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Colts, Titans Week 4 Preview: Revenge Game on Deck with Momentum in Sight

The Colts have everything to gain as the rival Titans come to town on Sunday. After their first win, the Colts very much need a division win.
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It's time for the Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1) to start stacking some momentum as they welcome the AFC South division-rival Tennessee Titans (1-2) to town on Sunday.

Both teams are coming off their first wins of the season last week and are looking to use each other as a stepping stone. However, the Colts got swept by the Titans last season and have everything to play for; most importantly, pride.

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's matchup.


BROADCAST INFO

  • Date/Time: Sun., Oct. 2, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Television: FOX Sports — Adam Amin (play-by-play), Mark Schlereth (color), Kristina Pink (sideline)
  • Stream: FuboTV
  • To find out what games will be on in your area on Sunday, check here
  • Radio: WFNI 1070-AM The Fan, WLHK 97.1 HANK FM — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color), Larra Overton (sideline) | ESPN Radio — Mike Couzens (play-by-play), Kirk Morrison (color)
  • On-Demand: NFL+ (after the fact)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 35-19. The Titans have won four of the last five matchups dating back to 2019.
  • Last game: Week 8 of 2021; Titans won, 34-31 (OT).

COACHES

  • Colts: head coach Frank Reich; offensive coordinator Marcus Brady; defensive coordinator Gus Bradley; special teams Bubba Ventrone.
  • Titans: head coach Mike Vrabel; offensive coordinator Todd Downing; defensive coordinator Shane Bowen; special teams Craig Aukerman

INJURY REPORT

Colts

  • OUT — S Julian Blackmon (ankle)
  • QUESTIONABLE — DT DeForest Buckner (elbow), LB Shaquille Leonard (back), OL Bernhard Raimann (ankle)

Titans

  • OUT — DB Ugo Amadi (ankle), LB Zach Cunningham (elbow), S Amani Hooker (concussion)
  • QUESTIONABLE — OLB Ola Adeniyi (neck), WR Cody Hollister (back), CB Roger McCreary (back), WR Kyle Phillips (shoulder)

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • Will the offensive line be up for the challenge?: The Colts rank uncharacteristically as one of the NFL's worst offensive lines after already giving up 12 sacks through three games. Pro Football Focus also ranks their run blocking as NO. 23 with a grade of 63.1. If the Colts' line can simply hold the line (they don't have to be exceptional), then it'll allow running back Jonathan Taylor to take advantage of a leaky run defense while quarterback Matt Ryan finds receivers downfield.
  • Time to re-establish the run: As I just mentioned, the Colts have an opportunity to take advantage of Tennessee's run defense. Indy has the league's reigning rushing champion in Jonathan Taylor, but the Colts' run blocking has been abysmal at times, as Taylor has created about 66.8% of his own rushing yards after contact, per PFF. However, The Athletic's Zak Keefer came across an interesting stat: "Per TruMedia, the Titans are allowing explosive runs (12+) at the highest rate in the league (13.3%) through three games."
  • Defensive line needs to play fast, violent: The Titans feature one of the league's most dominant runners in Derrick Henry, so that's reason enough for the Colts' defensive front to need to play at a high level. However, quarterback Ryan Tannehill can be pretty dangerous while rolling out and throwing on the run. The Colts have been on the receiving end of those shots plenty of times. The Colts did a great job pressuring Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes last week, so they can hopefully keep it up on Sunday.
  • Limited the self-inflicted wounds: One of the most significant issues in the Colts' overtime loss to the Titans at home last year was self-inflicted wounds. Turnovers, poor tackling, and inexplicable quarterback play gave the game away. If the Colts can play cleaner, this is a very winnable matchup, but it's something they've struggled with in the first few weeks.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts G Quenton Nelson vs. Titans DT Jeffery Simmons: This is always must-see TV. People don't get the better of Nelson very often but Simmons is one of the most frequent offenders. It's also important for Nelson to help keep pressure out of Ryan's face.
  • Colts RT Braden Smith vs. Titans ED Rashad Weaver: Smith has had some pretty significant struggles this season, and Weaver is in the beginning stages of a career year, already with a few sacks.
  • Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue vs. Titans LT Dennis Daley: Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan suffered an unfortunate, season-ending knee injury recently, which puts Dennis Daley on the spot. The fourth-year lineman has a career-average PFF grade of 52.3, which is quite a bit below average.

PROJECTED WEATHER

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REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

SEASON LEADERS

Colts

  • Passing: QB Matt Ryan (769 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (286 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Michael Pittman Jr. (193 yards)
  • Touchdowns: TE Jelani Woods (2)
  • Tackles: LB Zaire Franklin (30)
  • Sacks: DE Kwity Paye (2.0)
  • Interceptions: S Rodney McLeod (1)

Titans

  • Passing: QB Ryan Tannehill (647 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Derrick Henry (192 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Robert Woods (137 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Derrick Henry, RB Dontrel Hilliard (2)
  • Tackles: S Kevin Byard, CB Roger McCreary (23)
  • Sacks: OLB Rashad Weaver (3.0)
  • Interceptions: S Kevin Byard, S Amani Hooker (1)

TEAM STATS

Colts

  • Total offense: 22nd (331.3 YPG)
  • Scoring: 32nd (13.3 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 20th (227.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: 29th (12)
  • Rushing offense: 18th (104.3 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 22nd (35.0%)
  • Red zone offense: Tied-28th (40.0%)
  • Total defense: 11th (315.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 15th (20.3 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 16th (238.0 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-28th (4)
  • Rushing defense: 3rd (77.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 14th (35.0%)
  • Red zone defense: 26th (71.4%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-26th (-3)

Titans

  • Total offense: 26th (302.3 YPG)
  • Scoring: Tied-22nd (17.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 23rd (208.3 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-4th (4)
  • Rushing offense: 20th (94.0 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 18th (36.4%)
  • Red zone offense: 1st (85.7%)
  • Total defense: 26th (401.3 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 29th (28.0 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 24th (256.3 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-12th (7)
  • Rushing defense: 29th (145.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 2nd (22.9%)
  • Red zone defense: Tied-9th (50.0%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-26th (-3)

NOTES

  • Quarterback Matt Ryan needs 15 pass attempts to surpass Philip Rivers (8,134) for the seventh-most in NFL history. Ryan needs one game-winning drive to pass Brett Favre (43) for the sixth-most in NFL history.
  • Running back Jonathan Taylor needs one point to pass Marshall Faulk (198) for the sixth-most by a Colts player in their first three seasons, and seven points to pass Lenny Moore (204) for the fifth-most. Taylor needs one total touchdown to pass Faulk (33) for the third-most by a Colts player in their first three seasons, and two to pass Moore (34) for the second-most. Taylor needs one 100-yard rushing game to pass Faulk (14) for the fourth-most in franchise history. Taylor needs one game with 100-plus rushing yards and at least one rushing touchdown to pass Eric Dickerson (13) for the second-most such games in franchise history.
  • Running back Nyheim Hines needs two receptions to pass Albert Bentley (226) for the seventh-most receptions by a running back in franchise history, and three receptions to pass Lydell Mitchell (227) for the eighth-most receptions by a Colts player in their first five seasons. Hines needs one receiving touchdown to tie Bentley and Curtis Dickey (eight) for the 10th-most receiving touchdowns by a running back in franchise history.
  • The Colts made the following roster moves this week: signed cornerback Ryan Smith to the practice squad and released linebacker Forrest Rhyne from the practice squad.

CATCH BEFORE THE GAME


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