The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans prepare to face off with identical 2-3 records and with a chance to play their way into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC South. The loser will be alone in last.
There are some positive things to note as Indianapolis heads into Nashville that could help their chances to pull out a big win. One is that there is a good match-up between the Colts defensive strength against the run and the Titans offensive scheme that features it. Another is that quarterback Marcus Mariota may still be recovering from a hamstring injury that could keep him inside the pocket much more than he traditionally does and that could take away from some of Tennessee’s option looks. Finally, if the Colts offensive line can manage to keep Jacoby Brissett clean, this secondary is not one of the strong units the team has faced this season and T.Y. Hilton has typically had big games in this divisional match-up.
There are also some surprises that could limit one of the healthiest versions of the Colts have put out on the field in quite some time.
It is interesting, despite coaching rhetoric this week, that the Colts rookie second round cornerback Quincy Wilson is a healthy scratch. Granted, the big threat for the Titans is on the ground and not through the air but it was assumed that the primary corners on the roster would all be healthy and able to rotate in the game for the first time this season. This decision takes away from that depth.
On the other hand, it is fair and accurate to point out that Wilson is not a special teams contributor and those who are dressing in his place play bigger roles in that capacity.
The backup DBs who are active -- Milton, Green, Desir, Moore -- are key sp teams players. Sp teams MATTER.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) October 16, 2017
Tarell Basham has been seeing a reduction in his snaps and earning some critical comments from coaches, so it isn’t entirely surprising to see him as a healthy scratch. That said, it is scary to consider how little depth the Colts have at outside linebacker with what will now likely be a three-man rotation that includes Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, and Barkevious Mingo. Heaven forbid any one of them get hurt today.
The remainder of the inactive list includes players who we knew wouldn’t play like Andrew Luck and Anthony Walker, or those who are not overly surprising to see relegated to street clothes. Jack Doyle’s return to the lineup makes Henry Kriger-Coble unecessary, Isaiah Williams is likely not anywhere close to ready to contribute even if the Colts needed him, and it is a good sign for Marlon Mack’s health to Jones is also able to simply watch the game.
Second-year offensive lineman Le’Raven Clark will get his first start of the season at right guard for Jack Mewhort — who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. It has been noted that he earned some recognition in college at guard before moving out to tackle. It will be interesting to see how that move works, particularly after last season featured Clark at tackle and Joe Haeg at guard.
There are a lot of reasons to tune in to this game as a Colts fan. Once again we’ll see different players getting opportunities to make an impact on the game. This is a pretty serious game for the Colts young season and could go a long way in helping keep things close enough for Luck to have a chance when he makes his return.
8:30 PM ET on Monday, October 16, 2017
Nissan Stadium — Nashville, TN
ESPN (Monday Night Football) — Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (sideline)
WFNI (107.5FM/1070 The Fan) and WLHK (Country 97.1 Hank FM) — Bob Lamey, Jim Sorgi, Matt Taylor (sideline)
Westwood One — Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Laura Okmin (sideline)
TV National Broadcast Map
See which games will be shown in your area, from 506Sports.com.
Walt Anderson. He is in his 22nd year of NFL officiating.
Over/Under: TBD | Spread: TBD (topbet)