The Tennessee Titans will open the 2021 NFL season against an unfamiliar foe.
The Titans announced Wednesday morning that their Week 1 opponent will be the Arizona Cardinals. The game will be at Nissan Stadium.
The NFL will release the complete 2021 schedule 7 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday.
The last time Tennessee faced an NFC opponent in Week 1 was 2016. That year, the Titans lost 25-16 to the Minnesota Vikings.
A year earlier, they opened at Tampa Bay and routed the Buccaneers 42-14 in a matchup of the top two picks in the 20215 draft, quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.
The only other time during the Titans era (1999-present) it happened was 2002, when Tennessee hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 and won 27-24.
Under the league’s current scheduling format, the Titans and Cardinals face each other just once every four years. The last meeting was 2017 in Arizona, a 12-7 Cardinals victory. The most recent encounter at Nissan Stadium was in 2013, and Arizona won 37-34 in overtime.
Both of those games took place in December.
Tennessee also hosted the 2009 encounter, which also was at Nissan Stadium. The Titans triumphed 20-17 in that one when quarterback Vince Young led the offense on a game-winning 99-yard touchdown drive. Young completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt as time expired for the victory.
In all, the Titans and Cardinals have played 11 times, and Arizona leads the series 7-4. The Cardinals also have a 3-1 edge during the Titans era.