After 2 games on road, Titans ready to settle in at home

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Linebacker Brian Orakpo has a message for Tennessee fans now that the Titans finally are ready to play the first game this season in Music City that counts.

Y'all come out now you hear?

And be loud.

''This is a brand-new team with a lot of enthusiasm, hungry guys eager to win,'' Orakpo said Wednesday.

''If you guys can come, ... y'all come ready and loud and give us a true home-field advantage. That would really be greatly appreciated.''

The NFL made the Titans one of only five teams in the league forced to play their first two games on the road, and Tennessee joined only Miami in splitting those games.

That has the Titans tied atop the AFC South with the Jacksonville Jaguars just in time for an early division showdown Sunday against the reigning champs, the Indianapolis Colts.

The home opener is the first of four straight games in Nashville as a little bit of payback from the league.

With their bye Oct. 4, the Titans won't have to pack a bag for a road trip until Nov. 1 when they head to Houston.

This franchise hasn't had this kind of home stand since 1967 when still in the American Football League as the then-Houston Oilers.

''We've got to take advantage of this,'' Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan said. ''We're first place in the division. It's still early, but they're in a hole. We got to keep them in the hole and really take advantage of the situation. We're talking about winning the division, this game is really important for doing that.''

Talk of anyone winning the AFC South outside of Indianapolis is bold considering the Colts' record.

Sure, the Colts might be 0-2 for a second straight season, but Andrew Luck has won 13 straight division games.

The Titans certainly have never beaten the Colts since they drafted Luck, and Indianapolis has won nine division titles since 2002, including the past two.

Both Luck and his Tennessee counterpart, rookie Marcus Mariota, both dismissed all that history having any impact Sunday.

''Every year so much changes in the NFL, even between games so much can change, so it's definitely a year by year, game by game thing,'' Luck said.

The Titans have a reason to ask their fans politely to please come out.

This franchise has never beaten Luck, and the 2014 season was simply miserable.

A team that went 2-14 won only once before the home fans, edging Jacksonville on Oct. 12 by the length of nose tackle Sammie Hill's finger blocking a field goal.

Losing the final five home games gave thousands of fans too many reasons to stay home.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt is hoping the Titans can follow up the two wins at home this preseason.

''We're excited to get home,'' Whisenhunt said. ''Two games on the road to start the season's tough, especially when it's home openers for the team you're playing, but that doesn't matter. It's good to be able to come home and play a game. I'll certainly enjoy that.''

Tight end Delanie Walker expects fans to be loud.

''It's a home opener, we do have the second pick in the first round,'' Walker said. ''Quarterback, he's been playing well, so I'm pretty sure everyone's going to be excited. ... Four games at home? I'm excited about that.''

Notes: Cornerback Jason McCourty practiced Wednesday for the first time since having groin surgery Aug. 24 but was limited. He said the key in his recovery will be how he feels Thursday. Walker (right wrist) also was limited along with RB Antonio Andrews (hamstring). Those not practicing included LB Zach Brown (illness), S Marqueston Huff (hamstring), CB Cody Riggs (knee), RG Chance Warmack (right knee) and NT Sammie Hill (right knee).

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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