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Titans release 2017 schedule

NASHVILLE, Tenn- The Tennessee Titans returning to Monday Night Football headlines the Titans 2017 schedule, as they host division-rival Indianapolis at Nissan Stadium in a nationally televised contest. The Titans open the campaign at home against Oakland on September 10, which starts a string of four playoff teams from 2016 in the first five weeks. The Titans also will appear in a Thursday night contest at Pittsburgh on November 16.

“Just my gut reaction looking at it for the first time – it looks like a good schedule,” said Titans head coach Mike Mularkey. “You always look to see where the bye is and with it coming in week 8, that times up well for us. We have two West Coast games back to back in December and we will look to see if it makes sense to stay out there between games and help ourselves from all of that travel. It is interesting that we have the four AFC North games in a row during the middle of the season.

“I think the two primetime games will be good for both our players and our fans. I know our players like playing at night in primetime and it gives our team and our organization some recognition that we are going in the right direction and I think people are going to be anxious to see these games on national television.”

The Titans schedule features home games against Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Oakland, Jacksonville, Houston and Indianapolis.

Tennessee will travel to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Arizona, San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Jacksonville and Indianapolis.

Flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-15. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used by the NFL by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time.

Also, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 31. The NFL schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

Additionally, the Titans released their remaining preseason dates and times. Tennessee opens the preseason slate of games on the road against the New York Jets on Saturday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m. (central). Week two against Carolina at Nissan Stadium will be played on Saturday, August 19 at 2:00 p.m. (central) and the finale at Kansas City will be on Thursday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m. (central).

The Titans 2017 schedule contains several interesting stories:

• The Titans have six games against playoff teams from 2016: Houston (two games), Seattle, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Miami. Four of their first five games are against incumbent playoff clubs.

• The Titans have nine games against teams that were .500 or better in 2016: Houston (two games), Indianapolis (two games), Baltimore, Seattle, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Miami.

• The Titans play only one road game (Houston) in the central time zone this season.

• The Titans play four consecutive games against AFC North opponents (Weeks 7-11). Later, they play three consecutive NFC West opponents (Weeks 14-16).

• The Titans’ 2017 strength of schedule is .439. Their 16 opponents went a combined 111-142-3 in 2016.

• The Titans begin their 19th season at Nissan Stadium.

• The Titans do not play any of their 2017 regular season opponents during the preseason. In 2016, they played three preseason opponents again in the regular season.

• The Titans open the season at home for the second consecutive season, following the Minnesota Vikings’ visit in Week 1 in 2016. Prior to then, the Titans did not host a Week 1 game since 2012. The 2017 opener marks the third consecutive season the Raiders play in Nashville.

• The Seahawks will be making their second appearance at Nissan Stadium and their first since 2005. They are the only NFL team yet to play at least two regular season games at Nissan Stadium.

• In their matchup against the Colts on Oct. 16, the Titans return to Monday Night Football for the first time since 2014. They are 5-2 in their last seven Monday night games, including a win in 2008, the last time they hosted the Colts on a Monday night.

• The Titans and Dolphins will match up for the ninth time in a 14-year span and for the seventh time in South Florida during that period.

• Oct. 22 marks the fourth consecutive season the Titans and Browns will play.

• With games against the Steelers (77 all-time games, including playoffs) and Bengals (74), the Titans face the two opponents the franchise has seen the most since its inaugural 1960 season.

• When they travel to play the Cardinals, the Titans will appear for the first time at University of Phoenix Stadium, which opened in 2006. The last time the Titans played in Arizona was 2005.

• The Titans also will make their first appearance at Levi’s Stadium to play the 49ers. The venue opened in 2014, and the Titans have not played in the regular season at San Francisco since 2009.

• The Rams will be the first Los Angeles-based team to visit to Nissan Stadium. It will mark the third visit to Tennessee by the Rams in the regular season, with the first two (1999 and 2009) as the St. Louis Rams.