NFL Wire News

Titans hope to halt Colts dominance in division


The Sports Xchange

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans may say that past history has no bearing on Sunday’s game, but several players already knew some of the numbers that stand out with the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts may be entering Sunday’s game at 0-2, but Titans players also know that Indy has won 12 straight games inside the AFC South. They also know that themselves have lost seven straight against their division rivals, and have never beaten Andrew Luck in six tries.

“That team has won 12 in a row in the division. They’re struggling right now, but I think they started the season 0-2 last year, and they were playing in the conference championship game. So we know how important this game is and how fired up they’re going to be come Sunday to play,” cornerback Jason McCourty said.

When asked about the Colts’ dominance, it is clear that such a thing is bothersome to the Titans.

“That’s something that gets to us. They’ve been the leaders of our division for a very long time. And our mindset, if we want to be the team we say we are, we have to be the leaders of the division,” tight end Delanie Walker said. “We’ve got to be able to beat the Colts. We can’t lose to the Colts every year. It’s something we look at and we know we’ve got to go out there and start fast. … We’ve got to go in there knowing they usually are the division leaders, and we’ve got to play them like they’re the division leaders and bring our A game.”

This game is a big deal for the Titans not only to get the monkey of losing to the Colts off their backs, but as crazy as it sounds, a Tennessee victory would give them control of the division in the early going. The Titans are 1-1, and the Colts are 0-2, and if the Titans could somehow win Sunday’s game, it would have them in command in the AFC South for the first time since they finished 13-3 and won the division in the 2008 season. Since that time, it has been rough sledding for the Titans, as they have just one winning season since, and their last win over Indy came during the Colts’ terrible 2011 season when Peyton Manning was injured. And even in that season, it was the Titans – fighting for a wild-card spot – who had their hopes severely dented by an 0-13 Colts team that pulled off its first win of the season at Tennessee’s expense.

Of course, that is ancient history to most of the current Titans players. Only a handful of players remain from that season, and things are now in the hands of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. But the importance of Sunday’s game isn’t lost on the rookie either, though he says the past shouldn’t be an issue.

“What happened in the past is in the past,” Mariota said. “Right now, it’s about us and this team and taking it one day at a time.

–Cornerback Jason McCourty, whose twin brother Devin plays for the New England Patriots, said he had not heard anything about a “Deflate Gate Curse,” that might be on the Colts in the wake of their 0-2 start. The Colts, of course, alerted the NFL to the deflated footballs used by Tom Brady and the Patriots, touching off an investigation that dragged on throughout the offseason with Brady being suspended four games, but then beating the NFL in court to have it overturned.

As for a curse, McCourty said, “That’s the first time I’ve heard that, and I don’t know if I’m a believer, but if it means they keep losing, I’ll definitely jump on board with that.”

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