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VOL. 40 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 18, 2016

Titans desperately need to get past Indy jinx

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has never lost to the Titans. In fact, the Titans have never won at Lucas Oil Stadium.

-- Jeff Haynes/Ap Images For Panini

It’s time. In a weak AFC South, the Tennessee Titans appear to be at least a year ahead of schedule in their quest for playoff contention.

Sure, a 5-5 record might not look all that great to those on the outside, but considering where this team has been the past few years, the Titans at least have hope that the second half of the season will be for something other than next year’s draft position.

If the Titans fancy themselves as a legitimate contender they have to take care of business in the two games remaining before their long-awaited bye week.

Those two games are on the road against long-time nemesis Indianapolis this week and then a meeting in Chicago with the lowly Bears.

Victories there would leave the Titans at 7-5 and make December games meaningful for Tennessee for the first time since last reaching the playoffs in 2008.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Titans go into Sunday’s game with the Colts with a monumental task before them.

How monumental? When the depleted Colts escaped Nissan Stadium with a 34-26 win back on Oct. 23, it marked the 10th consecutive time and 15th time in the past 16 games that the Colts have bested the Titans.

And as bad as that sounds, it’s actually worse.

The Titans have never – as in never – won at Lucas Oil Stadium, and they have also never beaten Andrew Luck, who is 8-0 all-time against Tennessee.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey knows the importance of Sunday’s game, but he isn’t about to dwell on the club’s past failures against the Colts.

“I think as we move forward with the 11th game of the year, they’re all going to be important from this point on,” he says. “Trying to overcome the 10-game (skid), that’s not going to be my method of motivation this week.

“This is a game we have to win. We have to learn how to win these games,” he adds. “We had to do that (against Green Bay), and we have to do it in Indy.

“We have to do that in week 11. We have to do that because we’re in the chase for a playoff spot. Those are things we have to learn how to deal with. Right now, we’re learning a lot about ourselves, and these are the kinds of games we’ve got to learn how to win.”

Titans QB Marcus Mariota, who had a banner day against the Packers with four touchdown throws, hopes the positives from that win can springboard the Titans as they prepare for Indy. The game with Green Bay on Sunday certainly was not one earmarked as a Titans victory when the schedule came out. But Mariota hopes the upset can give the Titans the opportunity to parlay it into even more success.

“I think it is a high stepping-stone, you know it is getting us in the right direction,” he says. “There is still a lot of season left, a lot of things we have to go and accomplish. Hopefully, we can use this as momentum going into the rest of the year.”

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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