INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts (6-5) are back at home this week to host the visiting Tennessee Titans (6-5).
The two teams are competing for a playoff spot as they sit with the same record, and their most recent victory is over the same opponent in the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts are coming off of a tough loss to AFC South foe Houston Texans while the Titans just won a lopsided affair over Jacksonville.
The Colts' narrowly won a 19-17 matchup down in Tennessee in Week 2, so they currently hold an edge on the season. Let's take a look at this week's matchup.
Last week, the Titans completely whalloped the Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, pulling ahead in the second half (28 points in the third quarter) en route to a 42-20 triumph. The Colts also beat Jacksonville, 33-13, at home in Week 11.
Jaguars' Passing Game
In his second game back after injuring his collarbone in Week 1, Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles went 32-of-48 passing (66.7 percent) for 272 yards (5.7 YPA), no touchdowns or interceptions, and he was sacked three times (Rashaan Evans, Harold Landry III, Kenny Vaccaro) for a passer rating of 81.3.
Foles' leading receivers were a familiar cast, as receiver Dede Westbrook caught eight passes for 69 yards (8.6 avg.), running back Leonard Fournette caught nine passes for 62 yards (6.9 avg.), receiver Chris Conley caught four passes for 49 yards (12.3 avg.) while top receiver D.J. Chark Jr. caught five passes for 38 yards (7.6 avg.).
Jaguars' Run Game
Jacksonville's top running back, Fournette, ran the ball 24 times for 97 yards (4.0 avg.) and two touchdowns while the team totaled 117 yards on 27 carries (4.3 avg.) and two scores.
Titans' Passing Game
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill had an outstanding, efficient game, completing 14-of-18 passes (77.8 percent) for 259 yards (14.4 YPA), two touchdowns, no interceptions, and he was sacked just once for a near-perfect passer rating of 155.8.
Rookie receiver A.J. Brown led the way for Tannehill through the air, catching four balls for 135 yards (33.8 avg.) and a 65-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Fellow receiver Corey Davis added a pair of receptions for 29 yards (14.5 avg.).
Titans' Run Game
Sunday was another huge day for running back Derrick Henry, who rumbled for 159 yards on 19 carries (8.4 avg.) and two touchdowns, one of which was on a 74-yard run. Tannehill added seven carries for 40 yards (5.7 avg.) and a pair of scores. As a team, Tennessee ran the ball 33 times for 219 yards (6.6 avg.) and four touchdowns.
Titans' Passing Game
The Titans have been on a roll since Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback in Week 7. They are 4-1 since then after beginning 2-4, they average 29.4 points per game as opposed to 16.3 before, 237.6 passing yards per game now after averaging 187.7 before, and they are sacked 2.8 times per game now after being sacked 4.8 times per game previously. While Tennessee's receivers have had a very inconsistent season, they definitely have a couple of playmakers in Davis and Brown. The Colts will need to be wary there after allowing big games last week to DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V.
The Colts' pass defense has been solid overall, with last week appearing to be an outlier. Since Week 8, no opponent has reached 300 net passing yards, and three of them didn't reach 200. The Colts currently have 26 sacks on the season, which ranks tied for 19th. If they can have a healthier backfield with Pierre Desir and Rock Ya-Sin back then that should be a boost.
In Week 2, Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota went 19-of-28 passing (67.9 percent) for 154 yards (5.5 YPA) and one touchdown, and was sacked four times for a passer rating of 93.5. Tight end Delanie Walker led the team with four catches for 39 yards (9.8 avg.) while Davis and Brown combined for six catches for 63 yards (10.5 avg.).
- QB Ryan Tannehill — 72.1 percent completions, 1,420 yards, 9.2 YPA, 10 TD, 4 INT, 18 sacks
- WR A.J. Brown — 31 catches (50 targets), 581 yards (18.7 avg.), 4 TD
- WR Corey Davis — 30 catches (48 targets), 403 yards (13.4 avg.), 2 TD
- WR Adam Humphries — 36 catches (45 targets), 361 yards (10.0 avg.), 1 TD
- TE Delanie Walker — 21 catches (31 targets), 215 yards (10.2 avg.), 2 TD
Titans' Run Game
Henry has been a monster lately, running for 347 yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries (8.3 avg.) in the last two games. His 991 yards on the season currently ranks fourth in the NFL. As a team, the Titans rank 11th with 122.8 rushing yards per game.
The Colts continue to smother opponents on the ground, so this will be a battle of two strengths. Since Week 5, the Colts are only allowing 76.7 rushing yards per game, which would rank first in the NFL if it were their number for the whole season.
In Week 2, Henry ran for 82 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries (5.5 avg.) as the team totaled 124 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries (5.2 avg.).
- RB Derrick Henry — 206 carries, 991 yards (4.8 avg.), 10 TD
- QB Ryan Tannehill — 26 carries, 123 yards (4.7 avg.), 3 TD
- RB Dion Lewis — 26 carries, 98 yards (3.8 avg.)
- QB Marcus Mariota — 24 carries, 129 yards (5.4 avg.)
Colts' Passing Game
Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett suffered a minor knee injury in Week 9 and missed the following game before returning against the Jaguars in Week 11. In the two games since returning, he's averaged 15.5-of-24.5 passing (63.3 percent) for 138.5 yards (5.7 YPA), has thrown one touchdown and one interception, and was sacked four times for a passer rating of 76.7. He also ran the ball six times for 32 yards (5.3 avg.) and two touchdowns. And although the Colts have now lost tight end Eric Ebron (IR-ankles) for the season, they could be getting a couple of weapons back soon in receivers Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell.
The Titans' defense ranks near the bottom of the league in passing and red-zone scoring, so it could lead to a fruitful day for Brissett, at least from a touchdown standpoint.
Back in the Week 2 matchup, Brissett went 17-of-28 (60.7 percent) passing for 146 yards (5.2 YPA), with three touchdowns, one interception, and was sacked three times for a passer rating of 95.2.
- QB Jacoby Brissett — 64.6 percent completions, 1,926 yards, 6.8 YPA, 15 TD, 4 INT, 16 sacks
- WR T.Y. Hilton — 35 catches (52 targets), 378 yards (10.8 avg.), 5 TD
- TE Eric Ebron — 31 catches (52 targets), 375 yards (12.1 avg.), 3 TD
- RB Nyheim Hines — 32 catches (43 targets), 252 yards (7.9 avg.)
- TE Jack Doyle — 30 catches (42 targets), 304 yards (10.1 avg.), 3 TD
Colts' Run Game
The Colts will be without starting running back Marlon Mack once again this week as the offense likely leans on Jonathan Williams, who has back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. They rank third overall in rushing (144.2 YPG), and have eight games with at least 100 yards rushing this season, including five with at least 150. Alongside Williams, expect Nyheim Hines to get some carries like the nine that he did last week in Mack's absence. They could also use Jordan Wilkins, who is a week removed from returning from an ankle injury but had no touches last week.
The Titans' run defense is a respectable unit, ranking 12th overall (103.8 YPG) and eighth in opponent yards per carry. However, it's obviously what the Colts want to do in order to win a game, so something's got to give.
In Week 2, Mack ran the ball 20 times for 51 yards (2.6 avg.), and Wilkins had five carries for 82 yards including a 55-yard run. As a team, they ran the ball 34 times for 167 yards (4.9 avg.).
- RB Marlon Mack — 192 carries, 862 yards (4.5 avg.), 4 TD
- QB Jacoby Brissett — 43 carries, 142 yards (3.3 avg.), 3 TD
- RB Jonathan Williams — 41 carries, 221 yards (5.4 avg.), 1 TD
- RB Nyheim Hines — 34 carries, 128 yards (3.8 avg.), 1 TD
TITANS' 2019 KEY STATS
- 1st in red-zone scoring (72.4 percent)
- Tied-4th in passing yards per attempt (8.3)
- Tied-6th in rushing yards per carry (4.7)
- 9th in turnover differential (+4)
- 24th in total offense (333.2 YPG)
- 25th in passing (210.4 YPG)
- Tied-25th in third-down conversions (34 percent) and 29th in fourth-down conversions (20 percent)
- 27th in time of possession (28:31)
- 8th in rushing yards per carry (4.0 avg.)
- Tied-9th in scoring (19.7 PPG)
- 10th in third-down conversions (36 percent)
- 24th in pass defense (255.6 YPG)
- 30th in red-zone scoring (64.5 percent)