Titans like simple playoff scenario

Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 1:29am

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.

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By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Just win and let the critics whine. Who gives a crap what anyone else thinks. This team has already surpassed the predictions of some who post here. Some had them winning no more than five and of course Frank Brown had them doing no better than 8-8. Hmmm, yesterday Frank said he doesn't make predictions, I guess he forgot about the 8-8 prediction he made. GO TITANS!

By: chakracon on 12/31/69 at 6:00

stretch. yawn.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If you don't like the topic, why post?

By: chakracon on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You sure did read a lot in to 2 whole words. Not only do you dazzle me with your football obsessions, but your psychic abilities as well.

By: junebugfan on 12/31/69 at 6:00

What the @#%! did they let Barclay get away for? Was there no one else they could release to make a spot for Henry? That guy was great on returns! They should have just let Henry sit out the rest of the year and kept that guy up. TITAN1 - you have to take "chakracon" with a grain of salt. Either gdiafante has changed his screen name, or we welcome yet another superior being who's intelligence level obviously surpasses that of the common sports fan posting here.

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Now, chak might have posted "stretch, yawn, fart". That's a bit sensational, though, for chak...There's a lot of positives and negatives going into this matchup. On the plus side, we'll see the best from the Titans, the hardest-hitting defense we've seen yet. Maybe they'll be joined by the offense, who knows? Indy is playing at home, but do they really want to take a risk to beat the Titans now? By risking Peyton Manning perhaps getting hit by Vanden Bosh, or (worse, for him) having Big Al sit on his face? Indy could relax a bit, and wait for the winner of the Titans-Chargers playoff matchup, or, if Indy does win, wait for the winner of the Chargers-Browns first rounder. Either way, it's probably going to be San Diego, who's a bit on fire right now. BTW, the Titans are given a 14% chance of winning this Sunday Night game, by ABC...

By: nashbeck on 12/31/69 at 6:00

titan1, i simply don't respond to negative nancy's very often anymore. Usually they just post negatively because they enjoy seeing us freak out. They are all closet Titans fans anyways!!

By: junebugfan on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Indy wants to win this game for many reasons. serr8d hit on the key - if 92 & 93 start planting Peyton early & often, Dungy will have a warm seat waiting for him.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Titan1, If there is a more loyal fan than you I would have to search the heavens and the seven seas. I admire your loyalty and I admit that this team could make the playoffs. I think Joe Biddle or David Climer wrote that if the Titans make it they will be the worst team to ever make the playoffs. I don't know that I buy into this but I do buy into the fact that this team puts more pressure on it's defensive unit than any team professional team I have ever watched. Will you show me where I have predicted anything other than the Titans are historically an 8 and 8 franchise and will as long as Bud Adams is the owner remain so. Happy Holidays Loyal Titans Fan.

By: producer2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Frank,I doubt seriously Biddle or Climer said any such thing. They might have said it could be the worst Titans team to make the playoffs, but certainly not the worst team period. If you don't have more info you really should not post inflammatory crap like that. At 10-6, there will only be 4 teams in the entire NFL that have a better record. I would not call that the worst in the NFL, would you?

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I believe what Darren McFarland and Willie Daunic say. Willie says,"The Titans will have to step it up." Darren chimes,"And they will have to bring it to the table, too." George is surrounded by such insight and analysis of these two yes men.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

producer2, Frank wants us to believe that if you don't win the Super Bowl every year, then you shouldn't support your team when they don't. I'm just thrilled we have our own team and a great coach and a well run organization, anything else is just icing on the cake.