The Colts and Titans will square off on Sunday in what will effectively be the first playoff game of the year. When these teams met six weeks ago in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck and the Colts controlled the game, winning 38-10. We wrote about how Indy’s offense was able to neutralize Tennessee’s inside pressure schemes with outside runs and plenty of play-action. We expect the Colts to attack with play-action and misdirection again on Sunday night.
In their previous matchup, the Titans were forced to play without Marcus Mariota in the second half. It looks like they’ll once again be without their starting quarterback against the Colts, this time with their season on the line. Blaine Gabbert has done a decent job filling in, but there is no question the Titans will have to lean heavily on running back Derrick Henry. Henry has been featured significantly more in the last three weeks, all wins for the Titans.
This task won’t necessarily be easy for the Titans as the Colts Defense ranks 6th in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt. We anticipate Tennessee attempting some play-action “shot” plays early in the game to try and loosen up Indy’s run defense. The Titans want to lean on their rushing attack and #2-ranked scoring defense to win, and that will be much easier to do if they can play with the lead.
Checkout how these teams match up below: