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Titans vs Colts: Players to watch, defense

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Who needs to step up to stop Andrew Luck and the Colts?

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans have to face arguably one of the top-10 quarterbacks in the NFL in primetime. If the Titans are going to pull off a home upset, they will need big plays from these three players.

Jurrell Casey

The Titans have leaned on Casey to be the main pass rusher since the bye week where they apparently forgot how to blitz creatively. If that awful trend continues then the Titans will need to find a way to scheme Casey in to some one-on-one matchups. One way the they could do this is by lining Mookie Johnson as a nose tackle to free Casey up on either side.

Alterraun Verner

Another obvious choice, Verner needs to limit T.Y. Hilton from making the big explosive plays that have kept the Colts alive in Reggie Wayne's absence. Whether he is asked to shadow one receiver, or cover one side of the field he needs to play at his normal, Pro-Bowl level.

Ropati Pitoitua

Pitoitua has been one of the best players on the Titans defensive front despite being a journeyman. The Titans will need his run defense to stop the disappointing Trent Richardson from a big game, but they will also need his ability as a pass rusher. Andrew Luck is a notoriously hard person to sack, but he would be hard-pressed to shrug off Ropati Pitoitua.

Also, if the big defensive end can get his hands up and swat down a few passes, it may convince Luck to move off of his spot and try to roll out when it isn't necessary.