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Report: Titans-Patriots Game Won't Be Flexed

The Week 12 matchup between the NFL's two hottest teams will have an early start as originally scheduled.

The Tennessee Titans have shown some real muscle with a six-game win streak that has made them one of three NFL teams with eight wins in the first 10 weeks of this season.

Nonetheless, their Nov. 28 game against the New England Patriots will not be flexed into a late afternoon or primetime start, according to an ESPN report Monday.

The contest is set for noon (CST) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. and will air on CBS.

Currently, the Titans (8-2) and Patriots (5-4) are the league’s two hottest teams. Tennessee’s win streak includes five straight over opponents that were playoff teams in 2020 and at least 23 points scored in each. New England has the second longest win streak at four games and has scored three times as many points (150) as its opponents (50) over that stretch.

Of the six remaining teams on the Titans’ schedule (they play Houston twice), New England is one of two that has a winning record and is in position for a playoff berth. Pittsburgh is the other.

There are also other storylines that make it a compelling matchup for television. Among them:

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• Titans coach Mike Vrabel played eight seasons with the Patriots under their coach Bill Belichick (2001-08) and was a part of three teams that won Super Bowls. Vrabel is 2-0 (regular season and postseason) as a head coach against Belichick and the Patriots.

• The last time Tennessee played at New England, the divisional round of the 2019 playoffs, the Titans won 20-13 in what turned out to be Tom Brady’s final game as the Patriots quarterback.

• One of the Titans’ top players on offense last season, tight end Jonnu Smith, signed a four-year, $50 million free-agent deal with New England early in the offseason. Smith has 21 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown for his new team.

• Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson spent a dozen years in New England’s front office and has signed a number of players who were with the Patriots at one time.

The game against the Patriots will be the Titans’ last before its open date, Dec. 5. First, they face the Houston Texans (1-8) this Sunday at Nissan Stadium in matchup that will not exactly stir the imagination.

Tennessee is 2-0 in primetime games this season and has one remaining, Dec. 23 (a Thursday night) against San Francisco. Every other remaining contest is scheduled for an early kickoff.