The Colts and Titans would very much like to forget last weekend’s debacles. They’ll get a chance right away.
Indianapolis (6-3, No. 8 in the AP Pro32) leads the AFC South and pretty much can put away Tennessee (4-5, No. 21, AP Pro32) with a victory Thursday night. Of course, the Colts need to play far, far better than they did in being routed at home by St. Louis 38-8.
And the Titans must show a lot more than they presented in handing Jacksonville its first win of the season last Sunday, 29-27 _ at Nashville, no less.
Indy has been plagued by slow starts, and not having star receiver Reggie Wayne has become a huge problem. The Colts have been down in the first quarter by double digits against Miami, Seattle and Houston. The Rams got a big lead early in the second period.
“Like I said, we’re not the hunters no more. We’re the hunted,” cornerback Vontae Davis said. “So teams are coming out throwing punches at us.”
Tennessee took a haymaker last week just when it could have climbed within one game of the division-leading Colts. Starting quarterback Jake Locker is done for the season with a right foot injury.
His replacement, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, is eager to get his team off to another of those fast starts against Indy.
“When things are doing well, you can feel that momentum and feels like the football field gets slanted, and it gets you on a roll and you start scoring points,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’d be good to get that going early.”
Look for the Colts to be doing that instead.
No. 19 Cleveland (plus 5 1/2) at No. 10 Cincinnati
Browns could really shake up AFC North with win. Close, but …
BEST BET: BENGALS, 20-17
No. 4 New England (plus 2 1/2) at No. 6 Carolina, Monday night
Time to start believing … in Patriots.