With Playoffs on the Line, Titans Host Colts Sunday


NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans (9-6) host the AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts (9-6) Sunday night in "Game 256," the final game of the NFL regular season. The winner will advance to the playoffs, while the loser will be eliminated from postseason contention. Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,134) is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. CST on Dec. 30. 


The game will be nationally televised on NBC. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties, with Cris Collinsworth sliding in as the analyst. Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines. 

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Amie Wells and gameday hosts Rhett Bryan and Jonathan Hutton

Westwood One Sports will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer Kevin Kugler and analyst Jason Taylor will have the call.


The primetime matchup features two of the NFL's hottest teams. The Titans own the NFL's longest current winning streak at four games and are 6-2 in their last eight outings. Meanwhile, the Colts have won eight of their last nine contests after dropping five of their first six games to begin the season. 

With eight clubs still alive for six total seeds in the AFC playoffs, the Colts currently hold the sixth position. The Titans are in the seventh spot but will overtake the Colts with a win. 

Additionally, the Sunday night matchup could decide the AFC South title. The first-place Houston Texans have clinched a playoff berth at 10-5, but a loss Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars (noon CST) would open the door for the Titans-Colts winner. In that scenario, the Texans would lose the division record tiebreaker. The Texans would be 3-3 within the AFC South, while the Titans-Colts victor would be 4-2. 

Elsewhere in the conference, the New England Patriots (10-5) have clinched the AFC East title, and the Kansas City Chiefs (first place at 11-4) and Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) have secured playoff berths out of the AFC West. The Baltimore Ravens (9-6) lead the AFC North, one game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers (8- 6-1). 


The Titans hosted the Washington Redskins last week and needed a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to tight end MyCole Pruitt to pull ahead with less than five minutes remaining in the game. 

The defense sealed the victory with consecutive interceptions on Washington's final two drives by safety Kevin Byard and cornerback Malcolm Butler, the latter of which was returned for a touchdown as the clock expired. 

Mariota exited the contest late in the second quarter with a stinger. Gabbert's relief appearance included 7-of-11 passing for 101 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 123.7. 

Meanwhile, the Colts hosted the New York Giants and put together their own fourth-quarter comeback. Andrew Luck, who eclipsed the 4,000-yard passing mark for the fourth time in six NFL seasons, completed a one-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chester Rogers with less than one minute remaining in the fourth quarter. The extra point gave the Colts a 28-27 win and the right to play for the postseason in Week 17 under first-year head coach Frank Reich.

TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series with the Indianapolis Colts. (AP Photos)

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