While Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano was conducting a conference call with Nashville media Wednesday morning, Mularkey took his turn as an intrepid journalist to ask his counterpart a question.
"Hey, Chuck, can you tell me Chud's first 15 plays, preferably the first two?" Mularkey queried, referring to Indianapolis offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
One can't blame Mularkey for seeking a little extra edge for his team's first Monday night home game since 2014. The way things have gone for Tennessee the last two games, it needs every little advantage it can derive.
Back-to-back dreary losses -- they were obliterated 57-14 in Week 4 at Houston and 16-10 last week in Miami -- have taken some shine off what many around the organization were pointing to as a red-letter event in their resurgence as a good NFL team.
At 2-3, the Titans are only one game out of first in what is again a very winnable, very mediocre AFC South. Then again, so are the Colts, who have won 11 consecutive meetings, dating back to December 2011.
And Tennessee might be staring at another game without quarterback Marcus Mariota (hamstring) in its lineup. Mariota is hopeful that he can answer the bell, and after watching Matt Cassel's performance at Miami, Titans fans are likely more hopeful than Mariota.
Not that Cassel could totally be blamed for the loss, in which he was sacked six times. But he managed just 141 yards on 21 of 32 passing with no completion longer than 17 yards, enabling the Dolphins to eliminate the deep throw from their thoughts.
Mularkey wants Mariota to be able to move well enough in the pocket and outside of it -- mobility is a vital part of Mariota's tool kit -- before he'll play him.
"He's got to be able to move around pretty good ... and not put himself in a position that he's going to re-injure himself," Mularkey said. "He's got to show that by the end of the week."
While Tennessee might get its regular quarterback back, Indianapolis already knows that Andrew Luck (shoulder) will miss another game. It was hoped that Luck might make his season debut in Nissan Stadium, where he's 5-0, but he was ruled out Monday.
But the Colts appear to have the advantage if this is a matchup of backups. Jacoby Brissett has started the last four games after being obtained from New England, saving Indianapolis from having to play Scott Tolzien after a disastrous 46-9 Week 1 loss at the Los Angeles Rams.
Brissett threw for a career-high 314 yards last week in a 26-23 overtime victory over San Francisco, although he has been sacked 14 times behind a line which hasn't been able to consistently offer its quarterback a clean pocket since Peyton Manning was spraying touchdown passes out of it.
Still, Indianapolis knows its opportunity is abundant. Jacksonville's one-game lead through five weeks is hardly insurmountable, even though its defense is coming of age and Leonard Fournette has given the offense its first identity in years.
Houston is dealing with major injuries defensively, and the Titans have been a bit of a disappointment in the early going after entering the season with high expectations.
"This game, it counts double," Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton said. "It's very important. It's something that we understand."
Hilton has been tough on Tennessee. He owns a pair of 100-yard games against them, including a seven-catch, 133-yard performance last October in a comeback win in Nashville. And the Titans' secondary hasn't exactly been compared to Denver's, although it held Miami's impotent passing game to 78 yards last week.
Tennessee's biggest concern might be reviving the running game around which its offense is built. Its offensive line, which had to play without left tackle Taylor Lewan (knee) for most of last week's loss, didn't open up a lot of holes. The Titans rushed for only 69 yards.
Granted, the Indianapolis defense isn't quite as stout up front. And the incentive of snapping a losing streak that goes back six years and six starting quarterbacks has to count for something, especially under the Monday night lights.
After playfully fending off Mularkey's attempt at beat writing, Pagano took a stab of his own.
"Can you let me know if 8 is going or not?," Pagano said, referring to Mariota.
The answer could determine the outcome.
VDB Free Betting Prediction: Titans 17, Colts 16
Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans VDB Sport Betting Odds and Matchup Report
Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans VDB Betting Odds
|Indianapolis Colts||+7½ (-115)||+275||47½ (-105)o|
|Tennessee Titans||-7½ (-105)||-350||47½ (-115)u|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
Betting Odds Trends
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indianapolis's last 5 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 9 of Indianapolis's last 10 games on the road|
|Indianapolis is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games when playing Tennessee|
|Indianapolis is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tennessee|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indianapolis's last 6 games when playing Tennessee|
|The total has gone UNDER in 16 of Indianapolis's last 24 games when playing Tennessee|
|Indianapolis is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Tennessee|
|Indianapolis is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Tennessee|
|The total has gone OVER in 12 of Tennessee's last 18 games|
|Tennessee is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home|
|Tennessee is 8-15-2 ATS in its last 25 games at home|
|Tennessee is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home|
|Tennessee is 7-16 SU in its last 23 games at home|
|The total has gone OVER in 8 of Tennessee's last 12 games at home|
|Tennessee is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games when playing Indianapolis|
|Tennessee is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Indianapolis|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee's last 6 games when playing Indianapolis|
|The total has gone UNDER in 16 of Tennessee's last 24 games when playing Indianapolis|
|Tennessee is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Indianapolis|
|Tennessee is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Indianapolis|
|Jacoby Brissett||QB||Prob Mon - Wrist - 10/12/17||Brissett is expected to be available Monday against the Titans despite a left wrist injury.|
|Matt Jones||RB||Prob Mon - Knee - 10/12/17||Jones missed the last game with a knee injury but is expected to suit up on Monday against the Titans.|
|Nate Hairston||CB||Prob Mon - Quadricep - 10/12/17||Hairston sat out the previous game due to a quadriceps injury but is expected to be available against the Titans on Monday.|
|Jack Doyle||TE||Prob Mon - Concussion - 10/12/17||Doyle was held out of the previous game due to a concussion but is likely to pass protocol in time for Monday against the Titans.|
|Quincy Wilson||CB||Prob Mon - Knee - 10/12/17||Wilson has sat out the past three games with a knee injury but is likely to be available against the Titans on Monday.|
|Chester Rogers||WR||Prob Mon - Hamstring - 10/12/17||Rogers has been absent from the lineup during the previous five games due to a hamstring injury but is expected to make his season debut Monday against the Titans.|
|Anthony Walker Jr.||LB||Ques Mon - Hamstring - 10/10/17||Walker Jr. left the last game with a hamstring injury and his status for Monday against the Titans is undecided.|
|Andrew Luck||QB||Early Nov - Shoulder - 10/4/17||Luck is recuperating from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and is expected to remain sidelined until at least the start of November.|
|Jack Mewhort||T||Ques Week 14 - Knee - 10/14/17||Mewhort has landed on injured reserve due to a knee injury. The earliest he could be activated is against the Bills on December 10.|
|Krishawn Hogan||WR||I-R - Knee - 10/9/17||Hogan tore the ACL in his knee and is on injured reserve.|
|Deyshawn Bond||G||I-R - Quadricep - 10/3/17||Bond has been designated for the injured reserve list due to a torn left quadriceps.|
|Denzelle Good||T||Elig Week 10 - Wrist - 9/13/17||Good has landed on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his wrist. If he is designated for return, the earliest he will be eligible to be activated is against the Steelers on November 12.|
|Edwin Jackson||LB||I-R - Undisclosed - 9/3/17||Jackson has been placed on the injured reserve list due to an undefined ailment.|
|George Winn||RB||I-R - Undisclosed - 8/29/17||Winn is on the injured reserve list with an ailment to an unannounced location.|
|Erik Swoope||TE||I-R - Knee - 9/4/17||Swoope had a knee scope performed and is on the injured reserve list.|
|Christine Michael||RB||I-R - Undisclosed - 6/15/17||Michael has been designated for the injured reserve list with an injury to an unannounced location.|
|Clayton Geathers||S||Ques Week 7 - Neck - 10/11/17||Geathers is on the PUP list as he is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a neck injury and it is unknown if he be activated October 22 against the Jaguars.|
|Marcus Mariota||QB||Prob Mon - Hamstring - 10/15/17||Mariota was held out of the previous game due to a strained hamstring but is expected to be available for Monday's matchup against the Colts.|
|Taylor Lewan||T||Ques Mon - Knee - 10/10/17||Lewan has a knee injury and it is uncertain if he will play Monday against the Colts.|
|Corey Davis||WR||Out Mon - Hamstring - 10/11/17||Davis has missed the last three games due to a strained hamstring and will not return against the Colts on Monday.|
|Johnathan Cyprien||S||Out Sun - Hamstring - 10/13/17||Cyprien is sidelined with an injured hamstring and will not return to the lineup against the Colts on Monday.|
|Aaron Wallace||LB||Ques Week 11 - Back - 10/7/17||Wallace has landed on injured reserve with a back injury and it is unclear if he will be activated November 16 against the Steelers.|
|Harry Douglas||WR||I-R - Knee - 9/3/17||Douglas has been designated for injured reserve due to a knee injury.|
|Tajae' Sharpe||WR||I-R - Foot - 9/2/17||Sharpe is on injured reserve due to a foot injury.|
|Alex Tanney||QB||I-R - Foot - 9/2/17||Tanney has landed in the injured reserve list with a broken foot.|
|Victor Ochi||LB||I-R - Knee - 8/7/17||Ochi has landed on the injured reserve list with a knee injury.|
|11/20/16||TEN (17) - IND (24)||-3/53.5||IND/U||327||76||251||351||97||254|
|10/23/16||IND (34) - TEN (26)||-4/48||IND/O||422||81||341||331||124||207|
|1/3/16||TEN (24) - IND (30)||-4/39||IND/O||327||127||200||231||137||94|
|9/27/15||IND (35) - TEN (33)||3/46.5||TEN/O||378||133||245||433||88||345|
|12/28/14||IND (27) - TEN (10)||7.5/46.5||IND/U||378||64||314||192||142||50|
|9/28/14||TEN (17) - IND (41)||-7.5/45.5||IND/O||498||105||393||261||85||176|
|12/1/13||TEN (14) - IND (22)||-3.5/46||IND/U||264||104||160||347||162||185|
|11/14/13||IND (30) - TEN (27)||2.5/42||IND/O||366||137||229||340||122||218|
|12/9/12||TEN (23) - IND (27)||-3.5/47||IND/O||269||98||171||356||97||259|
|10/28/12||IND (19) - TEN (13)||-3.5/46.5||IND/U||457||171||286||339||112||227|
Indianapolis Last 10
|10/1/17||@ SEA||L 18-46||12.5/41.5||L/O||-240||-96||-144||-3.7||-2.0||-6.1|
|9/10/17||@ LAR||L 9-46||3.5/41.5||L/O||-148||12||-160||-0.9||1.2||-3.2|
|8/26/17||@ PIT||W 19-15||5/41||W/U||-21||-39||18||1.1||-2.1||4.1|
|8/19/17||@ DAL||L 19-24||5/38.5||P/O||-216||-101||-115||-1.7||-1.1||-2.9|
Tennessee Last 10
|10/8/17||@ MIA||L 10-16||-0/41.5||L/U||10||-31||41||0.5||0.2||0.8|
|10/1/17||@ HOU||L 14-57||-2.5/43||L/O||-250||-87||-163||-0.9||0.4||-2.6|
|9/17/17||@ JAC||W 37-16||-1/42||W/O||80||80||0||0.9||1.0||1.6|
|8/31/17||@ KC||L 6-30||3.5/37||L/U||-112||38||-150||-3.0||1.1||-7.5|
|8/12/17||@ NYJ||L 3-7||-2.5/37||L/U||-28||80||-108||0.5||4.7||-2.8|