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Titans ready for division rival Colts

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NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 30: The Tennessee Titans offensive line faces the Indianapolis Colts defensive line during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Tennessee Titans try to start a new chapter Sunday against AFC South rival Indianapolis.

The Titans were tormented by quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning winning only 3 of their last 21 games against the Colts.  They never beat Luck and the last time they beat Manning was 2008.  

Luck suddenly retired before this season though and Jacoby Brissett is the new quarterback in Indy.  The Titans have faced Brissett before beating him both times in 2017.

Brissett was extremely efficient in the Colts opening loss against the Chargers completing 21 of 27 for 190 yards and two TD’s.

“All I know is that Jacoby (Brissett) has got a really good grasp of the offense.” Said Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, “He’s played in big games, whether that be in New England or Indianapolis. He was very efficient with the football last week. He took care of it. He’s got a strong arm, he can move, he can scramble, so he’s able to run whatever they need him to do.”

Brissett is protected by one of the youngest and strongest offensive lines in the game.  Led by guard Quenton Nelson the Colts rushed for 203 yards last week, 174 courtesy of Marlon Mack.  

Vrabel said how the Titans deal with that group is key, “We’ll have to play well, we’ll have to stop the run, we’ll have to put our hands in their chest and try to shed blocks and tackle, stay on our feet, set the edge, build a wall, swarm in the run game. Then, when they throw it, we’re going to have to try to find ways to transition on play-action and when they drop back, we’re going to have to rush them.”

Last week the Titans defense did everything it wanted in their season-opening 30 point rout of Cleveland.  The Colts offensive line is considerably better than the Browns though.

Offensively the Titans will look to build in strong starts from quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and running back Derrick Henry.

Mariota threw 3 touchdown passes in a game for the first time since November of 2016 while Henry rushed for 84 yards and caught one pass for 75 more and a touchdown.

The Titans need both on point again to reverse their woes against the Colts.

“We just focus on one day at a time.” Said Mariota, “We don’t make it more than what it is. We understand that it is a division game at home. We’ve just got to go out there and focus on taking care of our deal, our operation and don’t make it more than it really is.”

What it is though is an early chance to put to two games between themselves and their long-time tormenter.

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