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Tennessee Titans play Indianapolis Colts at LP Field Sunday

Posted By Clarksville Online News Staff On Tuesday, December 23, 2014 @ 12:00 pm In Sports | No Comments

Tennessee Titans (2-13) vs. Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 | Noon CST
Nashville, TN | LP Field | TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (2-13) conclude the 2014 regular season this week at home against the AFC South Champion Indianapolis Colts (10-5). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, December 28th.

The Colts locked up the division crown in Week 15 and are guaranteed to host a playoff game on Wild Card Weekend. They will be either the fourth seed or third seed (currently fourth) in the AFC playoffs.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst (12) huddles the offense during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts defeated the Titans 41-17. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst (12) huddles the offense during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts defeated the Titans 41-17. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

The Titans are looking for their first win against the Colts since 2011. The Colts have taken each of the past six battles in the series, including most recently a 41-17 decision on September 28th at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Titans are 14-26 all-time against the Colts.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF News-Channel 5.

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee TitansThe Titans are hoping to reverse their recent fortunes and cap the season on a winning note.

They have 10 days to prepare for the finale after last week’s Thursday Night Football appearance at Jacksonville, where despite a strong start against the Jaguars they were sent home with their ninth consecutive loss.

It appeared early as though the Titans might be in position to celebrate an end to their drought by evening’s end. They marched 84 yards on 12 plays during their opening drive, which culminated with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Whitehurst to Leon Washington. A field goal in the second quarter put them ahead 10-0.

The Titans defense seemed poised to handle the Jaguars’ attack as well. They hushed the partisan crowd by forcing four consecutive punts to open the contest, allowing 16 total yards in the process.

However, the Jaguars limited the Titans to only a field goal the rest of the way. The momentum swung before halftime, with the Jaguars scoring their first of three unanswered touchdowns.

Jacksonville’s 177 rushing yards helped offset Tennessee’s advantage in several other categories, including time of possession (34:52 to 25:08) and total yards (357 to 288). When it was over, it was the Jaguars reveling in a 21-13 victory and an escape from last place in the AFC South.

Whitehurst, a veteran of nine NFL seasons, was the Titans’ third starting quarterback in as many weeks. The other two—rookie Zach Mettenberger (six starts in 2014) and Jake Locker (five starts)—were lost in successive weeks with shoulder injuries. In his fourth start of the season, Whitehurst completed 24 of 35 pass attempts for a career-high 287 yards and a touchdown without throwing an interception (102.9 passer rating).

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis ColtsThe Colts traveled to Dallas last week and found an unwelcoming host in the Cowboys. Tony Romo’s five touchdown passes and two interceptions by the Cowboys defense led a 42-7 final score.

Despite the loss, the Colts already had clinched their third consecutive playoff berth and second consecutive AFC South title under head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano was hired in January 2012, and since that time, the Colts have built a 32-15 record in the regular season.

Like Pagano, quarterback Andrew Luck is in his third season in Indianapolis. The former first overall draft pick was named to the Pro Bowl after each of his first two campaigns, and this year, he joined Dan Marino and Peyton Manning as the only players to pass for 4,000 yards in two of their first three campaigns. His 38 touchdown passes lead the NFL in 2014 (through Sunday, December 21st).

Titans-Colts Series At A Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Colts lead 26-14
  • Regular season series: Colts lead 26-13
  • Postseason series: Titans lead 1-0
  • Total points: Titans 766, Colts 1,009
  • Current streak: Six wins by Colts
  • Titans at home vs. Colts: 7-10
  • Titans on road vs. Colts: 7-16 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
  • Longest winning streak by Titans: 3 (twice, last 1999-02)
  • Longest losing streak by Titans: 7 (2003-06)
  • Titans vs. Colts at LP Field: 4-8
  • Last time at LP Field: COLTS 30 at Titans 27 (11/14/13)
  • Titans vs. Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium: 0-7
  • Last time at Lucas Oil Stadium: Titans 17 at COLTS 41 (9/28/14)
  • First time: COLTS 24 at Oilers 20 (10/11/70)
  • Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Colts: 0-2
  • Chuck Pagano’s record vs. Titans: 5-0
  • Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Chuck Pagano: 0-1

A Titans Victory Would

  • Improve Ken Whisenhunt’s career record as a head coach to 52-66 (including playoffs).
  • Improve the Titans’ all-time record against the Colts to 15-26 (including playoffs) and end the Colts’ six-game winning streak against them.
  • Improve the Titans’ all-time regular-season record at LP Field to 74-54.

What To Look For This Week

OLB Derrick Morgan (6.5 sacks) needs a half sack to set a new career high for a season (6.5 in 2012).

RB Bishop Sankey (551 rushing yards) needs 49 rushing yards to become the 10th rookie in franchise history with 600 rushing yards and the first since Chris Johnson in 2008.

TE Delanie Walker (1,418 receiving yards from 2013-14) needs 99 receiving yards to pass Frank Wycheck (1,516 receiving yards from 1997-98) for the highest two-year total by a tight end in team history.

TE Delanie Walker can become the first Titans/Oilers tight end since Alvin Reed in 1968 to record three 100-yard receiving games in the same season.

G Andy Levitre can record his sixth consecutive season to begin his career with starts in all 16 games.

G Chance Warmack can become the third rookie in the “Titans era” (1999–present) to start all 32 games for the team in his first two NFL seasons, joining Jevon Kearse (1999–00), Tank Williams (2002–03) and Michael Roos (2005–06)

LB Avery Williamson (101 tackles) needs three more tackles to eclipse Alterraun Verner’s 2010 total of 103 tackles to have the most tackles by a rookie in the “Titans era” (since 1999).

WR Kendall Wright (55 receptions in 2014) can become the first player in franchise history to lead the team in receptions in each of his first three NFL seasons.

Titans-Colts Series History

This week’s game will mark the 41st all-time contest between the Titans and Colts. The Colts lead the series 26-14.

The Colts currently own a six-game winning streak over the Titans, including both encounters in 2012 and 2013. The last time the Titans won was October 30th, 2011.

In the first meeting of 2014, played on September 28th at Lucas Oil Field, the Colts overpowered the Titans by a final score of 41-17. Andrew Luck passed for 393 yards and four touchdowns, while the Colts defense forced three turnovers.

The last time the teams met at LP Field was Thursday night, November 14th, 2013. The Titans established a 17-3 lead in the first half of that game, but the Colts stormed back with 20 unanswered points and eventually won by a final score of 30-27.

The 2013 rematch was played only two weeks later at Lucas Oil stadium (December 1st). In that matchup, the Colts used four takeaways from their defense and five field goals by Adam Vinatieri to vanquish the Titans 22-14.

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 17 at Indianapolis Colts 41
September 28th, 2014 | Lucas Oil Stadium | Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 Final
Tennessee Titans 0 10 7 0 17
Indianapolis Colts 14 6 14 7 41

 

In Week 4, Andrew Luck passed for 393 yards and four touchdowns as the Colts handed the Titans a 41-17 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. While Luck was 29-of-41 passing, the Colts had two receivers go over the 100-yard mark.

Reggie Wayne led his team with seven catches for 119 yards, and T.Y. Hilton caught six passes for 105 yards. The Colts controlled the football for more than 42 minutes.

Outside of their kneel-downs at the end of each half, the Colts offense put up points on seven of their 12 possessions, including a stretch of three consecutive touchdown drives to begin the second half. Prior to that point, the Titans had trimmed the deficit to 20-10.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst (12) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst (12) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports)

Meanwhile, the efforts of Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who was starting in place of the injured Jake Locker (wrist), were thwarted for much of the afternoon by the opposing defense. Indianapolis collected three sacks, a fumble recovery and two interceptions – both by safety Mike Adams – and limited the Titans to one-of-nine on third down.

On the Titans’ first possession, receiver Kendall Wright lost the ball while trying to reach for a first down. Defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois recovered the fumble, and on the next play, Luck completed a 37-yard pass to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Trent Richardson finished the series with a one-yard touchdown run.

The Colts followed their first touchdown with a surprise onside kick from Pat McAfee, which was recovered by Griff Whalen. Eleven plays later, Luck completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dwayne Allen to finish the 44-yard drive.

The Titans’ second series ended with their second turnover. Facing a third-and-four at their own 49, Whitehurst’s pass over the middle went off the hands of receiver Justin Hunter and into the hands of safety Mike Adams. Luck then directed a 10-play, 60-yard march, capped by Adam Vinateiri’s 31-yard field goal with 10:25 remaining in the second quarter.

The Titans defense forced a punt in the second quarter, and the offense put together its first threat of the day. Whitehurst threw passes on consecutive plays of 31 yards to tight end Delanie Walker and 20 yards to wide receiver Nate Washington. That led to Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal to make the score 17-3 with 6:24 remaining in the second quarter.

However, the Colts answered with their fourth scoring drive of the first half. After going 65 yards in four-and-a-half minutes, Vinatieri booted a 30-yard field goal on the 10th play of the drive.

Following a Titans punt, the Colts got the ball back with 1:19 on the clock, but the Titans defense managed its first big play of the game when linebacker Wesley Woodyard picked off a pass from Luck in Colts territory.

Trailing 20-3 with less than a minute to play in the half, the Titans were forced to work quickly, and they did. Whitehurst found Walker for an 18-yard grab, and two plays later, the duo linked up on a seven-yard touchdown pass.

But the Colts never trailed by less than 10 points for the remainder of the game. On Luck’s first opportunity of the third quarter, he drove the offense 91 yards on nine plays. His 28-yard touchdown reception to Wayne provided a 27-10 lead.

The barrage continued just minutes later. The Colts took their second drive of the half 70 yards on only four plays, in addition to a 33-yard pass interference penalty on the Titans. Luck then looked to tight end Coby Fleener for a two-yard touchdown completion and a 34-10 lead.

The Titans were effective on the ensuing series, marching 80 yards. Rookie running back Bishop Sankey had four carries for 25 yards and two receptions for 23 yards during the eight play sequence, including a two-yard touchdown run.

Yet again, the Colts had an answer, getting the fourth quarter started by moving 80 yards in nearly six minutes. They concluded the scoring for the day when Luck completed his fourth touchdown pass, this time to Ahmad Bradshaw for 15 yards.


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