While Colts’ following Luck’s perfect (10-0) lead vs. Tennessee, Titans weighing Mariota, Gabbert
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With everything on the line Sunday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., at least the Indianapolis Colts know who their quarterback will be.
That would be Andrew Luck, who pushed his personal record to 10-0 against the Tennessee Titans by leading the Colts to a 38-10 victory in week 11 at Lucas Oil Stadium. That tied John Elway for the best record by a quarterback against one opponent (10-0 versus New England).
“It doesn’t matter,’’ Luck said Wednesday. “We talk about going 1-0 this week. The cycle starts over. What happened previously and what happened in previous years, it doesn’t matter.’’
The Titans? They’re apparently in wait-and-see mode.
Marcus Mariota’s status for the prime-time rematch is uncertain after he was unable to finish last Saturday’s game with Washington after sustaining a “stinger’’ that resulted in him experiencing numbness in his right side. He did not practice Wednesday because of neck and foot injuries.
“I am just trying to get back and finding every way I can to be available,’’ Mariota told Titans media Wednesday. “Of course I am optimistic. This is what it’s about. We’re playing for everything.
“I am doing everything I can day and night to get ready. You find every little treatment or rehab to get back out there. That’s been my main focus.’’
If Mariota is unable to play, Blaine Gabbert will step in.
In six career starts against the Colts, Mariota is 2-4 with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Gabbert faced the Colts five times during his career in Jacksonville and is 3-2 with 4 TDs and 6 interceptions.
The uncertainty forces the Colts to prepare for both.
“They are both good quarterbacks and they are kind of similar,’’ Frank Reich said. “They are both athletic. They both play winning football. They got a lot of confidence in both of them.’’
The Colts got a glimpse of each during their blowout win in mid-November.
Mariota started but was knocked from the game late in the second quarter. After completing 10-of-13 passes for 85 yards, he was replaced by Gabbert, who finished 11-of-16 for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Reich conceded it “probably helps a little bit’’ to have faced both Titans quarterbacks this season, but added, “I do think we are preparing for their system. I think a little familiarity helps a little bit.’’
As for Luck’s unbeaten record against the Titans, first-year head coach Mike Vrabel doesn’t believe his players are preoccupied with their inability to have beaten him.
“I don’t think they are looking at that too much this week,’’ he said. “I think they are looking at it as two good teams that are fighting to try to find a way to get into the playoffs. I don’t think we can look at it any other way than that.
“We understand that he’s a great quarterback. They’ve got good players and it will be a big challenge for us to try to defend them. For us on offense, it will be important for us to try to do a little better than we did last time against them.’’
While the Colts were piling up 397 total yards and Luck was passing for 297 yards and three touchdowns, the Titans were limited to 263 total yards. They trailed 24-0 in the second quarter and 24-3 at the half.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.