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Colts-Titans Week 17 Scanning the Field: A Fast Start

When referring to the decision to kill the famous Roman General Pompey, a scholar from the court of the Egyptian kingdom proclaimed "Dead men don't bite."

Far from being macabre, Colts fans might see this as a comforting rationale ahead of today's matchup. Tennessee is out of the playoffs, Randy Moss is so washed up he can't even see the ocean (or possibly just terribly misused in the offense) and unless their upcoming draft and summer are mercilessly cruel to the Titans, Kerry Collins and Jeff Fisher are preparing for their final games under owner Bud Adams. In short, Tennessee's season is done like your Grandmother's turkey - an encouraging thought.

The problem is, while Tennessee may be wounded with no hopes of the playoffs, it is certainly not dead. Its a thought that should scare us as fans and keep the players focused because we all know a wounded or cornered animal is always the most dangerous - especially if its a division rival. 

Nothing can rescue what has been a debaucherous disaster of what at one point was a promising season. A win on the road against nemesis Indy would certainly help salvage at least a modicum of respect and give the Titans a lot to be pleased about heading into the offseason.  

Jeff Fisher and Kerry Collins would like nothing more than to finish their tenures on a high note. Fisher especially would take great pleasure in beating the Colts, a team that has dominated his division and surely robbed him of at least a few playoff berths.

Chris Johnson is motivated by the fact that he one big day from possibly winning the NFL rushing title, with the more likely consolation of second place definitely within reach.

Randy Moss still has a lot to prove as well. Given that it is all but guaranteed that the Titans will not retain Moss, today is his tryout to show that he still has something left in the tank. 

Plus, beyond the individual incentives, the gratification of playing spoiler and knocking a division rival out of the playoffs is immense and cannot be overlooked. 

How can the Colts avoid such a fate? The temptation is to look ahead and caught up in the playoff scenarios. Instead like that same scholar from the court who ended up decapitating Pompey in the shallow waters off the beach of Alexandria, Egypt before he could even reach shore, the Colts need to come out and finish the Titans before they can gain their footing and build confidence. 

The Colts jumped out to an early lead last time going ahead 21-0, yet the Titans fought back. They fought back because it was a must win game. If Indianapolis can do it again, the Titans will have nothing to play for. They will crumble as the have all season long, throw in the towel and the Colts will be on their  way to another improbable division crown. 

The psychological effect will be huge not only for the Colts-Titans game but the Jags game as well. If Jacksonville - which plays the same time as the Colts - comes in at halftime to see the Colts up big on Tennessee, they will almost certainly deflate as well. 

An early start is critical for the Colts. If they come out focused early, it might be ok for fans to look ahead by halftime. If its close, lookout, it could be another nail-biter. Something that in what has been a tumultuous and trying season, neither the team nor us fans need. 

"Dead men don't bite" Here is to hoping the Titans don't either.