Titans Close Out Season Sunday vs. Colts


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- If the Indianapolis Colts want to carry any momentum into the playoffs, they must bounce back from their worst defeat of the season.

The Tennessee Titans are more concerned with ending the longest current losing streak in the league than a shot at earning the top pick in the draft.

Looking to continue their series dominance, the visiting Colts try to hand the Titans a 10th straight defeat in Sunday's season finale.

Indianapolis (10-5) has clinched its first AFC South title since 2010, but was left frustrated after its four-game winning streak ended with a 42-7 loss at Dallas last Sunday.

"It's the National Football League. It's a tough business," coach Chuck Pagano said. "It's not for everybody. That's why we don't get discouraged. Disappointed, yeah, but discouraged? Never."

Locked into the fourth seed, Indianapolis will host the loser of Sunday night's matchup between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in the wild-card round next week. The Colts, however, haven't looked like a team capable of making a deep postseason run lately.

One week after recording a season-low 278 yards in a 17-10 win over Houston, Indianapolis was held to 229 and its fewest points of the season against the Cowboys. The Colts managed 1 rushing yard and Andrew Luck threw two interceptions and didn't record a TD pass for the first time in 21 regular-season and playoff games.

''You want to be confident going into the playoffs and you want to go in feeling good about yourself,'' said Pagano, whose team averaged 31.3 points and 432.4 yards through the first 13 games.

''Nobody wants to go through a day like we went through (last Sunday), but you have to bounce back and you have to keep moving forward."

The Tennessee Titans battle the Indianapolis Colts in a Week 4 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

A winner of six straight and 11 of 12 against Tennessee (2-13), Indianapolis would appear to have a good chance at getting back on track before the postseason.

''I'm thinking about Tennessee first,'' said Luck, who improved to 5-0 against the Titans by throwing for 393 yards with four TDs and one INT in a 41-17 win Sept. 28. ''We've got to fix (things) and focus on Tennessee, and then we can worry about the playoffs.''

Though it's uncertain how many regulars will dress for the Colts in a game that can't change their playoff seeding, Luck is expected to have receiver T.Y. Hilton back after he missed last week with a hamstring injury. Hilton, who has matched a personal best with 82 receptions, recorded 105 of his career-high 1,345 receiving yards against the Titans in September.

A Colts defense that allowed 28 first-half points at Dallas also has a good chance to improve against Tennessee, one of the worst offensive teams in the league that's totaled 31 points in the last three games.

''We have no choice but to be ready," Colts safety Mike Adams said. "The most dangerous team going into the tournament is the wounded team, and that's us right now.''

Tied with Tampa Bay for the worst record in the NFL, the Titans hold the edge for the top pick in 2015 but need several games this weekend to go their way to keep it, unless they lose and the Buccaneers beat New Orleans.

At least publicly, the draft is not on the radar for the Titans, who are mired in the franchise's longest skid and worst season since the Houston Oilers dropped 11 straight while going 2-14 in 1994.

''That's something there's plenty of time to talk about, worry about,'' said coach Ken Whisenhunt. "We have another week of the season left."

Though Whisenhunt's job is safe, his coaching staff and roster could look different in 2015.

''It's already one of the bad records in the league, but I mean we just want to win,'' receiver Kendall Wright said. ''We just want to win, we're not worried about the record at this point.''

Tennessee believes there are some positives to build on from Thursday's 21-13 loss at Jacksonville.

Charlie Whitehurst threw for a career-high 287 yards with a TD, the Titans didn't commit a turnover for the first time in nine games and scored a TD on their opening drive for the first time since Dec. 8, 2013.

''Nobody is giving up,'' said Whitehurst, who went 12 of 23 for 177 yards with a TD and an INT while running for 40 yards against the Colts in his first start this season.

''You can see how hard we fight until the very end, and that locker room expects to win (Sunday). That's the way we've been all year and we just have not been able to put it all together yet.''


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