Titans on rare winning streak, look to end skid vs. Colts

Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey and his staff enjoyed a very rare start Monday to the work week with the Titans: The franchise’s first winning streak in more than two seasons.

That made looking at mistakes from a 28-26 victory over winless Cleveland much easier coming off a second straight win, the Titans’ first back-to-back victories since the end of the 2013 season.

Mularkey, however, made it clear the Titans (3-3) still have room to improve before earning a “Victory Monday” and a day off from meetings.

“The one thing you lose when you do that, you lose the ability to teach off that tape,” Mularkey said. “You don’t have the time because you’re already into the next opponent on Wednesday. It was important we came in here (Monday), and there’s some things we definitely could have done better … Again, we’ve got work to do.”

Still, the Titans took a moment to enjoy their first home win this season along with a winning streak after posting just three victories all of 2015.

“I feel great,” defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said. “Definitely could get used to this. Definitely everybody loves winning.”

With all that the Titans crossed off their to-do list beating the Browns, their next opponent offers the chance at ending another streak of futility and taking a step back to a winning record.

The Indianapolis Colts (2-4) may be struggling after a 26-23 overtime loss at Houston, but they have beaten the Titans nine straight games and 14 of the last 15 in a very lopsided AFC South rivalry. Casey’s lone win against Indianapolis came during his rookie season, 27-10 in Nashville on Oct. 27, 2011.

He and the other Titans are definitely eager to try to end yet another skid.

“Moving forward to these next couple weeks, we’ve got two divisional opponents,” Casey said. “We’re definitely looking to take this victory and run with it.”

Had the Colts held onto the lead, the Titans would’ve found themselves tied for first in the AFC South with Houston. Instead, the Titans must take care of their own divisional game with the Colts on Sunday and wait to see what Houston manages in Denver. The Titans wrap up their three-game home stand hosting Jacksonville (2-3) on Oct. 27 in a prime-time game.

“Really out of our control what else goes on around the league other than what we have to do on Sunday,” Mularkey said.

The Titans are doing some things very well. DeMarco Murray, despite being the focus of the Cleveland defense, ranks third in the NFL with 526 yards rushing. That has Tennessee third in rushing as a team.

Brian Orakpo is third in the NFL with seven sacks, matching his total for all last season. The Titans have had six sacks in each of their past two games and now have 18 tied with Arizona for fourth in the NFL behind Denver (21), Buffalo (20) and Minnesota (19).

One immediate result of winning at home is the Titans gave their fans a reason to stick around until the game ended after hearing opposing fans cheering loudly for Minnesota and Oakland in September. Casey credited fans with forcing two penalties by the Browns, the kind of vocal support Tennessee has lacked after winning only five games combined the past two seasons.

“You get a crowd behind you it changes the outlook of a game,” Casey said. “It makes you feel like you’re playing a straight professional football game and not just out there playing around.”

Notes: Mularkey said NT Al Woods (calf) and CB Cody Riggs (hamstring) should play against the Colts. Woods missed the last two games and Riggs the past three.


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