Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+3, 42)
A showdown in the AFC South lost a lot of its luster when the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans absorbed embarrassing home losses on Sunday. The host Titans could see their division title hopes disappear with a loss Thursday to the front-running Colts, who must rebound from a stunning 38-8 rout at the hands of the St. Louis Rams. Tennessee not only fell to previously winless Jacksonville, but may have lost quarterback Jake Locker for the season with a foot injury.
Indianapolis is in control of the division with a two-game lead over the Titans, but it fell behind 28-0 in the first half Sunday after trailing 21-3 at the half in an eventual win at Houston the previous week. "I take full responsibility for it as the football coach, we did not have this team ready to play," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said in the wake of Sunday's carnage. Tennessee has lost four of five and faces a three-game road trip following Thursday's matchup.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network. LINE: Colts -3. O/U: 42.
WEATHER: Clear skies, 1 mph wind and 45 degrees expected.
COVERS POWER RATING: Colts -3, Tennessee +3.5 plus add 3 points for home field = adjusted Covers line of Colts -3.5.
ABOUT THE COLTS (6-3): Indianapolis has beaten league heavyweights Seattle, San Francisco and Denver but its three losses have come against three clubs without a winning record. The Rams burned the Colts with three long touchdowns by rookie Tavon Austin, taking away Indianapolis' chances of trying to establish running back Trent Richardson, who has been a disaster since his acquisition from Cleveland, averaging 35.7 yards rushing over seven games. Although Andrew Luck threw for 353 yards, he was picked off three times - matching his total from the previous eight games.
ABOUT THE TITANS (4-5): Locker was on crutches following Sunday's game amid fears that he suffered a Lisfranc injury, continuing a trend that has seen him unable to stay healthy in his first three seasons. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who lost two starts in place of Locker last month, threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday but his fumble with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play stalled Tennessee's comeback. Running back Chris Johnson broke out of his season-long doldrums with 150 yards and two touchdowns before the bye week, but was limited to 30 yards on 12 carries by the Jaguars.
1. The Colts have won three straight meetings and swept the season series by a combined 10 points - including an OT victory - a year ago.
2. The Titans did not commit a turnover in their first four games but have coughed up the ball 13 times in their last five.
3. Fitzpatrick's two losses last month came against Seattle and Kansas City, which rank among the top three teams in points allowed.