INDIANAPOLIS - Another home game, another meeting with the Tennessee Titans.
The Indianapolis Colts, fresh off last week’s 40-11 road loss to Arizona, know what’s at stake against the Titans on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis is 7-4 and 3-0 in the AFC South. Tennessee, meanwhile, is 5-6 overall and 0-3 within the division. A Colts win would bring them ever closer to the AFC South title. A Titans victory, though, keeps their hopes alive for a berth in the playoffs.
“We’re in the same position as we were the last time we played [Tennessee],” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday. “[We’re] coming off getting our butts kicked [to the Cardinals] and we rebounded with a road win. The only difference this time is that it’s a home game.”
Two weeks ago, Indianapolis went to Nashville’s LP Field after dropping a 38-8 home game to St. Louis. The Colts fell behind Tennessee early, trailing 17-6 at halftime, before rallying in the second half in a 30-27 victory.
This time, there’s another distraction. Colts owner Jim Irsay offered up several tweets on Tuesday in which he challenged his team to do better.
Pagano understands Irsay’s passion. He also knows just how big Sunday’s game means in regards to Indianapolis’ post-season plans.
“We know the magnitude as coaches and players,”he said. “We understand what the expectations are. I knew 30 years ago when I got into coaching. My dad told me what the expectations were going to be no matter what the situation is, no matter where you are.
“So, as coaches, we understand it. As players, they understand it. We’ve got a job to do and we’re going to work to get that job done. This team and this [coaching] staff has done a great job [of] keeping the blinders on and staying focused.”