NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Titans kickoff the 2023 season Sunday as three point underdogs in New Orleans against the Saints.

This is the Titans’ 25th year since making the move to Nashville, and its sixth season with Mike Vrabel as head coach.

In that time, Vrabel has a lofty 11-6 record, but the last two years have seen the Titans open with losses to the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants.

So, now the question is: Can the Titans get off to a quick start at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans? 

“We’ve tried to practice like that,” said Vrabel, “We’ve tried to practice with the noise and understand the environment. I think the biggest thing will just be our execution and not sitting there and waiting for them. It’s a good defense with excellent players and a good scheme. We’ll have to be aggressive in our actions no matter what we call.”

The Saints defense will test a revamped Titans offense, which includes a new offensive coordinator in Tim Kelly, and a new offensive line and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

DeAndre Hopkins Career Stats:

  • Receptions – 853
  • Career Yards -11,298
  • Yards Per Catch – 13.2
  • Touchdowns – 71

Hopkins was a critical addition that was brought to the team just before training camp. He brings Hall of Fame credentials to a Titans offense desperately in need of weapons on the outside. 

Pairing Hopkins with wide receiver Treylon Burks and tight end Chig Okonkwo, gives Quarterback Ryan Tannehill multiple targets, and should eventually help take some of the pressure off of Derrick Henry in the backfield.

The Titans enter week one loaded with confidence on the defensive side of the ball thanks to a front that returns Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Teair Tart and welcomes back Harold Landry, who missed last season with a torn ACL.

However, the Titans defense will be tested by a Saints offense led by new quarterback Derek Carr and receivers Chris Olave and Michael Thomas.

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They all have Vrabel’s attention, “ We just have to make sure that we don’t get the ball thrown over our head. We also have to make sure that you’re tackling them when they catch it,” said Vrabel. “Their guys can operate in space after the catch. (Chris) Olave, if you don’t break down or don’t tackle him, it could turn, just like he did last year going against the Panthers, took an eight-yard pass and turned over his outside shoulder, and it was a 30-yard touchdown.”

The New Orleans Saints will be without star running back Alvin Kamara who is serving a suspension to start the season.