It is times like these that I am glad that Jeff Fisher is the coach of this team. The Titans are in a little bit of a scary place this week. This is a game the Titans have to win to get in the playoffs, and it is a game that means absolutely nothing to the Indianapolis Colts. This could be a game that the Titans could easily take lightly, eventhough they have to win it, because they aren't expecting the Colts' key players to play for long. It would be easy for the Titans to think they are going to walk through this game easily. Fisher will not allow them to do that.
It is hard to say how long Peyton Manning will play in this game. He will probably be in a bit longer with the announcement today that Marvin Harrison will start. Odds are that he will be in for the first half at most. If the Titans can hit him a few times early he might only play for a quarter.
It is obviously a good thing that one of the best quarterbacks in the game will only be around for a half. The problem is, however, that Manning can put up a lot of points in a hurry when he is in there. The Titans better be ready to take the field when they take the field at the RCA Dome Sunday night. If they aren't they could be in a big enough hole by halftime that it won't matter whether Manning is in there or not.
I think it is actually more important in this game how long Bob Sanders plays. Sanders is the key to the Colts' defense. Last year they were terrible down the stretch with him out, but when he came back for the playoffs they were really good. He has stayed pretty healthy this season and the Colts have the 5th ranked defense in the NFL. Sanders will likely only be in there for a half as well considering how important he is to the productivity of their defense.
The bottom line is that this is the most important game that the Titans have played this season. They cannot afford to take it lightly just because some of the Colts players will only be in there for a half. They have to prepare like it is any other game of the season, because if not, they will be at home watching the playoffs.