NFL Nation: MNF8 Titans

Have the Titans seized control?

October, 27, 2008
10/27/08
10:56
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Did the Titans just turn this game?

Their 14-play, 80-yard, 7:45 touchdown drive is just what they hoped to do against the Colts and the two-point conversion call that had Kerry Collins play fake, spin, roll out and hit fullback Ahmard Hall made it a 14-14 game.

It's hard to take momentum from the Colts when they are going well.

And the Titans much maligned wide receivers made some big plays to convert third and longs -- a 23-yard catch by Justin McCareins and a 15-yarder by Brandon Jones.

But already, Pierre Garcon's responded with a 32-yard kickoff return.

The Titans always think they'll be able to exert defensive control at this stage of a game by winning the physical battle.

We're about to find out if they are as good at that as they think.

'Code Blue' paints LP Field

October, 27, 2008
10/27/08
8:38
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The "Code Blue" the Titans are holding tonight is a Columbia blue take off on the "Blackouts" and "Whiteouts" we see overhyped in college games.

I like the look, though light blue coats would have made for a better handout than T-shirts tonight -- the temperature is currently 45 degrees. From my vantage point, most people are putting the T-shirt on top of their layers. The end zone lettering is edged in light blue as are the borders of the end zone "storefront" for food vendors.

The TV shots will show a lot of blue tint to downtown Music City.

I'm all for the city unity and getting pumped up for "Monday Night Football" and it's worked in those regards.

I suspect it's worked too, to fill the cash registers at the team's pro shop as many don't appear to have been content with the freebie.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- So much for my powers of deduction. Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin) is inactive for the Titans, a move that will hurt the pass rush.

The full inactive lists for the Colts and Titans

Indianapolis

Safety Bob Sanders

Cornerback Kelvin Hayden

Running back Joseph Addai

Wide receiver Roy Hall

Linebacker Buster Davis

Offensive tackle Dan Federkeil

Tight end Jacob Tamme

Defensive end Marcus Howard

Tennessee

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch

Quarterback Chris Simms (third QB)

Receiver Chris Davis

Cornerback Reynaldo Hill

Running back Chris Henry

Linebacker Colin Allred

Offensive tackle Mike Otto

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans could have trouble rolling their defensive linemen through the lineup the way they like on Monday night against the Colts, but they won't be surprised if they aren't always able to get the personnel they want in on the field.

Indianapolis relishes controlling who's on the field for the defense with the way they employee their no-huddle offense. If the Colts change personnel, the defense can match. But if they've got a matchup they like, they can keep it going for a while, so long as they aren't stopping the clock. Otherwise, if a defense tries to run fresh players onto the field or shift personnel, Peyton Manning will hurry the snap and draw a penalty.

"We got Green Bay with 12 men on the field the other day. It was a touchdown, so it negated it," he said, building up to a punchline. "I kind of wanted to take the penalty. I kind of like it when they have 12 or 13 on the field. But I thought it was fair to Dominic [Rhodes] to give him the touchdown."

So, while it may not be their preference, the Titans will be ready for their base package to face the Colts' three-wide receiver set or their nickel package to be on the field against a two tight-end look.

"They can get you stuck, yeah," Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said. "And he typically tries to do it on either end of the field, where you've got to travel more distance."

Nickelback Vincent Fuller, who will line up on Reggie Wayne in the slot when possible, and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, will be the Titans affected most by the limitations.

"I could be out there 80 percent of the time or I could be out there 15 percent of the time, just on third down," Fuller said. "Chances are it's only going to be me and the Mike able to substitute. We usually substitute D-line if they convert on a third down or something like that, but the Colts won't let you do that. In between the 30s, the substitutions are one for one. Outside of that, if you're in there, you're in there."

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