Pete Prisco and Pat Kirwan preview the NFL Week 1 matchup between the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs.
TENNESSEE TITANS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
|STREAKS||2 of past 3|
|COACHES VS. OPP.||Whisenhunt: 0-1||Reid: 1-4|
|LAST GAME||10/06/13: Chiefs 26 at Titans 17. Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles rushes for 108 yards & TD. Chiefs CB Marcus Cooper records INT & recovers fumbled punt return for TD.|
|LAST GAME AT SITE||12/26/10: Chiefs 34, Titans 14. Kansas City QB Matt Cassel completes 24 of 34 passes for 314 yards & 3 TDs (128.8 passer rating). Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles has 2 TD catches.|
|BROADCAST||CBS (2:15 PM MT): Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon. SIRIUS: 119 (Ten.), 127 (KC). XM: 225 (KC).|
|PASSING||Locker: 111-183-1,256-8-4-86.7||A. Smith: 308-508-3,313-23-7-89.1|
|RUSHING||Greene: 77-295-3.8-4||Charles: 259-1,287 (1C)- 5.0-12 (T1L)|
|RECEIVING||Wright: 94-1,079-11.5-2||Charles (RB): 70-693-9.9-7|
|SACKS||Casey: 10.5||Hali, Houston: 11|
|INTs||Pollard: 3||Berry, Cooper: 3|
|PUNTING||Kern: 43.4||Colquitt: 46.0|
|KICKING||Succop (KC): 118 (52/52 PAT; 22/28 FG)||Santos (Pre.): 14 (5/5 PAT; 3/3 FG)|
TITANS: QB JAKE LOCKER won 4 of 7 starts in 2013, passing for 1,256 yards & 8 TDs in those games with 86.7 rating. Has played 23 games in 1st 3 seasons, passing for 3,974 yards with 22 TDs. Has also rushed for 502 yards (6.9 avg.) on 73 att…In only career meeting (12/11/11 with NYJ), RB SHONN GREENE rushed for 129 yards on 29 att. (5.4 avg.) with TD. RB DEXTER MC CLUSTER spent 4 seasons with KC (2010-13), posting 662 rush yards, 1,500 rec. yards & 3 PR-TDs…WR KENDALL WRIGHT led team in catches (94) & receiving yards (1,079) in 2013, both career-highs. Since joining Titans in 2009, WR NATE WASHINGTON leads team in rec. (267), rec. yards (3,944) & rec. TDs (26). Needs 56 receiving yards to become 9th player in club history to reach 4,000. In last road game (12/22/13 vs. Jax.), had 6 catches for 117 yards (19.5 avg.), including 30-yard TD…DT JURRELL CASEY led team with 10.5 sacks in 2013, joining RAY CHILDRESS (13 in 1992) as 2nd DT in club history with 10+ sacks in single season. S BERNARD POLLARD had INT in last meeting…CHIEFS: 2013 Chiefs won 11 games, tied for most by team that won 2 or fewer in previous season (2008 Dolphins, 2012 Colts)…Since 2011, QB ALEX SMITH is 30-9-1 (.763) as starter & has passed for 8,194 yards with 53 TDs vs. 17 INTs for 92.5 rating. In 2013, set club single-season record for rushing yards by QB, with career-high 431 yards on 76 att. (5.7 avg.)…RB JAMAAL CHARLES led NFL with 19 total TDs in 2013 (12 rush, 7 receiving). In 2013, joined HOFer O.J. SIMPSON (1975) as only players ever with 100+ scrimmage yards & TD in each of 1st 7 games of season. Had 145 scrimmage yards (108 rush, 37 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting. RB KNILE DAVIS has 4 rush TDs in past 4 games…In last meeting, WR DONNIE AVERY had 3 catches for 91 yards (30.3 avg.). TE ANTHONY FASANO has TD catch in 2 of past 3 vs. Ten…Since 2010, LB TAMBA HALI has 46.5 sacks, 2nd most in AFC (ROBERT MATHIS, 48). Has 8.5+ sacks in each of past 5 seasons. LB JUSTIN HOUSTON aims for 3rd season in row with 10+ sacks (10 in 2012, 11 in 2013). Had sack in last meeting. In last meeting, CB MARCUS COOPER notched 1st career INT.
Zach Mettenberger slid to the sixth round of the draft due to his ACL injury and concerns about a lack of production in big games at the college level.
Mettenberger told SiriusXM NFL Radio he plans on fighting for the Titans starting job from the beginning, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.
“If I was drafted and Jake Locker is the vet, I’m coming for his job from Day 1,” Mettenberger said. “That’s my attitude. If I don’t win the job, I’m pushing, in this scenario, pushing Mark to be the best guy for the job. I’m going to make Jake work that much harder, make Charlie (Whitehurst) work that much harder, ’cause I’m coming every day. And I’m bringing my best effort and my hardest work to the facility every day to show that I shot be the guy playing.”
“I think that’s the approach any guy worth his salt has,” Mettenberger said. “You’re not only thinking about the short team, but you also have a long-term view of yourself as a player and a person. We don’t play this game to ride the bench, you don’t play this game to just get a paycheck — at least the good ones don’t. You play this game because you love it, you love competing, and you wanna play. That’s what I’m doing.”
“I’m trying to do whatever Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt asks of me, trying to show that I play mistake-free football and can lead long drives,” Mettenberger said. “That’s all I can control. And if my time comes this year, next year, four years, it doesn’t matter. When that opportunity comes, I have to take advantage of it, and be patient until that time comes.”
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Titans rookie tackle Taylor Lewan has said repeatedly he was merely breaking up a fight the night he was charged in an incident while in college but his ex-girlfriend and the alleged victim say otherwise, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports.
Lewan, a first-round pick of the Titans who played at Michigan, is facing three misdemeanor charges — one count of aggravated assault, two counts of assault and battery — stemming from the Dec. 1 incident on campus after the Ohio State-Michigan game.
According to a 36-page Ann Arbor police report obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, James Hughes of Denver said Lewan hit him in the face and Alexandra Dileo, whose brother was a teammate of Lewan’s, said “Taylor is lying” about his actions.
“He knocked the guy to the ground and he punched him,” she told police in a telephone interview Jan. 29, according to the report. Per the report, she recalled hearing Lewan tell his mother “I knocked a guy out” the next morning while they were having breakfast.
Lewan is scheduled to return to a Michigan court room on June 16 after his pretrial hearing was delayed during a court appearance earlier this month. His attorney, John A. Shea, entered a not guilty plea for Lewan “at my request for further investigation.”
Lewan, Hughes, Dileo and others interviewed by police acknowledged they had been drinking alcohol on the night in question. Lewan’s motives were “related to the University of Michigan and Ohio State rivalry and to levels of intoxication,” according to the report. Hughes is an Ohio State fan.
Lewan told police he was only separating people in the fight, something he told reporters after being selected by the Titans.
“I was completely breaking things up,” Lewan said. “I did push guys to get everything out of the way. I never struck a man (with a) closed fist or anything of that nature. The thing is, I explained to (the Titans) everything and told them the truth, that’s what it was. I’m happy that (the Titans) believed me.”
The Tennessee Titans will start anew in 2014, as new head coach Ken Whisenhunt takes over with his own idea of what the Titans needs to do to get back to the playoffs. Bringing on offensive weapons Dexter McCluster and beefing up the defense should play a helping hand, while the deciding factor will undoubtedly be whether or not quarterback Jake Locker can finally realize his potential.
The Tennessee Titans schedule could make it difficult for Locker and co. to get it done in 2014, as their home games alone offer some stiff tests against the Cowboys and Steelers. Depending on whether they can rebound, the New York Giants and New York Jets could also be stiff tests, while the Cleveland Browns is arguably Tennessee’s only “easy” home game of the year outside of the division.
On the road, Tennessee has some work in front of them, as they travel to Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Washington. The Redskins could be a road game the Titans claim, but overall their schedule could prove to be quite challenging.
For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.