INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nose tackle Al Woods spent three seasons in Tennessee doing everything he could to beat the Indianapolis Colts. When it didn't work, he switched sides in March — only to lose again.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nose tackle Al Woods spent three seasons in Tennessee doing everything he could to beat the Indianapolis Colts.
When it didn't work, he switched sides in March — only to lose again.
On Sunday, Woods, now a starter with the Colts, will get another chance to snap his personal seven-game losing streak in this series when the Titans try to get their first win in a decade in Indy.
"Don't let it happen," Woods said when asked about his thoughts of Tennessee ending the streak. "I just want to win in front of our fans. That's the main thing."
For Woods, it's been four years of misery. But the Titans have endured much worse.
Since Lucas Oil Stadium opened in 2008, Tennessee is 3-16 in the series overall and 0-9 on the road. It finally snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Colts in October by rallying late for a 36-22 victory.
And while the mounting losses to Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck might be understandable, the Titans also lost to quarterbacks such as Josh Freeman, Ryan Lindley and Dan Orlovsky.
They believe this trip will be different.
Tennessee (6-4) comes into the game second in the AFC South, one game behind Jacksonville and motivated to sweep the Colts for the first time since 2002.
"It was definitely a huge win when it happened (in October), just to get that off of our backs," linebacker Avery Williamson said after losing his first six to the Colts. "In my whole career I've been here, we'd never beat the Colts, so to finally do that that was a big accomplishment."
The Colts (3-7), meanwhile, hope some extra rest will help recharge them coming out of the bye week.
Indy's defense has put together three straight solid games and should have linebacker John Simon and safety Clayton Geathers back. Simon missed the previous three games with an injured neck, and Geathers hopes to make his first appearance since injuring his neck against the Titans last November, though he's expected to be on a play count.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett also is expected to play after spending most of the past two weeks in the concussion protocol.
But the Colts know it will take more than good health to beat the resurgent Titans. And Tennessee has a plan that won't exactly be music to Woods' ears.
"To us, it's this year. It's a new game. It's the game this coming week," Titans right tackle Jack Conklin said. "We want to win the division. That was the goal set at the beginning of the year, and this is part of it. We got to go up there and win.'
Here are some other things to watch Sunday:
Tennessee ranks second in the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns, trailing only the Saints with 15. The key: quarterback Marcus Mariota's ability to run. He already has a career-high four TD runs and shares the team high with DeMarco Murray.
Three other Titans also have scored on the ground. Only the 2008 Titans, with Chris Johnson and LenDale White, had more rushing TDs through the first 10 games than this team (16).
Geathers returns 12 months after sustaining a career-threatening injury that required surgery and a long rehab process. Coincidentally, he's coming back against the same team he got hurt against.
The Colts have brought him along slowly, putting him on the physically unable to perform list during final cuts before waiting patiently as Geathers got back into football shape. The final test comes this weekend when he makes his first live hit.
"You don't know till you get that first one out of the way," he said. "Whenever I get that first hit, it's going to be emotional."
Tennessee is hoping to start playing, and winning, as well on the road as it has at home.
The Titans are 4-1 this season in Nashville and have won eight of their last nine there, but are just 2-3 on the road this season.
Frank Gore keeps climbing the NFL's career rushing charts, and if he produces his first 100-yard game of the season, he could make it into the top five. Gore needs 89 yards to pass Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis (13,662 yards) and 111 yards to pass LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684).
But all the 34-year-old Gore wants is a win.
"The bye week was good. Now we need to get ready for a division game and still got a chance (at the playoffs), especially looking at the AFC," he said. "There's the wild card, two games out. We just got to continue believing in ourselves."
AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville contributed to this story.