Colts at Titans
The Tennessee Titans witnessed firsthand last week what life is like without their stud quarterback while the Indianapolis Colts have played under that cloud all season. With Marcus Mariota's availability in question due to a hamstring injury, the Titans aim to snap an 11-game losing skid against the Colts on Monday night when the AFC South rivals meet at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
"I want to be very smart about how we do this. It's more than this game, it's a lot of games, that we've got to be concerned about," Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said of Mariota. Mularkey and company couldn't have been too keen on the performance of Matt Cassel, as the Titans mustered just 188 total yards in their lowest scoring output of the season - a 16-10 loss to Miami. Indianapolis has seen its offense take significant strides as Jacoby Brissett has gotten acclimated under center in place of the injured Andrew Luck (shoulder), who does not have an exact timetable to return. Brissett threw for a career-high 314 yards and rushed for a touchdown last week as the Colts collected their second victory against a winless team with a 26-23 overtime triumph over San Francisco.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Off. O/U: Off
ABOUT THE COLTS (2-3): T.Y. Hilton gashed the 49ers with seven receptions for 177 yards last week and looks to continue his assault on the Titans, against whom he had a seven-catch, 133-yard performance last October in a comeback win in Nashville. "This game, it counts double. It's very important. It's something that we understand," the 27-year-old Hilton said. Rookie running back Marlon Mack has shown a burst in Indianapolis' backfield, rushing for a 22-yard touchdown and galloping for a key 35-yard run that set up Adam Vinatieri's game-winning 51-yard field goal in overtime. Veteran Frank Gore, who moved into seventh place in NFL history with 13,304 yards rushing, has four touchdowns in his last three games versus Tennessee.
ABOUT THE TITANS (2-3): Tennessee's bread and butter has long been its rushing attack, but DeMarco Murray has amassed just 89 yards on the ground in his last two contests - with Miami limiting the Titans to only 69 yards on 20 carries last week. Murray could get untracked against a Colts'defense that is surrendering an NFL-high 31.8 points per game this season, and the veteran has scored a touchdown in each of the past three encounters with the club. Wideout Rishard Matthews has put his best foot forward at home, reeling in 20 receptions for 272 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games. Matthews, however, has been limited to just six catches for 83 yards in the Titans' back-to-back losses the past two weeks.
1. Vinatieri kicked four field goals last week to earn AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for an NFL-record 17th time in his career.
2. Titans rookie first-round WR Corey Davis (hamstring) has been ruled out for Monday's tilt, but OT Taylor Lewan (knee) is questionable to play versus Colts.
3. Indianapolis' Brandon Williams and Darrell Daniels combined for only four receptions for 30 yards last week with fellow TE Jack Doyle sidelined with a concussion last week.