2019 Colts Season Preview: Colts/Titans, Week 2

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts remain on the road to start their 2019 regular season in Week 2 in what will be the first of two regular season matchups against the Tennessee Titans.

The Colts swept Tennessee in 2018, and their Sunday Night Football matchup in Week 17 was a winner-take-all affair in which the Colts advanced to the playoffs and the Titans' season was over. With this, their first face-off since that night in Nashville, it should be a rowdy atmosphere from the Titans' faithful.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. ET
  • Nashville, Tenn.; Nissan Stadium
  • TV: CBS

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 33-15 (0-1 in the playoffs), and have won the last two matchups. The Colts have won 13 of the last 15 dating back to 2011.
  • Last game — Week 17 of 2018. Colts won, 33-17.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Titans:

  • HC Mike Vrabel
  • OC Arthur Smith
  • DC Dean Pees
  • STC Craig Aukerman

KEY NEW FACES

Colts:

  • DE/LB Ben Banogu
  • WR Parris Campbell
  • WR Devin Funchess
  • DE Justin Houston
  • CB Rock Ya-Sin

Titans:

  • WR A.J. Brown
  • OG Nate Davis
  • WR Adam Humphries
  • OG Rodger Saffold
  • DT Jeffery Simmons
  • ED Cameron Wake

OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

Colts:

  • Overall, this was a pretty quiet offseason for the Colts for a change. It was about building onto and shaping the current roster rather than shaking things up or making sweeping changes. Former starting receivers Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman both departed in free agency, and veterans Mike Mitchell and Al Woods also were not re-signed by the team. Offensive lineman Matt Slauson retired following a 10-year career.

Titans:

  • For the fourth time in the last five years, the Titans will have a new offensive coordinator. After Matt LaFleur left to be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, former Titans tight ends coach Arthur Smith now replaces him as coordinator.
  • Normally a backup quarterback situation wouldn't be much to report on, but with Marcus Mariota's injury history (he hasn't played a full season in his four years), the Titans' offseason trade for former Miami Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill is noteworthy. If Mariota can't stay healthy, then does Tannehill carve out a role?
  • The Titans are also now without tight end Luke Stocker and safety Johnathan Cyprien, both of whom played significant roles at some point for Tennessee.
  • Last but not least, after a 2018 second-half surge in which he averaged 146.3 rushing yards and 1.8 touchdowns over the last four weeks, Derrick Henry is expected to be the focal point of the Titans' offense.

EARLY STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • The Colts vs. Marcus Mariota — Mariota has missed two matchups against the Colts in his career due to injury and has been knocked out of a couple others. We haven't gotten many opportunities to see Andrew Luck vs. Marcus Mariota showdowns, so perhaps this could be one of them.
  • First AFC South Tilt Of The Season — The Colts, Titans and Houston Texans all went down to the wire for playoff position late last season, and the Jacksonville Jaguars had an uncharacteristically poor year. It seems likely they'll come back toward the middle, so each AFC South matchup this season matters. There is clear importance to the Colts notching one in the "win" column in the divisional standings this early in the season.
  • Early-Season Road Matchups — The Colts start out the season the week before out in Los Angeles against the Chargers, and they remain on the road in Week 2. While they get two road matchups out of the way right off the bat, it'll also test them early.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Titans CB Adoree' Jackson — Jackson did not have a good time against the Colts last year, especially when matched up with Hilton. In the two matchups, Jackson alowed 13 catches (16 targets) for 223 yards (17.2 avg) and two touchdowns. Hilton accounted for nine of those catches for 164 yards (18.2 avg) and both scores.
  • Colts OTs Anthony Castonzo/Braden Smith vs. Titans EDs Cameron Wake/Harold Landry — The Colts have a really nice pair of tackles in Castonzo and Smith, but they'll be up against one of the best pass rushing tandems the Titans have put on the field in awhile. Wake is one of the NFL's most accomplished sack artists over the last decade, and like Smith, Landry will be looking to make a sophomore jump.
  • Colts DE Justin Houston vs. Titans OT Taylor Lewan — If you like watching a couple of tough, scrappy dudes battle rep after rep, then this one will be for you. These two will likely drive each other nuts all day with their blend of smarts, power and athleticism.
  • Colts CB Pierre Desir vs. Titans WR Corey Davis — Desir has done a great job in his time with the Colts of matching up with opposing receivers who possess size and length, and this will be a tall task against Davis. Heading into Year 3, Davis, a former top-five draft pick is expected to take another big step forward and firmly establish himself as Tennessee's top dog.

BETTING LINE

RETURNING LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Andrew Luck (4,593 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (908 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (1,270 yards)
  • Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (14)
  • Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (163)
  • Sacks — DL Denico Autry (9.0)
  • Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (3)

Titans:

  • Passing — QB Marcus Mariota (2,528 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Derrick Henry (1,059 yards)
  • Receiving — WR Corey Davis (891 yards)
  • Touchdowns — RB Derrick Henry (12)
  • Tackles — LB Wesley Woodyard (113)
  • Sacks — DT Jurrell Casey (7.0)
  • Interceptions — S Kevin Byard (4)

COMPARING 2018 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 7th (386.2 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 5th (27.1 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 6th (278.8 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed — 1st (18)
  • Running offense — 20th (107.4 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 1st (48.6%)
  • Red zone offense — 5th (67.1%)
  • Total defense — 11th (339.4 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 10th (21.5 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 16th (237.8 YPG)
  • Sacks — Tied-19th (38)
  • Running defense — 8th (101.6 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 23rd (41%)
  • Red zone defense — 11th (55.1%)
  • Time of possession — 18th (30:05)
  • Turnover differential — Tied-13th (2)

Titans:

  • Total offense — 25th (312.4 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 27th (19.4 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 29th (185.9 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed — Tied-22nd (47)
  • Running offense — 7th (126.4 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 15th (40%)
  • Red zone offense — 23rd (53.2%)
  • Total defense — 8th (333.4 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 3rd (18.9 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 6th (216.9 YPG)
  • Sacks — Tied-16th (39)
  • Running defense — 18th (116.4 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 10th (37%)
  • Red zone defense — 2nd (44.7%)
  • Time of possession — 21st (29:47)
  • Turnover differential — 21st (-1)

NOTES

  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has never lost to the Titans, holding a record of 11-0 after the Colts swept the Titans in 2018. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to boast an 11-0 record against a single opponent.

Other 2019 Colts Season Previews:

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