The Indianapolis Colts will finish their annual series with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and interestingly, the game is loaded with storylines that will make it worth watching. Let’s break down the key elements:
1. Opportunity for a Series Sweep:
- A Colts win would seal the franchise’s first sweep against the Titans since 2018.
- If the Colts sweep the series, it will definitively end what had been a period of dominance for the Titans, who had won five straight before they lost in Indianapolis this October, including sweeping the season series in 2021 and 2022.
2. Denico Autry’s Consistent Success Post-Colts:
- Autry’s performance since leaving the Colts has been notable. He has at least eight sacks for a third straight season, which would currently lead the Colts in sacks.
- He has been a factor for the Titans' defense since he joined, especially against the Colts, and will remain one of the biggest blemishes on General Manager Chris Ballard’s record in managing in-house free agent opportunities.
3. Grover Stewart’s Absence and Its Impact:
- The Colts will miss Grover Stewart, who will serve the last of his six-game suspension for performance-enhancing substances.
- His absence has been felt in a big way for the Colts’ run defense, and there is no question the Titans will look to take advantage of Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears.
4. Will the real Will Levis please stand up:
- One narrative coming into this game is that Will Levis has a 2-0 home record, with nice stats in those contests.
- Those wins came against the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons. The former just fired their first-year head coach, and the latter has been an abject disaster all season.
- Levis managed only six points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom the Colts just beat, lost by 20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and lost to a Pittsburgh Steelers with remaining questions of their own at quarterback.
- Don’t be surprised to see Gus Bradley dial up the pressure and look to give Levis some looks that could create turnovers.
5. The Colts have a scoring advantage:
- The Indianapolis Colts have had one of the league’s best scoring offenses this season, tied for eighth overall, which is incredible given the quarterback situation and a first-year head coach.
- The Titans have struggled to score. They’re sitting at 27th in the league, scoring slightly less than 17 points per game on average for the season, and have averaged just over 12 points in their last three games.
6. Matt Ryan’s Shot at Redemption:
- Former Colts quarterback Matt Ryan, who led the team in 2022, will return in a different role, as he will be in the CBS broadcast booth calling the game.
- It will be interesting to listen to his perspective, given that he has played with many members of the current Colts roster. Ryan’s insights could give viewers a deeper understanding of the team’s dynamics and strategies.
- This will be Ryan’s first time covering a Colts matchup since joining CBS as an announcer, making it a special moment.
- If the Colts win, it will be the first time he’s been at a game where the Colts beat the Titans.