Here’s everything you need to know for the matchup.
New Orleans SAINTS
SAINTS WIN PRESEASON OPENER 26-24 OVER ST. LOUIS
The Saints kicked off their preseason last Friday night against the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome with a 26-24 win. For the Saints, seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees did not play in that contest, instead the Saints relied on the legs of former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram to propel them to the victory.
Ingram, who at times has struggled to live up the expectations he carried entering the league in in 2011 at least temporarily silenced some criticism with his 83 yards rushing, including a 22 yard touchdown.
Third string quarterback Ryan Griffin, replaced Luke McCown and added 179 passing yards to the win, including a touchdown pass to rookie first round receiver Brandin Cooks. For the night Griffin completed 16-23 passes, for a passer rating of 107 with no interceptions.
For his part, the rookie Cooks added 5 recpetions for 55 yards, including the touchdown.
SAINTS VS TITANS HISTORY
Sean Payton is 73-49 in his nine seasons as an NFL head coach.
The two teams met for the first time in 1971. The game ended in a 13-13 tie.
The Saints defeated the Titans the last time the two teams met 12/11/11 by the final of 22-17. That game took place at L.P. Field.
This is the fourth time in the last five years that these two teams have met in the preseason.
Overall the Titans hold a 7-5-1 record, both preseason and regular season against the Saints.
The Titans are 1-1 at L.P. Field against the Saints.
Identically, Saints head coach Sean Payton is 1-1 against the Titans as the Saints head coach.
The Titans are 5-2 all-time against the Saints in the Superdome.
Ken Whisenhunt’s record against the Saints as a head coach is 1-2, including 0-1 in postseason.
Prior to losing to the Saints in 2011, the Titans had won four straight in the series, with three of those wins coming on the road.
In that 2011 Saints win at L.P. Field, Brees threw two late fourth quarter touchdown passes to defeat then Titans rookie quarterback Jake Locker. Locker, who replaced injured starter Matt Hasselbeck threw for 282 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another score in that loss.
SAINTS PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Drew Brees: Indications from the Crescent City sound as if Brees will not play in this preseason contest, however no official word has been given as to his status.
RB Mark Ingram: The former Heisman winner, in the final year of his rookie contract is looking to regain the form that made him the 2009 award winner. His 83 yards rushing against the Rams will certainly have the attention of a Titans defense that is looking for a stronger showing in game two than they had on the opening series against the Packers.
WR Marques Colston: is a top target, though he had just two receptions for 10 yards against St. Louis.
WR Brandin Cooks: Even though Cooks is a rookie, he is an explosive, elusive player who will also see duty as a return man for the Saints. Containing him will be a key for the Titans.
DE Cameron Jordan: Jordan is arguably the Saints best defender, and certainly their best defensive lineman. He is a great pass rusher and will be a challenge for the Titans offensive line.
TITANS WIN PRESEASON OPENER 20-16 OVER GREEN BAY.
The Titans opened the Ken Whisenhunt era Saturday night with a 20-16 in over the visiting Green Bay Packers. After falling behind on the very first series by the Packers starting offense, the Titans battled all night before rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger lead a fourth quarter scoring drive that was capped off by Jackie Battle to give the Titans their first lead of the night, and the victory.
The Titans lead the all-time series 7-5-1 over the Saints.
The last time these two team met in the Superdome, the Titans defeated the Saints 31-14 (9/24/07)
The preseason series is now tied 14-14-1 between the Titans and Saints.
Current Titans guard/center Eric Olsen played for the Saints from 2011-12. In 2012 he played in all 16 games, starting four for the Saints.
TITANS PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Jake Locker: After a rainy first game that limited Locker and the starting offense in play calling and opportunities, the fourth year quarterback will be looking to see what he and his offensive mates can do on a dry field. It is unknown just how long Locker and the starters will play, but it is safe to assume that because of the lack of work in the opener, they should see action through the first quarter.
WR Justin Hunter: Hunter has had a very solid camp and is a spectacular play waiting to happen. He is being counted on by the coaching staff to take the next step and become the dangerous player his physical abilities say he can be in this league.
RB Bishop Sankey: The rookie was impressive in his debut as a Titan, totaling 75 yard including 37 rushing and 38 receiving yards. Sankey also found the end zone for the first time in his professional career on a 5 yard reception in the third quarter to help in the come from behind win.
ILB Zach Brown: Brown is perhaps the most athletically gifted linebacker on the team, but he has had an up and down young career, including being in Whisenhunt’s doghouse just last week when he did not start because of a violation of team rules. Brown seemed to handle his punishment well, deferring to his head coach for comment and saying he wanted to put it behind him and move on. He will be watched closely this week and needs to start showing up again and head in the right direction.
Entire D-Line: The starting defense got pushed around by Green Bay early on, and will look to bounce back against a New Orleans offense that can run the football, and if Brees plays can pass it well also. The D-line needs a big game pushing the pocket and stopping the run to build confidence and try to dominate as the talk about doing.
TELEVISION AND RADIO COVERAGE
Kickoff 7p.m. Mrecedes-Benz Superdome
Play-by-play: Cory Curtis
Color: Eddie George
Sideline Reporter: Audra Martin
WGFX 104.5 FM-The Zone
Sirius Channel 88
Play-by-Play: Mike Keith
Color: Frank Wycheck
Gameday Host: Rhett Bryan
Sideline Reporter: Jonathan Hutton
Referee: Ron Tolbert
Umpire: Carl Paganelli
Head Linesman: Jim Howery
Line Judge: Mark Steinkercher
Field Judge: Jabir Walker
Side Judge: Scott Edwards
Back Judge: Greg Yettle
Replay official: Bill Spyksma