Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Titans vs. Colts Preview
Now for the key match-ups that will determine the game:
1. Peyton Manning vs. Titans Secondary – As I stated above, Manning is facing a top ten secondary so he has to play like the 4-time MVP that he is. In the game against Dallas, I saw throws come out of his hands that I haven’t seen since his playing days with the Tennessee Volunteers. He was thinking instead of reacting as he usually does. He is trying to make the big play instead of the good play and it is leading to turnovers. He has to manage his eagerness and just do what he capable of. The Titans secondary is very opportunistic and will have some chances to swing the momentum if Manning continues his lackluster performances of late.
This will be a great game based on the pure agony each team will face with another lost. Peyton will be on his A-game after his dreadful performance against the Cowboys. You don’t see many back to back bad performances from the Sheriff. The Titans have lost five in a row and are due for a good game at this point. If the Colts and Titans want to keep the division within reach, then this is the game where it has to start. Another loss for either and they will continue their drop into obscurity. Which team will show up and play to their capabilities? Hopefully both teams but we will see.
Game Notes: Since the advent of the AFC South in 2002, only two franchises have won the division title: the Colts (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) and the Titans (2002, 2008). The AFC South is the only division in the NFL with only two champions from 2002 to present.
• Thursday night’s game marks the first of three AFC South games over the next four weeks: Tennessee this week, Jacksonville (at Lucas Oil Stadium) on Dec. 19, and the Titans (at Lucas Oil Stadium) on Jan. 2.
• Despite trailing Jacksonville (7-5) in the AFC South race by a game, Indianapolis (6-6) can win the division by posting victories in all four of its remaining regular-season games.
• Four of the Colts’ six losses have been by three points or fewer (Jacksonville, 31-28; Philadelphia, 26-24; New England, 31-28; and 38-35 to Dallas in overtime).
• The average margin of defeat for Indianapolis this year is 6.8 points.
• Two former Colts currently play for Tennessee: offensive guard Jake Scott(notes) and linebacker David Thornton(notes). Scott was a fifth-round draft pick by Indianapolis in 2004. Thornton was taken in the fourth-round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Colts. Both joined the Titans as free agents once their original Indianapolis contracts expired.
• Peyton Manning has an 11-5 regular-season career record against Tennessee. He has completed 357 of 503 passes for 3,976 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 16 regular-season games against Tennessee.
Manning has completed 71 percent of his career passes against the Titans. He has a career 101.3 passer rating when facing Tennessee.
He has thrown for 300 or more yards five times against the Titans, with a high game of 425 yards in a 51-24 win on Dec. 5, 2004.