The Tennessee Titans (2-3) make their long-awaited return to Monday Night Football when they host the Indianapolis Colts (2-3).
Not only is this a critical divisional matchup between two teams looking to keep pace in the division, but is also a game in which opposing streaks collide.
Translation…something has to give under the lights of Nissan Stadium.
The Colts’ streak of eleven consecutive wins over Tennessee has been well documented, and in the case of the Titans players themselves, discussed ad nauseam.
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey refused to talk about the streak when asked by reporters this week, and many of his teammates share that sentiment.
But it is the elephant in the room, and will only grow larger until the Titans are able to bring it to a halt.
The eleven-game win streak over an opponent is tied for the longest current streak in the NFL, and another victory on Monday night will tie the NFL record for consecutive wins over a divisional opponent.
The good news for Tennessee? Quarterback Andrew Luck, who will miss Monday’s game, is undefeated against the Titans.
The bad news? The Colts also notched a victory over Tennessee with a backup quarterback that was literally signed off the street a few days before the game.
Indy won with playoff-caliber teams, and even won with a 2-14 team. They’ve won going away, but by and large, most of Tennessee’s defeats were close and excruciating in nature.
And while the talk leading up to the game will revolve around the Colts’ recent dominance in the series, the Titans enter Monday night’s matchup with a couple of noteworthy streaks of their own to extend.
Tennessee is quietly riding a three-game win streak over AFC South opponents on Monday Night Football. The Titans defeated the Colts in 08, the Houston Texans in 09, and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010.
In addition, since moving to Nashville, the starting quarterbacks are undefeated in their debuts on Monday Night Football.
Steve McNair won his debut in 2000.
Vince Young led his team to victory in his 07 debut on Monday night.
And Jake Locker (yes…that Jake Locker) came away victorious in his 2012 debut on Monday night.
Marcus Mariota, who missed the last six quarters with an injured hamstring, would keep the streak alive with a win over the Colts. That is, if he is able to suit up and play.
Given the state of the division, the magnitude of this game is huge with or without said streaks. And a victory would mean much more to Tennessee or Indianapolis than extending them.
The loser of Monday night’s game would be 2-4. Two games under .500 and in sole possession of the AFC South cellar if Houston handles their business against the 0-5 Cleveland Browns this weekend.
The winner would be 3-3 and right in the thick of the race for the division title, regardless of the outcome between the division leading Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
For Titans fans that believe in the supernatural, if there was a time for Tennessee to finally end their dreaded losing streak to the Colts, history says that it would occur under the lights of Nissan Stadium on Monday night.
Are you ready for some football?