It's been a while since we've experienced meaningful football in the city of Nashville. For the past few seasons, fans of the Tennessee Titans accepted the fact that their team was just plain bad. By this time each season, we are usually starting to look ahead and even root for losses to improve the ever important draft position.
But this year -- behind the unlikely guidance of Mike Mularkey and his cast of over the hill assistant coaches -- feels a little different. Mularkey and Offensive Coordinator Terry Robiskie have actually put forth a nice plan for the offense and it's working well behind the efforts of a vastly improved offensive line.
Tennessee sits at 3-3. They are playing in the worst division in football and the Indianapolis Colts are coming to town. The Colts are sitting at 2-4 and have been completely decimated by injuries. If not now for the Titans, when?
The Titans haven't beaten the Colts since 2011 -- the year the Colts were without Peyton Manning and a year before they drafted Andrew Luck. It's hard to even count a win against Curtis Painter, so lets go back a little further.
The last time the Titans beat the Colts with an actual functional quarterback was 2008. They've never beaten Andrew Luck. Not one single time. But this time they're favored -- at least by Vegas. You can currently get the Titans at -3 on most sites. Money has actually come in on the Titans as the line has moved up from -2.5.
This is a game the Titans should win, much like the previous two. But Andrew Luck is still going to be under center on Sunday and the Titans have to find a way to get over that hump.
I think this is the biggest game for the Titans since 2011.
The Colts were without Peyton Manning for that year, so the division was up for grabs. The 3-2 Titans were coming off of a bye week and got the 3-3 Texans at home. The winner of this game controlled their own destiny in the division.
The Titans got smacked, 41-7. They were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the season, but never could regain control of the division. They dropped crucial games to the Saints at home and the Colts on the road, narrowly missing the playoffs. That game was the difference.
The Colts may be 2-4, but if the Titans are serious about making a play for the division, they have to win this game. Take advantage of this opportunity and bury the Colts.
4-3 heading into a short week with the Jaguars in Nashville on Thursday sounds pretty good to me. Houston is the real competition here, but they have a tough road game at Denver on Monday night. The division could easily be tied up after this weekend.
My expectations aren't playoffs yet -- I think you have to keep in mind who the Titans have played the past two weeks, however this division is just flat out bad.
Mularkey's rushing attack should keep Tennessee in the race. It's just hard to beat a team that runs consistently well and plays good defense. The Titans are doing both right now and there's no reason why this team can't get their first win against Andrew Luck.