Titans vs Colts: Keys to victory

by

The Titans (9-6) will be fighting for a postseason berth under the illuminating lights of the primetime stage as they head to the RCA Dome to face the defending world champion Indianapolis Colts (13-2).
Jeff Fisherís resilient bunch has overcome many obstacles in a topsy-turvy season.
Led by a suffocating defense and a stout running game, the Titans raced to a 6-2 mark at the seasonís halfway mark. A pivotal hamstring injury to Albert Haynesworth led to a three-game swoon during the month of November. A heartbreaking overtime loss to San Diego was sandwiched in between three wins that have catapulted the Titans back into the catbird position in the battle for the AFCís final wild card spot.
The following keys to victory will be integral as the Titans pursue their first postseason birth since 2003:
Continue to ride the LenDale express
A key ingredient in the Titansí re-emergence into the AFC playoff race has been the stellar play of LenDale White. Over the course of the last four games, White has averaged over four yards per run (4.2) en route to rushing for 371 yards on 88 carries.
In limited opportunities against the Colts during his brief career, White has been very effective running the football. In 27 career carries against the Colts, White has rushed for 147 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown. Whiteís ability to make his mark in the running game will be†crucial to the Titansí chances of winning this football game.
Revenge of the ex-Colts
One of the (few) consequences to winning in the NFLís salary cap era is the inevitable roster turnover that takes place. Pivotal role players slip through the cracks as opposing teams plunder winning franchises in their attempt to upgrade their squads.
The Titans have been consistent looters of the Indianapolis Coltsí personnel. Ex-Colts David Thornton and Nick Harper were key Titan-free agent acquisitions over the last two off-seasons. Lesser talents such as Gilbert Gardner and Ben Hartsock have also made the trip from Indianapolis to Tennessee during the last two years.
Thornton and Harper stood out during the two teamsí first meeting this season. Thorntonís presence was felt all over the football field in his 13 tackle, 1 forced fumble performance. Harper accumulated 8 tackles in Septemberís meeting with Indianapolis, while also tipping away a Peyton Manning pass intended for Marvin Harrison on the goal line that prevented the Colts from putting the game out of reach.
The ex-Colts will need to step up once again in Sunday’s match up against their former teammates.
Donít allow history to repeat itself
The Titans are all too familiar with this weekendís playoff scenario. Just last season, the Titans were fighting for their playoff lives as they played host to the New England Patriots in the seasonís final game. Unfortunately, the Titansí playoff hopes were crumbled into smithereens as they fell to the Patriots 40-23.
The sting of last seasonís disheartening defeat to New England should serve as a powerful motivating force as the Titans attempt to avoid a recurrence of recent history tomorrow night.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Titans vs Colts: Keys to victory”

  1. brian Says:

    drexel,
    I still think that the titans biggest challenge will be not turning over the ball, limiting penalties, and keeping the defense fresh. My gut tells me the game will be a nail biter.
    Not having Hope, Jones, King for the final game and perhaps the playoffs is tough, but hopefully the secondary can continue to put together solid performances. The running game looks to be solid even with White nursing a bad knee. Chris Henry is back and Brown’s concussion is behind him. My biggest concern is the offensive line, with Mawae likely out or half speed and a couple of the other guys banged up, things are not as stable as you would like.
    The biggest question is which Vince shows up. We don’t need “Super Vince” but we do need “No turnover, I’m on the same page as my receivers Vince”.
    Also it’s disappointing that the Bryce Fisher never panned out, has he been released?
    All that said the season has been about what i expected, the losses to the the colts, bucs, and bolts seem to be the ones that got away but the team seems to bounce back well and expect to see a great effort for the final regular season game.
    I say the Titans by two.

  2. Drexel Perry Says:

    brian,
    As the case with most games, turnovers are almost always a deciding factor.
    This is a put up or shut up game for Vince. He doesn’t have to be Manning/Brady out there, but he has to do a good job of protecting the football.
    This season has been all about the Titans building upon last season’s unexpected turnaround.
    Tomorrow night is the opportunity for the Titans to take the next step up and emerge as a playoff team. Here’s hoping they can accomplish that.

  3. brian Says:

    so is anyone doing a game thread tonight?

  4. Drexel Perry Says:

    The game day thread is now open. All comments prior to, during and after the game can be put in that post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: