAD: Rookie linebacker Zach Brown was credited with nine tackles against the Saints.  In four preseason games, the second-round pick out of North Carolina led the Titans with a total of 24 tackles.  The total ranked second in the NFL during the preseason, trailing only Dallas’ Alex Albright (27).

HARPER’S TD: For the second consecutive week, running back Jamie Harper scored a touchdown.  In the third quarter, he rumbled into the end zone on a one-yard carry.  In the previous game against the Cardinals, he provided the game-winning score on a 16-yard touchdown run.  The 233-pound reserve running back, who is in his second season since being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, rushed for a team-high 39 yards in the game against the Saints. 

CAMPBELL’S PICK: The Saints faced a fourth-and-three at the Tennessee 42 at the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter.  Sean Canfield attempted a pass to Courtney Roby, but cornerback Tommie Campbell was there to make his first interception of the preseason.  The takeaway marked eight interceptions for the Titans during the preseason.

SACK, FORCED FUMBLE AND RECOVERY: In the fourth quarter, rookie defensive tackle DaJohn Harris recorded one of the key plays of the game.  On a third-and-six from the Tennessee 43-yard line, he not only sacked Sean Canfield but also forced and recovered a fumble.

ROOKIE WRIGHT LEADS IN PRESEASON: With one catch for 16 yards against New Orleans, rookie wide receiver Kendall Wright finished the preseason leading the team with nine receptions and 116 total receiving yards.

REYNAUD’S PRESEASON WRAP: Running back/returner Darius Reynaud registered a team-high three receptions for 20 yards against the Saints to go along with eight carries for 29 yards, a six-yard punt return and a 28-yard kickoff return.  Reynaud was the team’s preseason leader in rushing yards (146), rushing average (6.1), punt return yards (152), punt return average (25.3—also a league high) and kickoff return average (33.3).  His combined total of 456 yards during the preseason ranked fourth in the NFL. 

McCARTHY LEADS NFL: Despite not playing in the preseason finale, Titans middle linebacker Colin McCarthy maintained his NFL preseason lead with three interceptions. 

LINEUP CHANGES: The starting lineup changes for the Titans included Kevin Matthews for Steve Hutchinson at left guard; Javon Ringer for Chris Johnson at running back; Zach Brown for Will Witherspoon at outside linebacker; Chris Hawkins for Jason McCourty at cornerback; Robert Johnson for Michael Griffin at safety; Pannel Egboh and Keyunta Dawson for Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley at defensive end; and Lamar Divens and Mike Martin for Sen’Derrick Marks and Jurrell Casey at defensive tackle.

OUT DUE TO INJURY: Titans out of action due to injury included cornerback Terrence Wheatley; cornerback Ryan Mouton; linebacker Zac Diles; tackle Mike Otto; defensive ends Pannel Egboh and Dave Ball; and defensive tackles Sen’Derrick Marks and Jurrell Casey.

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