This weekend the Colts play a huge game against the division rival Tennessee Titans in which they could essentially wrap up the AFC South with a win. The game will be televised on CBS at 1:00 with Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker on the call and will be broadcast nationally on the radio on Westwood One Sports by Tom McCarthy and Rod Woodson and it will be broadcast on the radio locally on WFNI and WHLK by Bob Lamey and Jim Sorgi. Here's everything you need to know to get you ready for the game on Sunday:
What Happened Last Week?
The Colts stunk. I feel like I write that every week, but for the past several games that has been true - but perhaps last week was the worst of all of them. The Colts lost 40-11 to the Arizona Cardinals, and that game wasn't even as close as the score. They were outplayed in every area. The Colts are still 7-4, but they have really struggled in recent weeks, going 2-2 but being outscored by a combined score of 93-9 in the first halves of those games.
The Titans won a thriller at Oakland against the Raiders, with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright with only 10 seconds left to go ahead 23-19, which would soon after become the final score. The Titans offense was very good, with Fitzpatrick throwing for 320 yards and 2 scores without a pick, Chris Johnson rushing for 73 yards (averaging 7.3 yards per carry), and both Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright catching 6 passes for over 100 yards and a touchdown.
A Game with Big Implications:
The Colts are 7-4 and hold a convincing lead in the division, but with a loss on Sunday that strong hold on the division becomes a lot weaker. In fact, the Titans would pull within a game of the division lead with a win against the Colts. With a Colts win, they would essentially wrap up the division. If they win, all it would take for them to "officially" win the division would be one win in the final four games or one Titans loss in the final four games. So basically it would take eight games going a specific way in order for the Colts to still lose the division after winning on Sunday. It is a huge game for both teams, and for the Colts it is a game in which they can almost wrap up the AFC South.
Pagano on the Game vs. the Titans:
Here is what Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had to say on Friday about the huge upcoming game against the Titans:
"Yeah. And that's the way we've approached it from a preparation standpoint. You've got a chance to seal the division, put a nail in the coffin, however you want to put it. And we've got to play, just from a confidence standpoint, someone's going to get hot in the league. Somebody's going to get hot going down the stretch. And so to win this football game and be 8-4 with four games to go and start trending in the right direction, we need to play well in all three phases. This game is huge."
Game Number 500 in Indianapolis:
This Sunday will also mark the Colts' 500th game as a franchise in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell, who has been around for all of them, wrote about it here - check out the whole article for a look back at the past 30 years of Indianapolis Colts football:
Fast-forward to Sunday and Lucas Oil Stadium when the Colts face the Tennessee Titans in what suddenly is a game with significant AFC South and playoff ramifications. Including the postseason, it's game No. 500 for the Colts in Indianapolis.
"A lot of football," Jim Irsay said, slowly shaking his head. "Wow."
Greg Toler, CB (groin)
Kavell Conner, LB (ankle)
Josh Gordy, CB (groin)
Vontae Davis, CB (groin)
Sergio Brown, S (hand)
Stanley Havili, FB (concussion)
T.Y. Hilton, WR (shoulder)
For more on the injury situations, read my notes from yesterday's press conference with Chuck Pagano.
The Colts and Titans just played a few weeks ago, and though it took another Andrew Luck come from behind win, the Colts won 30-27 on the road. The Titans always play the Colts tough, and their 5-6 record doesn't tell the whole story when it comes to how they have played. They have a strong young team that especially in a huge division game will be up to the challenge. But Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano have yet to lose back-to-back games and we saw them come off an ugly blowout loss to beat the Titans just a few weeks ago, and that was on a short week on the road. I am confident that the Colts will be ready for this game and while it might not be pretty, I don't think they lose this one. Colts 24, Titans 20