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Tennessee Titans (4-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
Thursday, November 14th, 2013 | 7:25pm CST
Nashville, TN – This week the national spotlight descends upon Tennessee as the Titans (4-5) host the first-place Indianapolis Colts (6-3) on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 7:25pm CST on Thursday, November 14th.
The two clubs are separated in the AFC South standings by two games. They play twice in the next three weeks, with the rematch scheduled for Sunday, December 1st at Indianapolis.The Colts have won three consecutive games against the Titans and eight of the last nine in the series, which marks its 38th all-time installment this week. The last time the Titans got the better of the Colts was October 30th, 2011 at LP Field (27-10).
NFL Network will broadcast the game to a national television audience. The telecast can be seen locally in Nashville on WZTV-Fox 17. Brad Nessler will handle play-by-play duties, while Mike Mayock provides analysis and Alex Flanagan reports from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
Additionally, WestwoodOne Sports will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst) and Rocky Boiman (sideline reporter) will have the call.
Last Week vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans hosted the Jaguars last week and were unable to overcome four turnovers in a 29-27 defeat. Although they fared better than the Jaguars in total yards (362 to 214), first downs (19 to 13), third down (56 percent to 25 percent) and time of possession (30:36 to 29:24), the Titans lost three fumbles and threw an interception, leading to 17 of the Jaguars’ points. The Jaguars also scored two points on a safety.
In addition to losing the game, the Titans also lost starting quarterback Jake Locker for the foreseeable future. In the second quarter, he went out with a right foot injury and is not expected to play Thursday against the Colts.
In relief, backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 33 passes for 264 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 111.2. He also rushed for a touchdown during the team’s 17-point rally in the fourth quarter that ended only when the Titans failed to recover an onside kick in the final minute.
Now playing in his ninth NFL campaign, Fitzpatrick was signed as a free agent early in the offseason following a four-year stint in Buffalo. With 78 games of experience and 70 starts, the former undrafted free agent from Harvard has passed for more than 15,000 yards and 96 touchdowns during his time with the St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Titans.
The Indianapolis Colts
With six wins in their first nine games of 2013, the Colts have carried over the success they had in 2012, their first season under direction of general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano. They finished their first season in Indianapolis with a Wild Card berth, despite Pagano missing several games to undergo treatment for leukemia.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is likewise thriving in his second professional campaign. The league’s first-overall draft pick in 2012 has followed up on his Pro Bowl rookie campaign by completing 183 of 311 passes for 2,198 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Last week, the Colts hosted the St. Louis Rams and lost by a final score of 38-8. It was the most lopsided score in their three losses this season.
Second Harvest Food Drive
Prior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual Second Harvest Food Bank food drive by dropping off non-perishable items at one of several collection sites near the entrances of LP Field. Among the most-needed items are canned tuna and chicken, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, pasta, cereal, and canned soups and stews.
Titans-Colts Series At A Glance
A Titans Victory Would
What To Look For This Week
DT Jurrell Casey can record his fourth consecutive game with at least one sack. With another sack this week, Casey will become the team’s only player other than Jevon Kearse since the beginning of the 1999 season to notch at least one sack in four consecutive contests.
CB Alterraun Verner (five interceptions in 2013) needs one interception to become the first Titans player since Michael Griffin in 2008 (seven interceptions) to record six or more interceptions in a season.
TE Delanie Walker (312 receiving yards) needs 33 receiving yards to set a new career high.
Titans-Colts Series History
This week’s game will mark the 38th all-time meeting between the Titans and Colts. The Colts lead the series 23-14.
The Colts won both contests in 2012 to extend their winning streak over the Titans to three games. In the first meeting, played on October 28th at LP Field, the Colts won in overtime by a final score of 19-13.
Andrew Luck’s 16-yard touchdown pass to running back Vick Ballard on the first drive of overtime proved to be the difference. In the rematch at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 9th, it again came down to the wire with the Colts prevailing 27-23. Two interceptions by the Colts defense helped the team erase a 13-point deficit to claim the win.
The last time the Titans beat the Colts was October 30th, 2011 at LP Field. The Titans defense recorded two interceptions, and wide receiver Nate Washington scored two touchdowns en route to a 27-10 victory that ended a five-game winning streak by the Colts over the Titans.
From 2002–2010, the AFC South crown was won by either the Titans or Colts every season.
The Titans and Colts have met only once in the postseason, a 19-16 Titans victory in a Divisional Playoff game in the RCA Dome on January 16th, 1999. Eddie George rushed for 162 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run to help lead Tennessee during its run to Super Bowl XXXIV.
The teams first clashed in 1970 following the AFL-NFL merger. The then-Baltimore Colts defeated the then-Houston Oilers 24-20 during the Colts’ run to a Super Bowl V Championship.
Titans-Colts: The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 23 at Indianapolis Colts 27
In Week 14 of the 2012 season, the Colts erased a 13-point deficit in the second half and defeated the Titans 27-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
After falling behind 20-7 in the first half, the Colts intercepted two Jake Locker passes in the second half that led to 10 points. Colts cornerback Cassius Vaughn delivered one of the game’s biggest plays, scoring a touchdown on an interception to give the Colts their first lead at 21-20 less than 10 minutes into the third quarter.
The Titans defense came up with key plays against Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck as well. Luck, who finished the day 16-of-34 for 196 yards and a touchdown, was sacked four times and was victimized by two interceptions. However, his 11-yard pass to tight end Dwayne Allen before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter earned a first down and prevented the Titans from a final attempt to win the game.
Locker completed 22 of 35 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 51 yards. His primary target was wide receiver Kenny Britt, who totaled 143 yards on eight catches. The Titans jumped in front early, opening the game with a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Locker scrambled for a 32-yard gain and then completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jared Cook.
Later in the first quarter, a missed 57-yard field goal by Rob Bironas provided the Colts with good field position. Following a 36-yard reception by T.Y. Hilton, Luck found receiver Reggie Wayne for a four-yard touchdown pass.
In the second quarter, a 46-yard pass from Locker to Britt helped set up a 40-yard field goal by Bironas. It gave the Titans a 10-7 lead, and they would add to it twice before the end of the half.
Following a Colts punt, Locker engineered a nine-play, 72-yard drive that included another 46-yard pass to Britt. But for the second time, they got inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and failed to score a touchdown, settling for a 31-yarder by Bironas.
Down 13 points at the beginning of the third quarter, the Colts began their comeback. Luck moved the offense 80 yards on 14 plays, converting a pair of third downs with completions to Wayne. Finally, on third-and-goal, running back Delone Carter scored on a one-yard run.
Special teams and defense then provided the Colts their first lead of the afternoon. Pat McAfee’s 52-yard punt sailed out of bounds at the one-yard line. Then, on the next play, Locker’s quick pass to Nate Washington was intercepted by Vaughn and returned three yards for a touchdown.
The Titans responded with a 16-play, 73-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes and gave them the lead once again. Helped by a pair of third-down penalties on the Colts that extended the series, the Titans got as far as the Indianapolis two-yard line. Once again, they could not find the end zone. Bironas’ 25-yard field goal made the score 23-21 in their favor four minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Colts took the lead for good on their next drive. They went 45 yards, just far enough for Adam Vinatieri to make a 53-yard field goal that put them ahead by one point.
Two plays into the ensuing Titans possession, a pass by Locker was intercepted by cornerback Darius Butler. The turnover led to the game’s final score, a 40-yard field goal by Vinatieri.
The Titans had one more chance on offense, but they were forced to punt with three timeouts remaining and less than three minutes on the clock. After the Colts rushed for a first down and passed for another, they were able to kneel on the ball to use the remaining time.
Topics104-5 The Zone, Adam Vinatieri, AFC South, Alterraun Verner, Andrew Luck, Baltimore Colts, Brad Nessler, Buffalo Bills, Cassius Vaughn, Chris Johnson, Chuck Pagano, Cincinnati Bengals, Cody Allison, Delanie Walker, Derrick Morgan, Eddie George, Fox 17, Frank Wycheck, Harvard, Houston Oilers, Ian Eagle, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jake Locker, Jared Cook, Jevon Kearse, Jurrell Casey, Kenny Britt, Larry Stone, Leukemia, LP field, Lucas Oil Stadium, Michael Griffin, Mike Keith, Mike Munchak, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, National Football League, NFL, NFL Network, NFL Pro Bowl, Pat McAfee, RCA Dome, Reggie Wayne, Rob Bironas, Ryan Fitzpatrick, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl, T.Y. Hilton, Tennessee Titans, Thursday Night Football, Titans, Titans Radio Network, Trent Green, Will Witherspoon
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