For a second time in a three-week period, the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Tennessee Titans. This time around, though, the winner of Sunday’s matchup will take the lead in the AFC South.
Here are my bold predictions ahead of the Colts’ massive AFC South showdown against Tennessee.
- The Colts' offense will score over 30 points for a second straight game
Last Sunday’s offensive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars was by far the Colts’ best so far this season. Indianapolis’ offense totaled 434 yards and scored a season-high 34 points in their victory.
The Colts will be looking to find similar success on offense Sunday against the Titans. When these teams last played in Week 4, quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards, averaged 9.6 yards per attempt, and tossed two touchdowns with only one interception.
Ryan is coming off a season-high 389 passing yards and three touchdown performance. The ascension of Indianapolis’ young weapons, combined with better protection from the offensive line, is helping the offense find the kind of success they’ve been searching for.
Tennessee’s defense is surrendering an average of 23.6 points per game this season, so if Ryan has the kind of pass protection he did against Jacksonville, Indianapolis’ offense could be in for another big showing, especially with the potential return of running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines.
- The Colts’ defense will hold running back Derrick Henry to less than 100 rushing yards
Indianapolis’ run defense has been amongst the best in the NFL this season, but they struggled against Jacksonville’s rushing attack last Sunday, surrendering 243 yards on the ground, which is easily the most their defense has allowed all season.
Tennessee’s passing attack hasn’t been a strong point for much of the season, as their offense is only averaging 175.4 yards through the air per game. The absence of rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks leaves the Titans thin at wide receiver, meaning they may look to lean on Henry more, which is something the Colts’ defense may be able to take advantage of.
The Titans will try to take advantage of the Colts’ recent struggles defending the run. Running back Derrick Henry found success against the Colts back in Week 4, rushing for 114 yards on an average of 5.2 yards per carry. While slowing down one of the league’s best running backs will be no easy task, I’m predicting that Indianapolis’ run defense will be up to the challenge and hold Henry to less than 100 rushing yards.
- The Colts will come away with a close win and be in first place in the AFC South
To keep their playoff aspirations and hopes of winning the AFC South alive, a victory over Tennessee would go a long way in accomplishing both those goals.
24-17 was the final score back in Week 4 with the Titans coming away victorious over the Colts.
Though the teams are fairly evenly matched, the Titans have won four straight against the Colts. That being said, I’m giving the Colts the upper hand because of how their offense performed last Sunday. Ultimately, I think that will be the difference and will help Indianapolis come away with their third straight win and improve to 4-2-1 on the season.