I guess we Colts fans can take a certain measure of pride in Tennessee's 10-0 start. I mean, Tennessee has spent the last few years plucking free agents from the Colts in an effort to build up their team. Many of the players they poached were on the teams that started 13-0, 9-0, and 7-0 the last three years. Their defense's veteran foundation is built around LB David Thornton and CB Nick Harper. Their offensive line, one of the best in football, was strengthened this past off-season with the signing of OG Jake Scott. Last year, the Titans also signed DT Corey Simon and TE Ben Hartstock. Both are no longer with the Titans. All these players mentioned were Colts players prior to signing with the Titans. Needless to say, the Titans have long been admirers of Bill Polian's drafting genius probably because the Titans are so bad at drafting themselves (Vince Young).
This season, however, it has been the Colts that have been signing players from the Titans. A few weeks ago, Indy plucked DT Antonio "Mookie" Johnson from Tennessee's practice squad. Johnson's play against the Steelers was a big key in the Colts' win in Pittsburgh. And as recently as yesterday, the Colts signed TE Jamie Petrowski from Tennessee's practice squad (tip to GoHorse88). This move likely means that rookie TE Tom Santi is headed to IR.
Petrowski played his college ball at Indiana State, and is a Vigo County (aka Terre Haute) boy. This opportunity allows him to actually play (rather than sit on a team's practice squad) for his home state team.
Is it still possible to catch Tennessee and win the division? Yes, but unlikely. What I know now is with the signing of Mookie and the return of Joseph Addai, the Colts are now rounding into shape. Getting Bob Sanders back 100% is the next big key. Remember, in that close game earlier in Tennessee, the Colts did not have Bob Sanders, Joseph Addai, Antonio Johnson, or a healthy o-line. And yet, despite missing all those key players, the Colts held the Titans running game in check and had a chance.
But, to be honest, Tennessee is a team that we should really put out of our minds. If they lose a few in a row (which is possible), then we can start talking taking the division. But Tennessee is not this week's opponent. San Diego is, and the team is represented here by a great new blog: Bolts From The Blue. Look for some cross-blogging between our two blogs the rest of this week.