The Tennessee Titans defense is figuring it out just in time

Jayon Brown #55, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Jayon Brown #55, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
5 of 5
Titans dominate vs Bears
Tennessee Titans defense celebrates with a double dutch jump rope routine after the fumble recovery by defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (98) during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.Gw50652 /

Ready For The Colts

The Indianapolis Colts offense was a nightmare matchup for the Week 8 version of the Titans defense.

This is a team built from the inside going out. A group with one of the best offensive lines in the league, starting a quarterback in a quick pass offense– all against a defense that struggled to generate pressure and allowed way too many open receivers early in the play. Maybe the Week 8 version of the Titans could have won in a shootout, but the Indianapolis defense is good enough to contain the Titans– the Week 8 Titans defense couldn’t quite say the same thing.

All of this, of course, is a problem that Tennessee is hoping to have put behind them after their Week 9 win. Nick Foles and the Bears offense also feature a quick-hit approach to the passing game, but it didn’t matter, the Titans controlled the line of scrimmage, generated pressure, and kept Foles uncomfortable and inaccurate through most of the game.

The Colts are also a team that, while not great on third down, have an offense more than capable of picking up a third and long against the Week 8 Titans. But once again, Week 9 showed a different story. Tennessee controlled the game on third downs and forced the Bears into consecutive three and outs through the first quarter.

With those problems ideally in the past, the potential new-look Titans defense might actually be a tough matchup for the Colts offense rather than the other way around. Indianapolis has only three games this season where they’ve run for fewer than 100 yards, and have a 1-2 record in those games. The Titans, meanwhile, have given up fewer than 100 rushing yards in four of their last five games– and are coming off a performance where they gave up just 56 yards on the ground.

The Titans might be equipped to limit the Colts run game, and force the offense into a one-dimensional group, manned by a mistake-prone Philip Rivers against a Titans defense that is tied for fifth in the NFL in total interceptions, and ninth in overall turnover percentage.

The Tennessee Titans maybe, just maybe, peaked at the right time. The group that struggled mightily in the past looked unrecognizable against the Bears in Week 9, and in the best way possible. If trends hold, this is a Titans defense that is well-equipped to shut down the Colts on Thursday– and to be the perfect companion piece for an elite Tennessee offense.