The Tennessee Titans’ four-game win streak came to a screeching halt last Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
The Indianapolis Colts are the perfect opponent to start a new one, and it’s not because they have struggled all season without Andrew Luck.
Few outside of Tennessee’s locker room believed they would go on the road and beat Pittsburgh on a short week. In fact, most had that game penciled in as a loss when they tabbed the Titans the preseason favorite to win the division.
With Buffalo, Miami, and Oakland failing to gain ground by losing last week as well, it’s as if there were no repercussions for one of Tennessee’s worst performances of the season.
While it’s perfectly fine to breathe a sigh of relief from dodging a bullet last week, it could be dangerous to think that you’re still playing with house money if you’re the Titans.
Tennessee’s next four opponents (Colts, Texans, Cardinals, 49ers) are all without their starting quarterbacks and have a combined record of 12-28. The teams chasing the Titans for a playoff spot have much tougher roads to close the season.
Translation…Tennessee could very well lock up a playoff spot with another four game win streak.
But with a cushion already in hand over the teams behind them, one would have to wonder if a young Titans team with no recent playoff experience will be mature enough to embrace a killer instinct…to not allow this race to play out to the season finale.
It takes one to start a run, and that’s why the Colts are the perfect opponent for Tennessee this week.
If there is any team in the league that Tennessee has no right to overlook, it’s Indianapolis. No team in the league has tormented the Titans more than the Colts over the last several seasons.
In their most lopsided matchup since the arrival of Andrew Luck, the Titans still needed a fourth down stop late in the fourth quarter to end an eleven-game losing streak to Indy earlier this season.
Not to mention the fact that Tennessee is still winless at Lucas Oil Stadium, the sight of Sunday’s matchup.
Getting the proverbial monkey off their back in their first matchup was huge, but not big enough to take this Colts team lightly this weekend.
And that’s a good thing for the Titans.
Win, lose, or tie, it will be hard to imagine Tennessee being overconfident or playing with no sense of urgency Sunday.
The two things that derail teams that are favored to win each week.
If not for the urgency of locking up a playoff spot before the Jacksonville season finale, the Titans should come out firing on all cylinders simply because the Colts are on the other side of the field this week.