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2017 Opponent Scouting Report: Week 12, Titans Special Teams, A Prediction and Draft Watch

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NFL: Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On November 26, 2017 the Indianapolis Colts will host division rival Tennessee Titans. In this week twelve match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of what we’re up against.

Coming off of a 36-22 win in week six, the Titans hope to continue the success they found and grow it by way of finally healthy quarterback, Marcus Mariota. In our first game, the young signal caller was battling a bad hamstring. This week he appears completely healed and ready to give us everything he has. How that will impact the game is yet to be determined. Let’s figure out what we can expect in week twelve by taking a look back at week six.


Special Teams

Punter: Brett Kern, yes he actually played in week 6

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Mr. Kern wasn’t able to fully display his ability in week 6 as we only forced the Titans into one punt all day. It was a 44 yarder that landed inside the 20. If you’re the Titans you can’t complain about that result.

The goal this week should be to test Kern more than in week 6.


Kicker: Ryan Succop was perfect in week 6

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Without Ryan Succop going 8-8 on the day with both extra points and field goals the Titans likely lose the game. Succop was good last time and I see no reason to expect less this week.

Hopefully we see less Succop and more Kern and the good guys come out on top.


Returner: Adoree' Jackson and Eric Weems

Neither return man had a big day. Jackson did take a kick off for 40 but his other attempt only gained 6 yards. All in all not a great day for the rookie.

Weems returned two punts for 15 yards and a 7.5 yard average. That’s absolutely respectable but hardly intimidating. Hopefully we give Jackson far more opportunities than Weems.


Final Thoughts for The Week

Everything I’m about to say is based on the idea that the Colts coaching staff wont be stupid enough to repeat the same mistakes they made earlier in the year. That might be asking for too much.

The Indianapolis Colts should win this game.

I know that might sound crazy, a 3-7 team should beat a 6-4 team but the Titans just don’t match up well with our Colts. The only reason the Titans escaped week 6 with a win was because OC Rob Chudzinski abandoned a very successful rushing attack in the 2nd half, inexplicably only drawing up 5 designed runs over the last 29 minutes of the game.

The Titans defense is bad. Adoree Jackson is looking more and more like a reach of a 1st round pick with each passing week. They have a couple decent players on that side of the ball but as a unit they aren’t exactly head of the class. There is absolutely no reason the Colts should lose this game.


Prediction

Titans 17

Colts 20

Since I’ve started giving these predictions I’m 9-1 on picking the winner, with my sole incorrect pick coming a day before the Texans lost their starting QB for the year(so does that really count?). Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve predicted Colts games (not scores) pretty well. This game, however, is the least sure of any game I’ve picked all year. The Colts should win. The defense has played well, the Titans defense is trash. The only thing that will prevent this prediction from happening is the Chuck Pagano led coaching staff. Until that changes, this game could go either way.


Draft Watch

This segment will keep an eye on our draft positioning as the year progresses. No, I’m not suggesting that we throw the season or that we should all look forward to the draft. Rather I hope that this will allow us all to be aware of next off-season and realize how much our 2018 outlook can change from week to week.

I would like to point out a really cool site that covers the NBA, NHL and NFL: Tankathon. It has a funny name but it serves a cool purpose, weeding out tie breakers to show who is slated to draft where.

2018 Colts Draft Position Post Week Three:

5th Overall

Tankathon has the Broncos strength of schedule as worse than ours which is why they’re higher (lower?) on the list than we are. Let’s take a look at other teams vying for a top 5 pick.

  • Cleveland, 0-10 - It doesn’t matter who they play, they’re getting at worst the 2nd overall pick.
  • San Francisco, 1-9 - Jimmy Garoppolo is going to play at some point this season and when he does, I do believe he’ll propel the 49ers to a late season victory or two. Currently they’re 1-9 and in very little danger of dropping out of the top 3 picks, regardless of late season wins.
  • New York Giants, 2-8 - The Giants play the Redskins, Raiders, Cowboys, Eagles and Cardinals in the coming weeks. I see 4 out of those 5 games being winnable. They wont win all 4, but the Giants are a team that might play themselves out of the top 5 given a weak late season schedule.
  • Denver, 3-7 - The only team with a weaker schedule over the next 5 weeks than the Giants are the Broncos. Their next 5; Raiders, Dolphins, Jets, Colts, Redskins. A lot of their success or failure as a team down the stretch is going to depend on Paxton Lynch’s ability to play NFL football. The Broncos made the call this week that they’re going to give the second year pro a chance to start. Either way the Broncos could quite literally stumble into 2-3 wins over the next five weeks, falling outside the top 5.
  • Indianapolis, 3-7 - Hey, it’s us! Our next five games come against the Titans, Jags, Bills, Broncos and Ravens. I believe we’re going to be looking at 2 possibly 3 wins from this group of games. If that happens we’re going to be looking at a top 10 pick, rather than top 5. Like it or not, that would be a good thing. It means the guys we actually have on our team have come together and are playing well as a team. Even if we miss out on an “elite” prospect but we start to win games, the wins are better than the speculation in the long run.
  • Chicago, 3-7 - The Bears next five: Eagles, 49ers, Bengals, Lions and Browns. There are at least two wins in that bunch for a Bears team that seems to be gradually improving. Don’t get me wrong they could just as easily drop all 5 games, but I do expect to see a win against the 49ers and Browns with the Bengals being a possibility.

A ton of teams sit at 4-6 and any of them could lose out, our Colts could win out (not likely) so anything can happen. Based on our team and the teams around us right now, I feel good about our prospects of drafting in the top 5 at best and 7-10 range at worst.

A lot of people will get sucked into looking forward to the off season, I’m excited about Black Monday too, but don’t forget to enjoy the last half of the season. The off season is long and at times hardly bearable for a football fan. Remember how every year people get excited to watch football players do drills against air? They do that so they can play in these crappy games down the stretch. Don’t forget to enjoy the fact that there’s football left.

Enjoy the rest of the season and the theater that is the NFL.