The Titans did enough in just missing the playoffs to earn two prime-time games in the 2012 season, and they will be hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets in those games.
The NFL released the 2012 schedule Tuesday night. The league rewarded the Titans for their 9-7 finish in coach Mike Munchak’s first season on the job by letting them play at home Oct. 11 against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. The Titans host the Jets on Dec. 17, the team’s first Monday night game since 2008.
They also kick off the season Sept. 9 hosting the defending AFC champion New England Patriots.
“It is obviously exciting to open the season at home against a quality opponent in New England,” Munchak said in a statement. “They have been one of the best teams in the league for a number of years, and the game will be a great test for us.”
The opener will be the first game between New England and Tennessee since the Patriots’ 59-0 rout of the Titans on Oct. 18, 2009.
Munchak said the two prime-time games at home stand out to him.
“We didn’t have any last year, and those are fun for our fans and an opportunity to showcase our team,” Munchak said.
Those games will allow Tennessee to show off some renovations at LP Field where elevators are being built along with new video boards and video ribbon boards.
Tennessee will play three of its first five games on the road, heading to San Diego on Sept. 16 followed by back-to-back trips to AFC South champ Houston on Sept. 30 and then Minnesota on Oct. 7. The Titans also visit Buffalo on Oct. 21, and Munchak said they will use the long weekend break after hosting the Steelers on Thursday night, Oct. 11, as an early bye.
That will help because the Titans’ bye is Nov. 18, the latest bye in the team’s history since the NFL introduced bye weeks in 1990.
The Titans also visit Miami on Nov. 11, Jacksonville on Nov. 25, Indianapolis on Dec. 9 and the final road game on Dec. 23 at Green Bay. That will be Tennessee’s first visit to the Packers in the regular season since 2004.
Former Titans defensive coordinator Jim Scwhartz will bring his Detroit Lions to Nashville for his first time as head coach on Sept. 23. The Steelers’ game marks the start of three home games in four weeks with Indianapolis visiting Oct. 28 before former Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears play in Nashville on Nov. 4.
The Titans host three home games in December starting with Houston on Dec. 2 followed by the Jets at night and then Jacksonville on Dec. 30 marking the first time Tennessee wraps up the season in Nashville since 2006.
With four of the final six games in the AFC South along with hosting the Jets, Munchak said the schedule gives the Titans a chance to control their destiny down the stretch.
Tennessee opens the preseason Aug. 11 at Seattle and visits Tampa Bay on Aug. 17. The Titans host Arizona on Aug. 23 and wrap up the preseason Aug. 30 against the visiting New Orleans Saints.
|Tennessee Titans 2012 Schedule|
|1||Sun, Sept. 9||vs. New England Patriots||CBS||1 p.m.|
|2||Sun, Sept. 16||at San Diego Chargers||CBS||4:15 p.m.|
|3||Sun, Sept. 23||vs. Detroit Lions||FOX||1 p.m.|
|4||Sun, Sept. 30||at Houston Texans||CBS||1 p.m.|
|5||Sun, Oct. 7||at Minnesota Vikings||CBS||1 p.m.|
|6||Thu, Oct. 11||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||NFLN||8:20 p.m.|
|7||Sun, Oct. 21||at Buffalo Bills||CBS||1 p.m.|
|8||Sun, Oct. 28||vs. Indianapolis Colts||CBS||1 p.m.|
|9||Sun, Nov. 4||vs. Chicago Bears||FOX||1 p.m.|
|10||Sun, Nov. 11||at Miami Dolphins||CBS||1 p.m.|
|12||Sun, Nov. 25||at Jacksonville Jaguars||CBS||1 p.m.|
|13||Sun, Dec. 2||vs. Houston Texans||CBS||1 p.m.|
|14||Sun, Dec. 9||at Indianapolis Colts||CBS||1 p.m.|
|15||Mon, Dec. 17||vs. New York Jets||ESPN||8:30 p.m.|
|16||Sun, Dec. 23||at Green Bay Packers||CBS||1 p.m.|
|17||Sun, Dec. 30||vs. Jacksonville Jaguars||CBS||1 p.m|