The Colts and Titans would very much like to forget last weekend's debacles. They'll get a chance right away.
Indianapolis (6-3) leads the AFC South and pretty much can put away Tennessee (4-5) with a victory tonight. Of course, the Colts need to play far, far better than they did in being routed at home by St. Louis 38-8.
And the Titans must show a lot more than they presented in handing Jacksonville its first win of the season last Sunday, 29-27 -- at Nashville, no less.
Indy has been plagued by slow starts, and not having star receiver Reggie Wayne has become a huge problem. The Colts have been down in the first quarter by double digits against Miami, Seattle and Houston. The Rams got a big lead early in the second period.
"Like I said, we're not the hunters no more. We're the hunted," cornerback Vontae Davis said. "So teams are coming out throwing punches at us."
Tennessee took a haymaker last week just when it could have climbed within one game of the division-leading Colts. Starting quarterback Jake Locker is done for the season with a right-foot injury.
His replacement, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, is eager to get his team off to another of those fast starts against Indy.
"When things are doing well, you can feel that momentum and feels like the football field gets slanted and it gets you on a roll and you start scoring points," Fitzpatrick said. "It'd be good to get that going early."
Look for the Colts to be doing that instead.
CLEVELAND (PLUS 5 1/2) AT CINCINNATI
The Browns could really shake up the AFC North with a win. Close, but ...
BEST BET: BENGALS, 20-17
NEW ENGLAND (PLUS 2 1/2) AT CAROLINA, MONDAY NIGHT
Time to start believing... in the Patriots.
UPSET SPECIAL: PATRIOTS, 17-13
KANSAS CITY (PLUS 8) AT DENVER
Game of the Year, Part I. Peyton needs protection from that nasty KC defence.
SAN FRANCISCO (PLUS 3) AT NEW ORLEANS
It won't be a Big Easy for the Saints against ticked-off Niners. But New Orleans will win.
NEW YORK JETS (PLUS 1) AT BUFFALO
The Jets will end their alternate win/loss pattern.
DETROIT (MINUS 2) AT PITTSBURGH
The Lions are showing some mettle on the road.
WASHINGTON (PLUS 3 1/2) AT PHILADELPHIA
Time for the Eagles to show some mettle at home.
BALTIMORE (PLUS 3) AT CHICAGO
Some folks think the Bears are better off with McCown than Cutler.
MINNESOTA (PLUS 13 1/2) AT SEATTLE
Just too tired of laying so many points with the Seahawks at home.
GREEN BAY (PLUS 6 1/2) AT NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants' climb back into the NFC East race continues.
ARIZONA (MINUS 6 1/2) AT JACKSONVILLE
The Cardinals are quietly building something, but the Jags are improving.
SAN DIEGO (MINUS 1) AT MIAMI
The Chargers are struggling; no one is struggling like the Dolphins.
ATLANTA (MINUS 1) AT TAMPA BAY
The Falcons have to get off this slide sometime.
OAKLAND (PLUS 7) AT HOUSTON
Gary Kubiak's return to the sideline should inspire the Texans to break their slide.
2013 RECORD: Against spread: 6-7 (63-74-4). Straight up: 8-5 (88-59).
Best Bet: 4-6 against spread, 9-1 straight up.
Upset special: 3-7 against spread, 1-9 straight up.
-- The Associated Press