Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (field turf, indoors)
When: 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Spread: Colts by 5.5
Forecast: Temperatures are expected to be in the high 50s, but forecasts call for scattered thunderstorms for the fans hoping to tailgate before the game.
Records: Titans (Overall: 4-8, AFC South: 0-4); Colts (Overall: 8-4, AFC South: 3-0). Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Oct. 28, 2012. Colts 19-13 (OT); Dec. 18, 2011. Colts 27-13.
Series record: Colts lead series 22-14.
What matters: The Titans need to win all four of their remaining games to avoid a losing season for the second time in three years. Tennessee still has a remote shot of making the playoff but needs lots of help from the six teams ahead of them in the AFC Wild Card Standings. At the very least, the Titans hope to exact a measure of revenge for a deflating loss in October. A victory against the Colts would have given the Titans a three-game winning streak and improved their record to 4-4. After squandering a fourth quarter lead, the Titans have lost three of four.
Who matters: Jake Locker. Behind a patchwork offensive line hampered by several season-ending injuries, Locker could face intense pressure over the final four weeks of the season. Expect the Titans to use a great deal of three-step drops where Locker releases the ball quickly to avoid the rush. Tennessee will depend more on WRs Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Kenny Britt to make plays after the catch than on deep shots downfield. Locker struggled with his accuracy in the early stages of last week’s loss to the Texans before picking up his game when the Titans went to the no-huddle. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains lauded Locker for his toughness, but said he held onto the ball too long at times.
Key matchups: LT Michael Roos vs. Colts OLB Dwight Freeney; RT Mike Otto vs. Colts OLB Robert Mathis. The Colts only recorded two QB hits and four TFLs against the Titans in the first meeting, but Mathis was inactive. Roos is hampered by a sprained knee and may need help in neutralizing Freeney. Otto has rarely started in his five year career, but is a dependable veteran. The Titans plan to use a silent count often in the noisy confines of Lucas Oil Stadium.
Injuries of note: Starting RT David Stewart (leg) and LG Steve Hutchinson (knee) both went on IR this week after suffering injuries last Sunday vs. Houston. The injuries have created a musical chairs of sorts along the starting offensive line. OL Kevin Matthews, who replaced Hutchinson, was whistled for three penalties against the Texans. Matthews has been moved to center, while C Fernando Velasco moves over to left guard. Otto replaces Stewart in the starting lineup. OLs Kyle DeVan and Mitch Petrus were both signed this week to provide depth. LB Colin McCarthy has been ruled out for Sunday's game after being sidelined with concussion-like symptoms last week. DE Kamerion Wimbley went out against the Texans with turf toe, but should start against the Colts. WR Damian Williams (hamstring) is expected to be out.
Inside stuff: Colts WR Reggie Wayne has already been targeted 141 times this season, the most of anyone in the league besides Calvin Johnson. When throwing in Wayne’s direction Andrew Luck has been intercepted nine times, according to Pro Football Focus. The figure is the most of any receiver in the league. The Colts have a penchant for running a bunch set with three wideouts to one side with a single receiver on the other. It helps Luck capitalize on one-on-one matchups with Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery. After falling behind 21-3 to Houston, the Titans often went to a 3-WR, 1-TE set in last week’s loss. As a result, TE Jared Cook received 64 total snaps (85 percent) while TE Craig Stevens only appeared in 21 (28 percent).
Connections: Tom Moore, who began consulting with the Titans on Nov. 28, spent 13 seasons with the Colts from 1998-2010. Moore is known most for spurring Peyton Manning’s development early in his career. WR Nate Washington played under Bruce Arians in 2008 when the Colts interim head coach served on Mike Tomlin’s staff in Pittsburgh. S Al Afalava played in four games with the Colts in 2010, where he recorded five tackles on special teams. Luck’s father, Oliver, spent five seasons with the Oilers from 1982-1986.
Stats you should know: Luck ranks second in the AFC in passing yards with 3,596 but has already tossed 16 INTs. It’s the main reason why Luck’s QB rating (76.1) is actually lower than Locker's (77.0). The Colts rank 30th in the NFL in yards allowed per carry (4.8). The Titans lead the league in rushes behind the left guard (6.39 ypc) and are third on rushes up the middle (5.16 ypc), according to NFLGSIS.com. Indianapolis ranks 32nd in the NFL in defending runs up the middle (5.37 ypc), NFLGSIS.com found.
Record watch: Chris Johnson needs seven yards to reach the 1,000 yard mark for the fifth time in his career. Johnson can become the only running back in franchise history, besides Eddie George to accomplish the feat.
Looking ahead: The Titans host the Jets on Monday Night Football next week before they take on the Packers in Green Bay on Dec. 23.
Prediction: Colts 31, Titans 13.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Tennessee Titans, follow Matt Rybaltowski @CBSTitans.