INDIANAPOLIS – Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard agrees that a wide-open AFC wildcard race can still include his team. He just cringes a bit at the lost chances so far.
The Titans dropped to 5-7 with their 22-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, all but losing their chance at challenging for the AFC South division title.
Pollard, who played for South Side High School and Purdue University, believes the Titans are their own worst enemy in their quest for a playoff berth.
“We're going to continue to go play ball,” Pollard said. “The first time I see a guy not want to go out there and compete is going to be addressed. But for the most part, we're dialed in. We just make dumb mistakes. We make dumb mistakes at the wrong time. We have to get better.”
The AFC wildcard race could go a number of directions, and the Titans remain in the mix, although they'll need some big wins to make it happen.
“How are we going to take advantage of that?” Pollard said. “Look at three games ago, everything was set up for us and we lost to Jacksonville. Everything was laid out and all we had to do is get out and walk and we didn't take advantage of it. All we can do is continue to play ball and be thankful for the opportunity and go win.”
Pollard, 28, is with his fourth team in eight years in the league and said he feels like the Titans are a good fit for him. He picked off an Andrew Luck pass that deflected off Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton on Sunday, Pollard's third interception this season. That's the most picks he's had in the last four seasons and he also has 74 tackles and five passed defensed.
Pollard played three seasons for Kansas City and two seasons each with Houston and Baltimore.
“This is an opportunity that I thank God, first and foremost, for opening up a door for me,” Pollard said. “As far as our team, we're doing a great job. They brought me in for some specific reasons on defense and I think we're doing a really good job of that. We have to find a way to make winning plays.”
The Titans held the Colts to five long Adam Vinatieri field goals before surrendering a 92-yard drive late in the fourth quarter. A personal foul penalty on the Titans' Moise Fokou before the end of the first half put Vinatieri in position for his fourth field goal. Pollard said those are the kinds of mistakes Tennessee cannot afford.
“It's hard to win in this league,” Pollard said. “Their guys get paid, too. As a team, we have to continue to get better. As a team we'll look like we're turning that corner. At some point, that stretch keeps getting longer and longer and that corner keeps getting further and further away. We have to be smarter as a unit.”