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Titans know that in AFC South race they’ll need to beat Andrew Luck, Colts

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Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans are very much a team on the rise, and last year they nearly won the AFC South with a 9-7 record.

Entering the 2017 season there’s a lot of optimism surrounding the Titans, who look poised to seriously contend for that division title. If they hope to do that, however, they realize they’ll probably have to beat the Colts.

The Colts have absolutely dominated the Titans in the AFC South in recent years, as Indy has won eleven straight games against Tennessee - meaning that the Colts haven’t lost to the Titans at all in the Chuck Pagano/Andrew Luck era. Furthermore, the Colts have won 16 of their last 17 games against the Titans, with the only loss coming in 2011 when the Colts were quarterbacked by Curtis Painter.

With that history in mind, it does almost seem as if the Titans are going to have to finally get past the Colts in order to win the division. At least, that’s the way tight end Delanie Walker seems to think of it.

Walker recently appeared on NFL Network and Colts.com wrote about it, as Walker said that the Titans know of their issues against Indy.

“We are aware of it,” he said. “That’s something we’ve got to change.”

And as everybody - including the Titans - is aware, the most difficult thing about playing the Colts is trying to stop Andrew Luck. That is “the biggest thing” as far as Walker is concerned: “We’ve got to beat Luck.”

He explained that sentiment, saying, “As you said, ‘Luck, Luck, Luck. We’ve got to beat ‘em. And it’s going to start with us playing great football when it comes down to playing the Colts.”

Luck has played well against the Titans in his career, completing 61.6% of his passes for 2,353 yards (8.0 yards per attempt), 15 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions for a passer rating of 92.4. He’s also rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown while averaging 3.7 yards per carry. His 2,353 passing yards against the Titans are the most Luck has thrown for against any one team in the league so far in his career.

The AFC South should be pretty competitive in 2017, with the Texans, Titans, and Colts all standing a good shot at winning the division. Tennessee is very much a team on the rise, but in order to win the division they’ll have to win division games, something they haven’t done much of recently - particularly against the Colts. If they can manage to beat the Colts in 2017 - the two teams play in weeks six and twelve - it could give them the boost both from a confidence standpoint and in the standings that is needed. Of course, beating the Colts is easier said than done, and it’s mainly because of Andrew Luck.