There’s not much at stake here for either team, except for momentum going into postseason play. Whether the Titans win or lose, they’ll be the number one seed in the AFC playoffs. Whether Indy wins or loses, they’ll be the fifth seed. Neither team can improve their seeding, nor can they lose any ground if they lose this game. With that being the case, both teams will be resting a lot of players.
Vince Young will play this week for the Titans. Kerry Collins might play a quarter or even the first half, before VY takes over. Leroy Harris will get his first career start to let Kevin Mawae rest his elbow. I won’t be surprised if the Titans use that opportunity to activate Mike Otto for the first time, letting him play some special teams and maybe even giving him some playing time at tackle. Dan Loper will probably get some playing time somewhere on the line.
I expect the Titans will give Alge Crumpler and his knees a rest, so we should see more of Craig Stevens. It will be a good chance to give Quinton Ganther, Chris Henry, Lavelle Hawkins, Paul Williams and Chris Davis some playing time.
On defense, Big Al and KVB are out. The Freak could use some rest also. So could Nick Harper. Empty the benches in the second half to let guys like Colin Allred, Stanford Keglar, Amon Gordon and Tuff Harris play.
The only problem with that is the damn 45-man gameday active list. Eight guys will have to be sat down for the game. Still, it will be a chance to rest some guys and evaluate some others.
The Clots need to rest players even more than the Titans do. They have a first-round playoff game in the following week, at either Denver or San Diego, while the Titans enjoy a bye week. Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis could all enjoy some rest.
While I’m naturally hoping for another Titans win, I’m more excited about getting a chance to watch some of our younger guys play.
Merry Christmas, Titans fans. Also, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and happy holidays. I hope it’s a good holiday season for all of you.