INDIANAPOLIS – The first half of the Colts 2016 AFC South schedule concludes on Sunday afternoon in Nashville.
Looking for their first divisional win of 2016, the Colts (2-4) will take on the Titans (3-3) at 1:00 p.m. ET.
What are the key ingredients to victory, presented by Papa Johns, when the Colts (2-4) take on the Titans (3-3) in Week Seven?
1. Stay Disciplined
-In preparing for the multiplicity of the Titans' zone-read running game, the Colts have to be ready for so many different options. That's why gap responsibility and discipline within the scheme must be prevalent throughout the game. Such unpredictability in how the Titans will attack you in the run game makes the prep this week very unique for the Colts.
2. Luck's New Buddies
-Andrew Luck will be throwing the ball to some new faces on Sunday. Injuries at the skill positions have Luck working with names like Swoope, Rogers, Smith and Street this week. There aren't many jerseys with those names on it at your local pro shop. However, if the Colts are going to leave Nashville with their first divisional win of the season, those guys will have to make plays.
3. Complete 60-Minute Task
-That has been the message from Chuck Pagano this week. Being a three-quarter football team isn't going to lead to the Colts digging themselves out of their current hole. When the Colts create an opportunity to put teams away, they have to take full advantage of that. Last week's loss was so significant for many reasons. The Colts cannot afford to squander any of those chances, sitting at 2-4 with 10 games now left.
4. Different Defensive Line Depth
-Henry Anderson is week-to-week with a knee injury. Zach Kerr has missed practice for a second straight week. The defensive line group has been pretty healthy this season, but that has changed this week. That's why Arthur Jones' return last week was really important. The Colts will also need young guys Hassan Ridgeway and T.Y. McGill to be reliable with Tennessee wanting to ground and pound their way offensively.
5. More Line Shuffling?
-Starting left guard Jack Mewhort (tricep) has yet to practice this week. That's of major concern for the team's most consistent lineman this season. If Mewhort misses Sunday, the Colts would likely slide the versatile Joe Reitz back into the starting lineup. Reitz could go back to his normal right tackle spot, with Joe Haeg moving over to left guard, a spot he played at times this offseason.
6. Vinny's Value
-41 up. 41 good. That is the current streak for Adam Vinatieri. In Houston last week, Vinny banged home another three more, bringing himself just one field goal away from Mike Vanderjagt's NFL record streak of 42 straight makes. With a depleted skill group this week, the Colts could need Vinny a few more times this weekend.
7. Time Is Now
-It's foreign territory for the Colts. A 2-4 start, along with losing their first two divisional games of 2016, is something this franchise and regime has rarely encountered. The Colts really cannot afford another divisional loss. With 10 games remaining, the Colts have to feel like a 7-3 record the rest of the way would put them in the playoff picture, given the early look at the AFC with only New England on very stable ground for their postseason fate.