INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are less than 12 hours away from kickoff in Nashville. Today's news looks at the division implications for tonight's game, finding T.Y. Hilton another receiver and the Titans offense tweaking some things for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Take a look below at the top pieces fromThursday, November 14th.Colts in good position to wrap up divisionBy: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog
Wells looks at the division implications for the Colts tonight and what a win would do in the AFC South race.
"You got to win your division," defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said. "The only way you can win your division is you got to get through Tennessee. Tennessee is a good team. We're two games up, that really don't make a difference right now. If we don't beat them, they'll end up fighting for first place with us too.
The Titans are hurting. They not only lost to winless Jacksonville on Sunday, they'll also be without starting quarterback Jake Locker. He's out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
Indianapolis is 2-0 in the division with four games remaining. The Colts play the Titans in two of their next three games, which means they can wrap up the division fairly soon because the Houston Texans are a mess and Jacksonville is, well, Jacksonville even after its victory over the Titans.
Winning the division will get the Colts at least one home playoff game.
A loss to the Titans makes things a little bit more interesting because Indianapolis' lead in the division will be down to a game.
"This is a playoff game for us," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "We have to win this football game and we play twice in three weeks, so I think we're going to find out real fast what our situation is when you're playing the top team in your division twice. So yeah, we dug a hole, no doubt about it, but there's still a way out and that's how we look at it."
Will the Indianapolis Colts find any help for WR T.Y. Hilton?By: Phil Richards, Indy Star
With the loss of Reggie Wayne, the burden of the No. 1 receiver rests on T.Y. Hilton's "smallish" shoulders.
At 5-9, 178 pounds with sub-4.4 second speed, T.Y. Hilton has the look and skillset of the prototypical NFL slot receiver. Summon the image of Wes Welker, if you will.
So interim Indianapolis Colts coach Bruce Arians raised some eyebrows last season when he was asked if Hilton has what it takes to be a No. 1 receiver.
"I think a solid No. 1," Arians responded. "I do, which is surprising because when we drafted him we thought he was just a kick returner."
Arians, now head coach at Arizona, spoke on the eve of the 10th game of Hilton's rookie season. The Colts will play the 10th game of the 2013 season tonight in an AFC South showdown at Tennessee.
T.Y. Hilton is their No. 1 receiver.
Titans may tweak 'O' for FitzpatrickBy: John Glennon, The Tennessean
For the rest of the season, backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting signal caller for the Titans.
When Fitzpatrick started two games earlier this year for an injured Jake Locker, the Titans knew Locker would be returning in a few weeks. That's not the case this time, as Locker has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a Lisfranc injury to his right foot.
"Now it's Ryan's offense and Ryan's team," Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "So the direction of it can change now. Before it was stopgap – more, `Hey, this is Jake's offense and we're still going to play to his strengths. We can't make too drastic a change.' But obviously now we need to play to Ryan's strengths and the things he does well."
Fitzgerald agreed, saying there are some things he plans to tweak now that he knows he's the man.
"It definitely makes a little bit of difference," Fitzpatrick said. "For the remainder of the season, it really has to become my deal. I'm no longer the guy that's keeping the seat warm for Jake.
"It's my gig and the communication has to step up that much more with the linemen, the running backs, the wide receivers and tight ends, and also in the meeting room with Dowell. That relationship has to grow even more now in terms of our comfort level with one another."