Jeff Saturday will have his hands full tonight with Albert Haynesworth
It is late-October and we have our first really big regular season game in the AFC South.
Week Eight: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Location: LP Field- Nashville, TN
Kick-off Time: 8:30
Broadcast: ESPN Monday Night Football
The 6-0 Titans look to bury the 3-3 Colts in a game that could, potentially, decide the AFC South. I personally don't give that much credence because if this season has showed us anything it is that nothing is scripted. For example, the once 0-4 Texans (3-4) are now better than the mighty Chargers (3-5). What is known is that both the Titans and the Colts are very good teams, and this should make for an excellent game tonight. Here are the keys:
- Get the lead. The Colts can put themselves at a big advantage if they get the lead early. This will not be easy, but it is doable. The Colts have a quick strike, potent offense with four outstanding receivers. The problems week in and out have been consistency. If it isn't the o-line whiffing blocks it is receivers dropping balls or Peyton throwing TDs for the other team. They've only had one game where they played the way they are capable for playing: Baltimore. the Ravens had the #1 defense going into that game, and the Colts smoked them. Indy rises to the occasion often when playing great defenses, and if their offense can get an early lead, it will force the Titans to throw more than they like to.
- Rally to the ball. With no Bob Sanders for tonight's game, the defense must play together. They have been through a lot this season, but through it all you have seen ZERO finger pointing among the players (in stark contrast to Tennessee). Playing fast, hitting hard, and rallying to the ball are important. Tennessee will try to pound the ball with LenDale White and use Chris Johnson on runs, screens, and passing routes. We all have high praise for Johnson, and it is no surprise he is making an immediate impact in Tac Town. However, the Colts defense is the fastest in football, and when they play together they can destroy opponents.
- Jeff Saturday v. Albert Haynesworth. Albert Hayneswoth is a lazy, unreliable turd. He takes plays off and is a known malcontent. Prior to 2006, he was utter garbage. Then, in 2007, his contract was up. The Titans franchised him, and he played like a madman for a new contract. This past off-season, he was franchised again. Once this guy gets the pay day he has been playing for these last two years, he will revert to the lazy turd we all know he is. For the meantime, he is a legit Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and must be controlled at the line of scrimmage. Jeff Saturday will likely get the task of attacking Hayneswoth, and in Saturday there is no one better. We've seen the Colts use Jeff in this way before. Back in 2004, they moved Jeff to guard solely to match him up on then-dominant-DT Trevor Pryce in a playoffs game against Denver. Pryce got 1 tackle all game. We've seen him destroy cheap shot artist Vince Wolfork. Jeff Saturday is as good as it gets when it comes to attacking big, strong, fast DTs. This will be one of the better "trench battles" this league will see this season.
As always, for a Titans fan's perspective on things, hit Music City Miracles. I went there last week and answered some questions from Titans fans. I don't like game score predictions because they never show the opponent the right respect. And unlike LenDale White, the Colts (and this Colts fan) respect their opponent. The Titans are 6-0 for a reason. They are good. They are a playoff caliber team. They might even win the AFC South. Tennessee fans are looking at this game as an opportunity to get back at a team who has owned their team for years. They smell blood in the water. The Colts, meanwhile, look at this as just another opponent that must be beaten. The Titans are good, but just as good are the Patriots, Steelers, and Chargers (all on Indy's upcoming schedule). It is all about perspective folks.
The homer in me says the Colts will walk into the Titans' house and beat them. I just think Indy is better than Tennessee. The Colts have more talent, are better coached, and have more big game experience than the Titans. This year, they haven't played to their potential consistently and haven't gotten the breaks. Maybe tonight, they will play to their potential and do the little things well enough to beat a good club in their house. I think they well. But, then again, I'm just a homer.