TENNESSEE TITANS (5-7) vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-6)
7:20 p.m. (CST), Thursday
LP Field, Nashville
TV: NFL Network (Comcast, Ch. 201); WSMV-TV (Ch. 4) Radio: WGFX-FM 104.5
About the Titans:
• They have lost five in a row, which makes this the fifth season out of the last seven they have had a losing streak of at least five games.
• They have scored a total of 39 points in four games since their bye (Nov. 7), yet they still have more points scored (263) than division leaders Jacksonville (257) and Chicago (246).
• Quarterback Kerry Collins has played in four games against the Colts as a member of the Titans (three starts) and has attempted 84 passes with no touchdowns and one interception.
• Running back Chris Johnson needs one rushing touchdown to become the franchise’s first player since Earl Campbell to have at least 10 in back-to-back seasons. Campbell did it four years in a row from 1978-81.
About the Colts:
• They have won five of the last seven at LP Field and five straight Thursday contests, but come into this matchup with a three-game losing streak and losses in four of their last five.
• They are one of three AFC teams with at least 300 points thus far and have scored 27 or more in seven of their 12 games.
• Quarterback Peyton Manning has played 16 career games against the Titans (11-5) and has thrown 27 touchdowns with 13 interceptions in 503 attempts.
• Running back Javarris James, undrafted out of Miami, has five rushing touchdowns, which is tied for the most among NFL rookies.
Something to consider:
• This is the fourth straight year these teams have met in a primetime contest. The Titans won 16-10 at Indianapolis in 2007 and again at home in 2008, 31-21. The Colts rolled to a 31-9 victory last season at LP Field.
• Both teams are 1-2 against the others from the AFC South this season. The Titans’ lone victory was at Jacksonville, the Colts’ was at home against Houston.
• Since the start of 2004, the Colts have scored 30 or more points against the Titans five times. Tennessee has scored 30 or more just twice in 30 all-time meetings, the last of those in 1986.
The simple truth is that there is no reason to think that Tennessee’s offense can, or will score enough to keep pace with Indianapolis’.
Even if Kenny Britt is back in the lineup, even if Randy Moss starts to produce and even if Chris Johnson gets more than just a handful of carries it’s not likely the Titans will approach 30 points. In fact, their best bet is to throw short to Johnson and the tight ends, keep the chains and the clock moving and try to make it a low-scoring affair.
They will succeed at times, but Manning will do a better job of controlling the pace, which means he will limit the ability of Tennessee’s defense to substitute and take advantage of fatigue on a short week.
If the Titans can create a couple turnovers it will be a close game. If not, it won’t. Expect them to have a least a takeaway or two.
Indianapolis 30, Tennessee 20