NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** The Titans returned from a long weekend ticked off at themselves, and ready to change the conversation.
Last Thursday's 40-17 loss to the Steelers on national television left a mark.
"Prime time, and we stunk out there. We didn't live up to the hype," guard Quinton Spain said on Monday. "It hurt us. Everybody hates to lose, so when we lose everybody has that bad taste in their mouths and ready to move on to the next opponent. Deep down guys are still mad, but we still have six games to go. We have to take it one game at a time."
Six games left, and a great opportunity.
The Titans (6-4) are currently one game behind the Jaguars (7-3) in the AFC South standings, but they still very much control their own destiny in the division race. An early-season win in Jacksonville coupled with a win over the Jaguars in the season-finale would give the Titans the tiebreaker in the scenario both teams finish the year with the same record. If the season ended today, the Titans would be in the playoffs as a wild card.
But there's a lot of time between now and then.
The Colts (3-7) are next up on the schedule, on Sunday in Indianapolis.
"The mood is: We are still in it," tight end Delanie Walker said. "That's the only mindset we've got. We are moving forward to the Colts. We want to win the division, and this is where it starts. I think everybody has their pisses hot right now. We need to go in there and play Titans football.
"I am a little upset with how the game went down on Thursday night, and I think this a good way to see what kind of team we've got, how we answer. The score is why I am pissed, I dropped a touchdown pass, and there's a lot of stuff factoring in. We didn't play like we usually play. The world got to see not the real Titans, and we want to go out and show … what the true Titans are."
The Titans had their four-game winning streak snapped against the Steelers on a night when the team turned the ball over four times.
After having the weekend off, the Titans returned to practice on Monday.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he wants his team focused on the Colts, and winning a key division game on the road. The Titans beat the Colts 36-22 at Nissan Stadium in October, but Titans fans don't need to be reminded of the struggles in Indianapolis over the years.
"We are good,'' tackle Taylor Lewan said of the team's mindset. "I think everyone is excited to play. You lose a game like we did, I don't think we're a team that lays over and dies for anybody. Our focus is on Indianapolis, and getting ready to play some serious ball these next six weeks. … We need to keep improving and have a better record than we did last year and make the most out of this thing and hopefully we'll be talking in January."
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series with the Indianapolis Colts. (AP Photos)