The Colts take the short trip to Nashville Tennessee for Monday Night Football this week. Much like the Colts, the Titans are reeling and are dealing with an injury to their star quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota injured his hamstring in a week 4 loss to the Houston Texans. On Thursday, the Titans stated that Mariota must show more progression in order to play on Monday night vs the Colts. If Mariota cannot go, that would be a huge boost to a Colts defense that has struggled vs the passing game all season long.
What to Expect:
Like the Colts, the Tennessee Titans are coming into the game sitting at 2-3. Unlike the Colts, the Tennessee Titans have lost two straight after starting 2-1.
Whether or not the Titans have Mariota, offensively they are led by a 2 headed monster at running back in Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry, which have bolstered the NFL’s 6th best rushing attack and are averaging 125 ypg.
In the passing game, the Titans are led by Richard Matthews, who has 284 yards so far this season. However, perhaps the biggest weapon is long time Titan’s tight end Delanie Walker. Walker is having another solid start to a season for them, hauling in 21 catches, 3 being for over 20 yards.
First year wide receiver Cory Davis garnered a lot of attention heading into this past springs NFL draft, and the TItans selected him 5th overall in hopes that he would be able to take the top off of defenses, pairing him alongside a great running attack should be a lethal combination. So far it hasn’t worked out that way as he only has 7 receptions, and 1 for more than 20 yards. If I’m the Colts, I do not allow this prime time game to be Davis’s coming out party. Keep Hooker over top in order to prevent the deep ball. Farley would be over matched by the lanky and athletic Davis.
Defensively is where the Titans have really struggled this season. They are vulnerable against both the pass and the run, and have given up points in bunches all season long (exception last week). As a team, they are 23rd overall, giving up over 230 yards passing and 110 yards on the ground each game. When it comes to giving up points, they are only better than 1 team in the league, the Colts. The Titans are giving up over 28 points per game, and the Colts are sitting at 31 (yuck).
From an individual standpoint, the Titans defense starts and ends with DL Jurell Casey. Casey already has 2 sacks from the interior, and 19 tackles. He is a force inside, and the Colts will have to game plan for his versatility against both the run and pass.
In the linebacker spot, 10 year vet Wesley Woodyard is leading the Titans in tackles. He is also solid against the pass in coverage with 2 passes defended.
1st round pick Adore Jackson is learning that the NFL is a much different game than college where he was a lock down corner. According to pff, he’s been graded out as the 73rd best corner, and only has an overall grade of 49. It’s tough for rookie corners, and he’s more than capable of making up ground and causing problems for defense. However, the Colts T.Y. Hilton should have a big day as speedy wide outs have given Jackson and other Titans db’s problems so far this season.
Monday Night Football in Nashville Tennessee is more than enough for the Titans to get up for a divsional game against the Colts. Let alone, the Colts have beaten the Titans 11 straight times. The Colts should expect to get the Titans best shot on Monday, with or without Marcus Mariota. The Titans are a better football team than they have played the last two weeks, and it will be up to the Colts offense to keep them in the game. This should be a good game that the Colts have a chance to win due to matching up well with Tennessee’s power style offense, as long as they keep the big plays in check.