Tennessee Titans brace for Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

A season that started out with so much promise for the Titans continues to go in the wrong direction.

On Sunday in Denver, there's potential for it to get much worse if they are still pouting from a punch-in-the-gut loss to the Colts.

Peyton Manning is waiting.

"He stays on his Ps and Qs, so we're going to have to be on ours," Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh said. "He'll put up 50 on you and embarrass you, so it's going to be a challenge."

The Broncos (10-2) have been lighting up opponents like a Christmas tree. They've scored 25-plus points in an NFL-record 17 straight games, and 40-plus points in five games this season. They've topped 50 twice.

Manning has been dealing -- 4,125 yards and 41 touchdowns -- and is on track to break the single-season touchdown passes record in Week 16 and single-season passing yards record in Week 17. Tom Brady set the touchdown mark (50 in 2007) and Drew Brees has the yardage mark (5,476 in 2011).

The former University of Tennessee star is coming off a 403-yard, five-TD performance in a 35-28 win over the Chiefs. The Broncos are listed a 12.5-point favorite over the Titans, and it's easy to question whether that's a big enough spread.

"If we're not ready to show out, I don't care who the quarterback is -- from a first-year quarterback, to the sorriest quarterback in the league -- anybody can make you look bad," defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said. "Dealing with a quarterback who is headed to the Hall of Fame, you know he is going to be ready to play, so we better be, too."

The Titans have reasons to be dragging. They've lost six of eight games since a 3-1 start and trail two teams by a game in the race for the final wild card slot in the AFC. They can forget about winning the AFC South, as the Colts hold a three-game edge in the division with four games to play.

The forecast for Denver on Sunday is a temperature around 20 degrees with the possibility of snow, but the Titans could still be looking at a meltdown situation.

Late last season, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-7 rout of the Titans on a bitter cold day in Green Bay. Many Titans players looked like they had no interest in being on the field.

Despite their recent struggles, however, the Titans vow there will be no quitting this season.

Up to this point, the defense has consistently been better. The Titans are ranked seventh in pass defense (281.3 yards per game) and have yet to allow more than 280 in any game.

Manning, however, has thrown for more than 300 yards in 10 of 12 games, including three 400-yard assaults. The Broncos are averaging 336.6 passing yards per game.

At least Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and senior assistant Gregg Williams know a lot about Manning's work from his years with the Colts.

"So that gives us some familiarity," coach Mike Munchak said. "Obviously he is having a great year, and they are putting up great numbers. I don't think anyone has stopped them at all even when they have lost. So it is going to be a huge, huge challenge, especially playing at their place."


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