Steve Ovenden (@HappyHappySteve) believes the Colts could edge an important game in the AFC South
Week 13 is here and the Colts are welcoming the Tennessee Titans to Lucas Oil in another big AFC South game. The winner of this match could see one of these two lead the division by the end of the weekend should Houston lose to New England. This is another big game for the Colts especially after losing yet another close game. Last time out it was Thursday Night Football against the Texans and a 20 – 17 loss for the Colts which came in the same week that the Titans blew out division rivals Jacksonville with a 42 – 20 victory, which will certainly give them a confidence boost going into this one.
The Colts are all about the run these days. “Run The Damn Ball” isn’t just a catchphrase in Indy, it seems to be a way of life. The last few weeks has seen some excellent run performances, Marlon Mack with 109 yards against the Jags and Jonathan Williams rushing for 114 yards in the same game then getting 104 yards in the Texans loss. Mack didn’t play against Houston and is still out this week against Tennessee. This will mean Williams will be leant on to make the majority of the plays. As strong as the run is, the Colts could very well become very one dimensional and with 100+ yard games not lasting forever, it won’t be long before teams are stopping Indy in their tracks. It is easy to see why they are relying on such tactics, the pass has taken personnel hits lately and is becoming a problem. T.Y Hilton, after a lack of impact against Houston, will be out yet again with the recurrence of that calf injury and he will now be assessed week by week to see if he can play. Rookie Parris Campbell has been missing with a hand injury and is a possibility for Sunday and veteran receiver Devin Funchess is still not ready to come back after the broken clavicle he suffered in week 1 of the season. The Colts receiving situation was once again hurt this week with Tight End Eric Ebron being placed on the Injured Reserve list after suffering all season with an ankle injury. Ebron has said enough for the season and this is another receiving option gone for Indy. Tight End duties will now fall heavier on Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox.
For however good the run has been for the Colts lately, can they defend it? Regardless of what has happened in previous games, the defence will certainly have to be on their toes in this one. Derrick Henry is the name on everybody’s lips with a couple of mighty games under his belt. A total of 347 yards on 42 carries over the last two games has certainly made an impact on the Titans rise up the division. Henry will be a test for this Colts defence but maybe not an impossible one. Indy are averaging 76.7 yards allowed per game against the rush since week 5, which is a positive figure in hopefully slowing Henry down. Nulling that threat does not mean Indy will avoid problems in this game. Ryan Tannehill is in and seems to be in peak form. The former Miami QB has been the starter over out of form Marcus Mariota, who was the Quarterback when the teams met in week 2. Tannehill is coming off a solid week after completing 14/18 for 259 yards and is a dual threat by making plays on the ground and keeping drives alive when seeming lost. Most notably, was the game winning drive against the Chiefs in week 10 (4 plays/61 yards) where he finished it himself with a touchdown. There is life in the QB and he could very well be the inspiration behind the Titans having any sort chance of a playoff spot.
This game is an important affair for both of these sides. Expect a battle for dominance on the ground as both teams are in good form with this part of their games. A close score line is very likely, with a result ground out rather than be a high scoring showpiece. A loss here would mean an uphill struggle to the post season and a strong possibility that one of them will not be in the playoffs, but a win (dependant on results), could see the other at the top of the division.
Players To Watch
Indianapolis Colts – Jonathan Williams (Running Back)
With Macks absence and lack of passing game, Williams could be the key to the Colts offence putting up any sort of numbers
Tennessee Titans – Derrick Henry (Running Back)
Putting up some massive yardage in the last couple weeks, the in form Henry will be in confident mood and will want to add more coming into this one
Last Time They Met
Week 2 5/9/2019
Indianapolis Colts 19 @ 17 Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans 16 @ 17 Indianapolis Colts