The Colts just plain have the Titans number. In the last 7 of 8 matchups between these two teams the Colts have triumphed, including a 19-13 overtime win as a result of two Peyton-esque 80-yard drives in the 4th quarter and in OT. It more than likely won’t be that close this go around as the Titans have lost the wind in their sails as a result of a lackluster year that leaves them chasing mediocrity at best.
It’s been late game heroics that have the Colts at 8-4 this year, mirroring their opponents this Sunday with the Titans posting a sad 4-8 record through week 13. The Colts do not possess a strong running game in their Ballard-Brown tandem, rank low in both pass and run defense, and possess a pedestrian red zone efficiency. Yet, they have proven that just keeping the game close enough that Luck is within striking distance is good enough to get one in the win column. The Colts are looking to be a strong contender for an AFC wildcard spot as the AFC South is being dominated by division rival Houston Texans. They have made the most of close games to cement a second place spot in the AFC South and will be hoping to at least go .500 in the last four games to clinch a playoff spot.
Last week they bested a team who definitely has not made the best of their close games in the Detroit Lions. The Lions had the game in hand, up twelve with nearly 3 minutes to go before Luck and the young Colts mounted a comeback that stole a win from Detroit in regulation as Luck found Donnie Avery as the seconds waned in a heartbreaker. The defense looked lost all game, before seeming impenetrable in their last stand in order to get the ball back with 2 minutes to go. Luck was a man on fire, in the most impressive display I’ve seen him put on all year.
This is just more bad news for the Titans who have all but lost hope this season, perhaps only playing for the love of the game, and to rebuild, perhaps even join in “The Gino Smith Race.” The Titans aren’t as lucky (no pun intended) as to have their legendary quarterback get injured and give an excuse for a terrible season, only to be handed the “Best College Prospect at QB Ever” in Andrew Luck with a bow on his head. Instead they are looking at some “maybes” in the next season, which includes Munchak maybe having a job. The Titans have some seriously loyal (and loud) fans that fill LP Field on Sundays but even the fan base is wavering. I can’t blame them, there isn’t much fight in the team, they aren’t playing in a way where people are too excited about next season, and only show an edge for competitiveness when everything goes right. They have proven to be a mistake-prone team, something unfamiliar to Tennessee fans who are used to Jeff Fisher football.
This week the teams match up in a pretty one-sided favor to the Colts. Indianapolis is steaming forward with some serious momentum as they look to grab an insurance game before taking on Houston two out of the next three weeks when they Texans may or may not be playing for the right to play at Reliant in the postseason. Jake Locker may get streaky and put a drive or two together, but they are becoming more and more known for stalling after making major mistakes, often mental ones. The Colts will look to fine-tune their offense and search for an effective cohesiveness on defense to better prepare them for the well-balanced attack coming from Houston in the coming weeks.
Luck throws for yet another 300+ game with 2 TDs, as the Colt defense continues to struggle a bit in a 31-24 win.