Coming from somewhere deep below the earth, it’s the Titans v. Colts preview, sponsored by Diet Dr. Rupert. It’s drinkable!
This is it Titans fans, the real season, when the contenders are separated from the pretenders. This is when we will know what this team is.
The Titans are not without injuries this week. It appears that Rishard Matthews could miss this game, as he is a game time decision, which could be a huge lose. The team did activate Harry Douglas, however, I cannot imagine that he has too much effect on this game, or even the season.
For the offense this week I expect the Titans to play fairly conservative. I do not think that they want Marcus Mariota throwing forty times. The Colts defense is pretty banged up, so perhaps Mularkey thinks he can get the running game going, although I am not too optimistic.
I am of the opinion that DeMarco Murray is done. I hate it for him, but he’s been so bad during the last few weeks, that I have lost all faith. I would love it if Derrick Henry could take over, but he’s also been bad at times. Honestly, I think the best bet would be to just run Henry a lot and hope he gets into a rhythm. I remember at Alabama he would have pedestrian first halves, and then explode in the second half once he started to feel the flow.
However, the interior offensive line will have to play substantially better if they want to get anything going. Quinton Spain played like garbage last week, so obviously he will have to improve. The Colts defensive line is not anywhere near the level of the Steelers, so they should be able to do something. I expect there to be some open running lanes, and for the pass protection to be good.
As for the passing offense, I think they will try to run some high completion percentage passes, and maybe try to get the screen game going. I can see them wanting to get Mariota’s confidence up. The Colts secondary has not been great this year, and they are missing their first round pick, Malik Hooker, so there should be some opportunities. However Corey Davis really has to show up, especially if Mathews is out. I think the passing game could start to click this week if Mathews is able to play. However, if not, I can see them struggling.
Overall I think the offense will be fairly conservative and play not to lose. The Colts have some issues on defense so maybe the Titans can get going. But who knows with this team.
The Titans defense has actually played well for the bulk of the season, and I expect them to have a decent game here.
The Colts have an average running game lead by veteran Frank Gore. He can get yards and be effective, but at this point in his career, Gore will not win any games by himself. Marlon Mack can also be effective, and he might be a great back in the future, but right now he is a little too inconsistent. I expect the Colts runners to have some moments, but overall be kept in check.
As for the Colts passing game, I think it is all about containing TY Hilton. I think the Titans did a great job of this last game. If I remember correctly, it was Adoree’ Jackson and Logan Ryan who spent the majority of the game on Hilton. If the Titans can do what they did last time (one reception for 19 yards) then they should not have too many issues with this Colts passing game.
I expect Jayon Brown to cover Jack Doyle, and I thought he did a good job last time. Furthermore, Donte Moncrief could be a concern, but he is also somewhat inconsistent.
Finally, I am slightly concerned over Jacoby Brissett. He actually did have a decent game against the team a few weeks ago, and has played well during the season. But I think if the Titans can apply consistent pressure on him, then they should be fine. They really need to get Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Jurrell Casey going. If they can get the pass rush going and lock down Hilton, then the Titans defense should not have too many problems.
The Titans have not beaten the Colts in Indianapolis in what must be a lifetime. But this is not a good Colts team. In fact, they may have gotten worse since the first meeting between the two teams. The Titans have to win this game if they want to make the playoffs. Thus, there is no denying that this is a must win. If they lose here, it’s over.
Division games can be weird, and you never know what will happen, but I do know that I still hate the fucking Colts and I want the Titans to humiliate them. Fuck the Colts!