Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Tennessee Titans (5-7)
— A pretty quick turnaround for both these clubs in the league’s weekly Thursday night affair. Indy will have to figure out what to do in the wake of CB Jerraud Power’s broken right forearm, an injury that will cost him the season. Powers had been one of the better performers in the Indianapolis secondary this year and made the loss of Bob Sanders a little easier to swallow.
— More major injury woes for the Colts ground game: RB Mike Hart aggravated an ankle injury against Dallas on Sunday, the same injury that cost him four games this season. RB Donald Brown, who has seemingly been walking wounded since getting drafted by the Colts in 2009, also suffered an ankle injury that hobbled him for most of the Dallas game.
— What has happened to RB Chris Johnson? A week after getting just five carries for seven yards, Johnson only carried 13 times against Jacksonville last weekend for 53 yards. A bad day for sure, but one made even worse by the fact Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew carried 31 times for 186 yards.
— Some very small, not-very-bright silver lining on what’s starting to look like a lost season for Tennessee: K Rob Bironas is now 21 of 22 on field-goal attempts this season after making both his tries on Sunday. If you’re a fantasy football player looking for a kicker this week, you could do much worse than Bironas.
Oakland Raiders (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5)
— With a 28-13 win over the Chargers in San Diego on Sunday, the Raiders swept the season series for the first time since 2001 and won in San Diego for the first time since 2002, their last win clinching the AFC West title en route to the conference championship. A significant moment for a team that also salvages its playoff hopes with the win as well. While both the Raiders and Chargers still trail division-leading Kansas City, both still have games to go against the Chiefs that will go a long way in deciding the divisional crown.
— Very quietly, the Jags have emerged as one of the NFL’s hottest teams. After starting the season 3-4, the Jags have beaten the Cowboys in Dallas, defeated Houston and Cleveland at home and then upended the Titans in Tennessee. Thanks to this recent string of great play, the Jags have moved atop the AFC South. The reason for all this great play? Ability to run the football. The Jaguars have rushed for more than 200 yards in back-to-back games for only the third time in team history. When the Jaguars run the ball, they can keep their shaky pass defense off the field. They controlled the ball for 39:54 against the Titans.