The Tennessee Titans (5-6) travel to Indianapolis this Sunday to square off against the Colts (7-4). Just two weeks ago at L.P. Field the Titans fell to the Colts 30-27. The Titans seemed to have the game under control in the first half with a 17-6 lead, but QB Andrew Luck and the Colts came roaring back in the second half scoring 24 points, while the Titans were only able to manage 10 second half points. This weeks match-up will be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the AFC South. The Colts are coming off of a blowout loss to the Cardinals, while the Titans are coming off of one of their better wins of the season against the Raiders.
The Colts have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL and the Titans need to exploit that. They were able to have early success running the rock with RB Chris Johnson in the first half in their last match-up, scoring two early rushing touchdowns, but the Titans run game was basically non-existent in the second half and it led to too many passing plays by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The offensive line needs to show up in a big way this week. They have flashed a group, but also been inconsistent at times. A perfect example is last week against the Raiders. In the first half they got destroyed, while in the second half they were able to protect Fitzpatrick and he was able to make some plays late to win the game. The Titans offense needs to put together two solid halves this week to beat the Colts, they can’t get away with playing half the game as they did against the Raiders and still get the win. Fitzpatrick’s play has steadily gotten better in each week and he has made a point to get the rock to WR’s Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, which has led to more explosive plays in the passing game. If the Titans are able to get the ball to their play-makers in space i.e. CJ, Wright, Hunter, Walker, and Washington the Titans could put up a lot of points again this week against the Colts.
The Colts made a point this season, under new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, that they were going to be a physical, run-first team. Whether that is the right decision with a QB like Andrew Luck is still to be determined. The Colts traded a first round draft pick for RB Trent Richardson and basically have gotten absolutely nothing in return. His inability to stay healthy and to be effective while on the field has led to a majority of the carries going to Donald Brown. Brown has an impressive YPC of over five yards and has seemed to have some of his better games against the Titans. The Titans need to limit the Colts rushing attack on first and second down, so that the Titans can force Luck into less than favorable third down situations. This would also allow for the Titans to hopefully control the pace of the game and time of possession battle. If Luck is forced to chuck the rock, because of an inability to run, this would allow for the defensive line to ramp up the pressure, and hopefully force Luck into making some bad decisions, which been prone to as of late. Luck will also be without his two top wide receivers, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Stuff the run and pressure Luck, should equal a win for the Titans.
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