NFL Game of the Week: Colts vs. Titans
Week 10 in the NFL is officially underway on Thursday night, as the battle for supremacy in the AFC South takes center stage. The 5-3 Indianapolis Colts head to Nashville to take on the 6-2 Tennessee Titans. The Colts lead the overall series 34-17, but Tennessee was able to pull off the series sweep in 2019.
These two teams haven’t had a lot of hype surrounding them, but each has found a winning formula to begin the season. After failing to make the playoffs last season, the Colts are riding the veteran leadership of Philip Rivers and making a run for the division crown, while the Titans are looking to ride the momentum of last year’s AFC championship birth and make a Super Bowl run.
Even after losing two of their last three games, the Titans are still one of the better teams in the AFC. After struggling on defense for the majority of the season, they got back on track against the Chicago Bears, allowing 17 points and forcing two turnovers. The newest addition to the team at the trade deadline, cornerback Desmond King, paid dividends immediately with two tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Despite the struggles on defense, the Titans offense has been rumbling along, scoring 29 points per game and finding ways to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown.
Over the last five or so years, the Indianapolis Colts have been mediocre on defense, relying on great offensive performance to remain competitive. That narrative is beginning to flip, as the Colts are No. 1 in total defense after nine weeks of football. Darius Leonard is one of the elite linebackers in the league with the ability to travel sideline to sideline and pairs nicely with fellow linebacker Anthony Walker. The additions of DeForest Buckner and Xavier Rhodes have provided veteran leadership and have made this defensive unit one of the most feared in the NFL.
The Colts offense was playing lights out in recent weeks, putting up 41 points against the Detroit Lions and 31 against the Cincinnati Bengals. They fell back to earth last week as they put up an underwhelming effort of 10 points against the ferocious defense of the Baltimore Ravens. Still, Rivers has been able to keep the offense afloat with the disappearing act of T.Y. Hilton and the slow transitions for rookies Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. into the NFL.
Despite the dominating performance from the Colts defense this season, the Titans grinded out a close victory last week and will ride that momentum into Thursday night. Look for Ryan Tannehill to feed Henry early and often, opening up for the play-action pass and providing the dagger late. It’s also important to note the Titans are 4-1 when playing at home this season.
Prediction: Titans 24, Colts 21
Austin Boley is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Broadcast Journalism