The Tennessee Titans can put away the abacus, slide rule and the magic eight ball. They won’t need anything to formulate all the what-if scenarios regarding their playoff situation.
All they have to do Sunday is win against the Indianapolis Colts and they are in the playoffs.
That’s a far cry from last year when the Titans needed the Cincinnati Bengals to lose to Pittsburgh, the Kansas City Chiefs to defeat Jacksonville and the Denver Broncos to fall to the San Francisco 49ers.
As it turned out, all those things happened, but the Titans themselves did not take care of business against the New England Patriots and fell short of qualifying for the postseason.
This time, with things less complicated, will the Titans have more focus?
“Last year’s situation was a lot different,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “You had [three] different things that had to happen in addition to us beating a really good football team. So I think even though you stay focused, you work and try to do everything you can to win the game, I think that probably in the back of some of the players’ minds, they didn’t anticipate all of those scenarios working out.
“There’s one scenario this week, and that’s try to score one more point than [the Colts] do. It’s very simple.”
Linebacker Keith Bulluck likes the simplicity of the Titans’ road to the postseason.
“For us, it’s win and we’re in. last year, it was win and then four teams have to win or lose. It happened to work out, but it’s easier when you control everything,” Bulluck said.
The Titans’ path could be made even easier by the fact that the Colts are not expected to play very many of their starters past the first half.
Asked if that would taint the Titans getting into the playoffs, quarterback Vince Young simply said, “no, thank you” if the Colts decide to pull back in the finale.
Bulluck said the Titans have nothing to apologize for.
“I don’t care if they’re critical. We’re going to put our best foot forward defensively. We’re going up there to put our best game out of the year,” Bulluck said. “People can say what they want to. We want to finish off with a 10-win season, and a 10-win season will put us in the playoffs. That’s simple to me.”
INJURIES: The Titans rested several players in a light practice Wednesday was held at 4 p.m. rather than the normal 11:20 a.m. time.
Among the players who did not practice included cornerback Nick Harper (groin), defensive linemen Antwan Odom (ankle) and Albert Haynesworth (hamstring), linebackers David Thornton (knee) and Gilbert Gardner (ankle), running back LenDale White (knee), center Kevin Mawae (calf) and guard Benji Olson (rest).
Fisher said he was confident that all the players — except Gardner — held out of practice would have a chance to practice later in the week and play.
ROSTER MOVE: The Titans placed cornerback Eric King, who underwent surgery Monday on his broken forearm, on injured reserve Wednesday and signed former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Chidi Iwuoma to replace him.
Iwuoma was in for a tryout with the Titans a few weeks ago and is expected to take over King’s role on a number of special teams.
NEW HOME: Running back Chris Barclay, whom the Titans released on Saturday to make room for Chris Henry, was claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Saints.
Barclay was used mostly as a return man in Tennessee, returning 14 kickoffs for 304 yards and three punts for 34 yards. He also caught two passes for 13 yards and rushed once for three yards in four games with the Titans.