Colts' four-fold mission

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 at 1:00am

1. Get it back. The Colts suffered a demoralizing loss to the New England Patriots, unable to score the winning touchdown with four tries after first-and-goal at the 2. Indianapolis, however, has to realize the bigger picture. A win over Tennessee Sunday and the Colts likely walk away AFC South champs, thanks to two victories over the Titans.

2. Pick up the slack. The Colts lost rookie tight end Dallas Clark, who burned the Titans several times in Indy's 33-7 win over Tennessee in Week 2, to a broken leg Sunday. They'll need someone to pick up where Clark left off as Peyton Manning has done a better job of spreading the ball around.

3. Shore up the kick coverage. New England's Bethel Johnson burned the Colts for a touchdown and another long return Sunday. Tennessee's kickoff return team has not been explosive by any means this season, but the Colts can't afford to set the Titans up with good field position by poor coverage.

4. Re-establish dominance. The Colts must control the line of scrimmage offensively, something they couldn't do with Edgerrin James on that final drive Sunday. Indy needs James to run effectively in order to help Peyton Manning make the Colts' dangerous play action work.

- Terry McCormick

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