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2019 Opponent Scouting Report: Titans Special Teams, final thoughts and a prediction

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NFL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On September 15, 2019 the Indianapolis Colts will travel to the Music City to take on the Tennessee Titans. In this Week 2 match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our Colts.

Since moving from Houston to Nashville these two teams have met 35 times and the Colts overall record in that span is 26 wins to 9 losses. And in the last decade the record between these two teams is 17 wins to 3 losses. You might hear people say that division opponents are the toughest games on every teams schedule, history shows us, that’s just not true. Hopefully the Colts can continue this run of dominance over the Titans.

Let’s figure out what we can expect in Week 2.


Special Teams


Kicker:

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Cairo Santos Started his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. During his time there he was a promising young kicker that had won over fans. Early in his fourth season he suffered an injury and the Chiefs brought in Harrison Butker and well, Butker was even better.

Since 2017 Santos has spent time playing for the Chiefs, Bears, Rams, Buccaneers and now the Titans. Despite his five stops in just over two seasons, Santos has hit 80% of his field goals. He has also hit 98% of his extra point tries in the same span.

At this point Colts fans would be very happy with those types of numbers. Hopefully this one doesn’t come down to our kicking game.


Punter:

NFL: Preseason-New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Kern was the tenth most used punter in the league last year, which means he had a lot of opportunities to show off his ability. He finished the year tenth in net yards per punt and second with 39 punts downed inside the 20.

Kern is an excellent punter capable of impacting the game by helping the Titans win the field position battle. While I hope he isn’t pinning the Colts inside the 20, I do hope we see a lot of Brett Kern on Sunday.


Returner:

NFL: Preseason-Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Jennings, Adoree Jackson and Adam Humphries could all be active in the return game on Sunday. Humphries is listed as the teams punt returner while Jennings and Jackson will be active after all 24 of the touchdowns the Colts will score (let me dream).

Jennings has had a lot of success as a returner in the past while Jackson is a rare athlete in a league of rare athletes. Humphries is a solid, dependable returner with a career average of 8.3 yards per punt return.

Once again, I don’t foresee the return game being what tips the scales of this game. With that said the Titans do have three returners capable of impacting the game if given the opportunity.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

The Titans aren’t going to roll over and wave a white flag just because they’ve had a rough decade trying to beat our Colts. I assume this Titans team will come out determined to get a win over an opponent they probably believe are weaker without it’s former star quarterback. After watching their week one game and reading the post week one articles that have been written, I really hope this Titans team is believing it’s own hype.

If the Titans play as well on Sunday as they played for the first 43 minutes against the Browns and the Colts play as well as they did for the last 30 minutes against the Chargers, the Colts will win this one in a potentially low scoring, but dominate way. If this isn’t the case the game could go either way but the Titans aren’t as good as their week one score would have you believe and the Colts are better than a lot of teams sitting at 1-0, let alone 0-1.

The Titans could win this game, they have the talent to do so, but with the roster Chris Ballard has assembled and the Frank Reich led coaching staff, I don’t think the Titans pull this one out without some truly unforeseeable circumstances.


Prediction

Colts 27

Titans 17