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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will at least have the second overall draft pick to help them rebuild off the franchise's worst season in 20 years.
After finishing with a 27-10 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday that was the Titans' 10th straight and 14th in 15 games, coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn't ready to start looking ahead to his second season just yet. Whisenhunt does know what it will take to win back fans who sold out the stadium with thousands refusing to show up.
"We are going to have to show them," Whisenhunt said. "Obviously at this point after a tough season, it's hard to say that. But we are going to get a good pick. We are going to have a chance to get some good young players in here. I think if you look at some of our draft picks from this year, they did pretty well."
The Titans (2-14) missed out on the top pick overall when Tampa Bay lost to New Orleans, a selection this franchise hasn't had since trading for the pick in 1978 to draft Earl Campbell. They will be picking second overall for the first time since 1984.
Whisenhunt noted they went through seven offensive tackles, five tight ends and three quarterbacks due to injuries. Actually, make that four with Jordan Palmer finishing up after Charlie Whitehurst hurt his shoulder when sacked for the fourth time by the Colts.
"For us to go and lose the way we did consecutively, it's embarrassing," tight end Delanie Walker said.
The Titans tried to throw a pass to 10-year veteran Nate Washington whose contract is up after this season, but they couldn't connect with him. They also struggled even when they scored.
With goal to go, the Titans twice had high snaps and followed the first with a delay of game penalty before Whitehurst found Kendall Wright for a 6-yard TD pass. On the second, Whitehurst could only cover up as he was sacked, and the Titans settled for a 31-yard field goal by Ryan Succop.
It was the kind of mistakes Whisenhunt said he hasn't seen his Titans make in practice or in other areas of the field.
"Those are things you can't have happen," Whisenhunt said.
Punctuating the Titans' horrible season was a loss at the hands of their AFC South rival. Indianapolis now has won seven straight and 12 of the last 13 in this series.
Andrew Luck also topped one of Peyton Manning's franchise records playing only the first half as he threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
The Colts (11-5) bounced back from their worst performance this season by nearly matching what they did offensively in the loss at Dallas by halftime. They wound up outgaining the Titans 378-192 as the AFC South champs swept their division a second straight season for the first time in franchise history.
"I feel a heck of a lot better obviously today than we did a week ago this time," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said.
Luck came in needing only 100 yards passing to top Manning's record of 4,700 yards passing in 2010 and passed Manning on an 80-yard catch-and-run by Reggie Wayne. Luck also became only the eighth quarterback in NFL history to throw four TDs and at least 4,000 yards in a season.
"Unbelievable," Pagano said. "I didn't realize that was the play that the record was broken. We gave Andrew a gameball and obviously credited him. Great milestone. Great record for Andrew, but very fitting that 87 was on the other end of that."
The Colts also came up with four sacks, and Vontae Davis simply took the ball away from Titans rookie running back Bishop Sankey in the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Titans punter Brett Kern had a career-high 79-yard punt in the second quarter that also tied the franchise record set by Jim Norton in 1964. ... The Titans will draft first in the second, fourth and sixth round in the 2015 draft, and second in the first, third and fifth round.
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