NFL Wire News

Week 17 Preview: Colts at Titans

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Indianapolis Colts (10-5) at Tennessee Titans (2-13)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, at LP Field, Nashville, Tenn. — TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta

*Keys to the game: The Titans have only draft position to gain, with Tennessee in the running for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and the Colts headed to the playoffs as AFC South champs.

A Buccaneers loss to the New Orleans Saints would give Tampa Bay the top pick, but there is excitement in Nashville over the possibilities. Quarterback is among the most pressing needs for a Tennessee roster thinned by injuries and already light on difference-makers.

It must seem like moons ago since the Colts ripped apart the Titans 41-17 in Week 4. In that game, Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, filling in for injured starter Jake Locker, was spelled by rookie Zach Mettenberger. Whitehurst will be the starter again Sunday, coming off a good game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Longing for their own franchise passer, the Titans get another spin at stopping one. However, Colts QB Andrew Luck has harpooned Tennessee since he entered the NFL. Four of his 38 touchdown passes this season in the September blowout.

The Colts want — and probably need — more from a rushing attack ranked 21st in the NFL with 103.2 yards per game.

*Matchup to watch — Colts defense vs. Titans TE Delanie Walker: Covering tight ends could be the No. 2 concern, right behind the running game, that keeps Colts coaches awake at night. Walker caught five passes for 84 yards and a score in the first meeting.

*Player spotlight — Titans RB Bishop Sankey: The rookie is getting every opportunity to prove he can carry the mail as a featured back, but he is coming up short — literally — by gaining less than 4 yards per carry in 10 of the past 11 games.

*Fast facts: With a win, Colts coach Chuck Pagano would become the second head coach in NFL history to post 11 or more wins in each of his first three seasons with a team.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Colts put a bow on a perfect division run (6-0) with their seventh consecutive win over the Titans. QB Andrew Luck will return to MVP form in a laugher.

*Our pick: Colts 38-16


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