One Game Season
Colts must dispatch the Titans to
advance in the playoffs
written by Stephen Conway
Intensity has been the watchword since the
Colts fell to Buffalo 31-6 in the last game of the season. As painful as the loss to
Buffalo was to watch, it is unlikely we will see a lack of fire this Sunday when the Colts
face the Tennessee Titans in their first home playoff game since moving to Indianapolis.
Coming off a tremendous 13-3 season, the Colts have their sights set on the NFL's greatest
prize. This is done one down, one quarter, one game at a time, however, and the Titans are
the first challenger they must overcome.
This is no small task. The Titans come into
Sunday's game riding a euphoric last-second victory over Buffalo on a gadget kickoff
return play for a touchdown. Their defense, led by Rookie Defensive Player of the Year
Jevon Kearse, will look to continue its domination through pressuring the quarterback, and
their offense will look to Eddie George to carry the load against a suspect Colt run
There are no secrets to success. Hard work
and grace under pressure yield results. The Colts have used this formula throughout the
season to earn victories in every must-win game. We now know the level at which the Colts
are capable of performing. They have met or exceeded our expectations (and perhaps their
own) at each turn. The bar has just been raised again. Its up to them to play with the
passion and discipline they have demonstrated before.
While the play on the field will ultimately
dictate the final score, the crowd will have an important impact on the Titans' ability to
implement their offensive strategy. The city of Indianapolis has whipped itself into a
frenzy in anticipation of the game in the dome this Sunday. After many long years of loyal
support, Colt fans have a team capable of competing for championships. After enduring
countless losing seasons, look for the crowd to take out its pent up frustrations on the
Titans' offense. Players have spoken in weeks past about the floor of the dome actually
resonating with the roar of the crowd. How Tennesse and, more specifically, Steve McNair
and the offensive line deal with this hostile environment will have a major impact on the
outcome of the game.
Breakdowns of the key matchups on offense, defense, and special teams.
The key to victory is how much the Colts can disrupt the Titans' running attack. Limit RB
Eddie George's gains on the ground, and the advantage swings in favor of the Colts. The
Titans' aggressive style of defense relies heavily on pressuring the quarterback. If the
offensive line continues its spectacular play and Peyton Manning is able to read potential
blitzes, don't be surprised if the Colts are able to score on several big plays. The
Titans will leave the dome deaf and done for the season.
Score: Colts 24 Titans 14
AFC Divisional Playoff Game:
when: 4:05 EST
where: RCA Dome