NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – First place in the AFC South is on the line Sunday when the Titans host the Colts at Nissan Stadium.
It is only week seven of the NFL season but it is also a chance at a fourth straight win and to put some breathing room between Tennessee (3-2) and Indianapolis (3-2-1).
“We are here in the season,” said head coach Mike Vrabel, “It’s a great opportunity to continue to stay ahead and wage this battle of being around .500. You start to separate yourself from other teams and especially division teams.”
It is also a chance to complete the season sweep of the Colts and beat Indianapolis for a fifth straight time.
The two teams are nearing the second time in only 3 weeks. Tennessee beat Indy 24-17 on October 2nd.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill acknowledged it is an odd scenario, “We know each other well. We play each other twice a year and then twice in three weeks. Neither team is going to change a whole lot,” said Tannehill. “Both sides will have their wrinkles and the adjustments that we make from the first game. We know their players, they know our players. It is going to come down to who can go out, execute, and play the more physical game.”
The Titans have dominated the last four meetings with Indianapolis. While Derrick Henry has averaged over 100 yards rushing in those four games, Colts star Jonathan Taylor has not topped 100 in any of them.
Taylor vs Titans –
- 10/02/22 – 10 carries 42 yards
- 10/31/21 – 16 carries 70 yards
- 09/26/21 – 10 carries 64 yards
- 11/12/20 – 7 carries 12 yards
Taylor missed the last two games with an ankle injury but the Colts star did return to practice this week.
The Titans’ defense should also see a boost with the return of linebacker Bud Dupree and safety Amani Hooker.
The Titans meanwhile are continuing in their quest for second-half points. They have only two second-half touchdowns this season.
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Tannehill says a big problem has been negative plays on first down, “You don’t want to be behind the sticks. That’s the worst place to be. Anytime you find yourself in a bunch of third-and-longs, it is going to be tough sledding just percentage-wise. You’re not going to be in a favorable position there. I want to be efficient on first and second down and keep it to third and manageable.”
If the Titans are to get it going, it will be without offensive guard Nate Davis, who will miss a second straight game with a foot injury. Dillon Radunz is expected to start in his place against a Colts defense with 15 sacks this season.