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By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Frequent preseason rivals renew hostilities on Friday when the New Orleans Saints entertain the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes- Benz Superdome.
Dating back their days as the Houston Oilers, the Titans have been New Orleans' most common preseason opponent as the two clubs have squared off 29 times, with the series deadlocked at 14-14-1.
Quarterback Ryan Griffin was the star in the Saints' preseason opener, throwing for 179 yards and a touchdown as New Orleans edged the St, Louis Rams, 26-24, in The Show Me State.
With All-Pro Drew Brees sidelined with an oblique injury Griffin, a second- year product out of Tulane, came on for backup Luke McCown and completed 16- of-23 passes. He found first round pick Brandin Cooks for a 25-yard touchdown connection late in the third quarter that proved to be the difference.
Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson each ran for touchdowns, with Ingram racking up 83 yards on eight carries. Cooks caught five balls for 55 yards in addition to the score for the Saints, who finished with an 11-5 record in 2013.
Brees was back at practice in full pads on Tuesday but expect the Saints to be very cautious with their franchise player. So far coach Sean Payton has labeled Brees as day-to-day.
The Titans, meanwhile, also won their preseason opener after Jackie Battle's 7-yard touchdown run with 5:02 remaining lifted Tennessee to a 20-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers in a rain-soaked affair at LP Field.
The rainfall amount reportedly reached three inches in the vicinity of the stadium, making ball security a problem for both squads. They combined for eight total fumbles.
Rookie QB Zach Mettenberger completed three passes for 71 yards on the go- ahead drive and the Titans were able to run out the clock after the Packers couldn't convert on 4th-and-1 at the Tennessee 24.
Titans starting signal caller Jake Locker played just two series, completing one of his two passes. Backup Charlie Whitehurst saw much of the work, completing 10-of-15 for 94 yards and a touchdown.
08/13 11:42:06 ET