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Colts vs. Titans, Week 8 Preview: Looking to Settle the Score

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's matchup between the Colts and Titans.

The Indianapolis Colts (3-4) get a chance to officially make things right and dig themselves out of an early-season hole on Sunday as they host the Tennessee Titans (5-2) for an AFC South battle.

These two teams fought back in Week 3 in what was a 25-16 victory for the Titans. Now, the Colts are much healthier and looking to settle the score at home.

A win would bring the Colts to .500 and bring them within a game of Tennessee in the division standings. So, needless to say, this is a big one.

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

Broadcast Information

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Oct. 31, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Television: CBS — Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Jay Feely (color)
  • 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) | Compass Media Networks — Bill Rosinski (play-by-play), Steve Buerlein (color)
  • On-Demand: NFL Game Pass (after the fact)

All-Time Series

  • Colts lead, 35-18 (0-1 in the postseason). The Titans have won three of the last four matchups dating back to 2019. The two teams split their season series in 2019 and 2020.
  • Last game: Week 3 of 2021; Titans won, 25-16.

Coaching Staff

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

Injury Report

Colts

  • QUESTIONABLE — WR T.Y. Hilton (quad), CB Xavier Rhodes (calf), OT Braden Smith (foot/thumb)

  • OUT — CB BoPete Keyes (hamstring)

Titans

  • QUESTIONABLE — LB Rashaan Evans (knee), OT Kendall Lamm (ankle), DL Teair Tart (groin), CB Chris Jackson (foot)

  • OUT — FB Khari Blasingame (knee), RB Darrynton Evans (knee), WR Julio Jones (hamstring)

Storylines/Things to Watch

  • A Different Wentz: When these two teams played back in Week 3, Wentz was barely able to play after suffering double ankle sprains the week before. He was clearly limited and perhaps shouldn't have even played. He's been on a hot streak since then, however, throwing for multiple touchdowns and posting a passer rating over 100.0 in each game, and averaging 250 passing yards per contest. The Titans will be facing a much different version of Wentz this Sunday than they did five weeks ago.
  • Jonathan Taylor vs. Derrick Henry: Who doesn't want to see the matchup of Henry and Thomas, the NFL's top two rushers, respectively? Both offenses are centered around their lead backs but have plenty of firepower in the passing game to keep the opponent's defense honest. The Colts like to out-cute themselves sometimes so we'll see if Taylor gets enough touches, but they likely know better after he got just 10 carries last time these two played.
  • Pass Rush is Key: The Titans have been prone to giving up gobs of sacks, surrendering at least one in all but one game and multiple sacks in four-of-seven. That includes games with 6 sacks and 7 sacks. However, the Colts are prone to having their pass rush disappear. Sunday is a good tonic for that to turn around as they'll have a full stable of linemen both on the interior and exterior. This goes for both sides, as Titans Harold Landry, Denico Autry, Bud Dupree, and Jeffrey Simmons are all capable of wreaking havoc on the Colts' backfield.
  • Welcome Back?: Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, right tackle Braden Smith, defensive end Kemoko Turay, running back Jordan Wilkins, and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin all missed last week's game and have actually been hurt for longer as they eventually worked their way back to health. Hilton and Smith are both questionable but everyone else is ready to go for Sunday.

Intriguing Matchups

  • Colts QB Carson Wentz vs. Titans S Kevin Byard: As mentioned, Wentz is in a totally different place now in this matchup. He's cleaned up a lot of the mistakes he was known for last year in the turnover department but Byard is one of the most dangerous ballhawks in the NFL and will make Wentz pay if he's not careful.
  • Colts IOL vs. Titans DL Jeffery Simmons: Like Byard, Simmons is one of the best in the league at what he does, and that's a tough, disruptive force for offensive lines to deal with. He gives the Colts fits every matchup, but the Colts' interior line is in a better place at this point in the season with Quenton Nelson, Chris Reed, Ryan Kelly, and Mark Glowinski all playing well.
  • Colts CB Rock Ya-Sin vs. Titans WR A.J. Brown: Ya-Sin is back in action after missing three of the last four games with an ankle injury, and it's great news for the Colts given their matchup. The Colts get a break with Titans wide receiver Julio Jones being out but A.J. Brown is still quite dangerous. Just reference his season-high 133 yards last week. Ya-Sin has been having his own solid season when he's been on the field, so this is a possible statement game for him.

Projected Weather

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Referee Assignment

Betting Line

2021 Season Leaders

Colts

  • Passing: QB Carson Wentz (1,695 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (579 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Michael Pittman Jr. (508 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Jonathan Taylor (6)
  • Tackles: LB Bobby Okereke (51)
  • Sacks: DT DeForest Buckner, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE Kemoko Turay (2.0)
  • Interceptions: LB Darius Leonard (2)

Titans

  • Passing: QB Ryan Tannehill (1,737 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Derrick Henry (869 yards)
  • Receiving: WR A.J. Brown (354 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Derrick Henry (10)
  • Tackles: LB David Long Jr. (51)
  • Sacks: OLB Harold Landry III (7.5)
  • Interceptions: S Kevin Byard (3)

Comparing 2021 Team Stats

Colts

  • Total offense: 14th (357.1 YPG)
  • Scoring: 15th (24.1 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 23rd (229.6 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: 17th (15)
  • Rushing offense: 9th (127.6 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 21st (38.8%)
  • Red zone offense: 31st (46.2%)
  • Total defense: 15th (354.1 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 11th (21.3 PPG)
  • Passing defense: Tied-13th (243.1 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-18th (14)
  • Rushing defense: 14th (111.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 11th (37.7%)
  • Red zone defense: 20th (62.2%)
  • Turnover differential: 2nd (+9)

Titans

  • Total offense: 11th (382.4 YPG)
  • Scoring: 6th (27.6 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 25th (227.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-27th (21)
  • Rushing offense: 3rd (155.4 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 11th (42.4%)
  • Red zone offense: 18th (60.0%)
  • Total defense: 22nd (376.9 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: Tied-16th (23.4 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 24th (273.6 YPG)
  • Sacks: 10th (17)
  • Rushing defense: 9th (103.3 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 16th (40.0%)
  • Red zone defense: 7th (50.0%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-16th (-1)

Notes

  • According to NFL Communications, in each of the past four seasons (2017-20), the winner of the second meeting between the Colts and Titans has advanced to the playoffs.
  • Wentz needs multiple touchdown passes and no interceptions to become the first quarterback in franchise history to have five consecutive such games.
  • Taylor needs one 100-yard rushing performance to pass Curtis Dickey, Randy McMillan, and Lenny Moore (six) and tie Alan Ameche and Marlon Mack (seven) for the sixth-most in franchise history.
  • Running back Nyheim Hines needs three receptions to pass Pierre Garcon (188) for the seventh-most receptions by a Colts player in their first four seasons. Hines needs 91 receiving yards to pass Joseph Addai (1,448) for the 10th-most receiving yards by a running back in franchise history. Hines needs two receiving touchdowns to tie Albert Bentley and Dickey (eight) for the 10th-most receiving touchdowns by a running back in franchise history.
  • Linebacker Darius Leonard needs two solo tackles to reach 300 for his career, which would make him the 10th player in franchise history to reach the mark. Leonard needs 11 tackles to pass Jerrell Freeman (478) for the seventh-most tackles in franchise history, and also pass Freeman for the third-most tackles by a Colts player in their first four seasons. Leonard needs one 10-plus tackle game to pass Gary Brackett (23) for the most in franchise history.
  • Punter Rigoberto Sanchez needs one game with a 50.0-plus punting average to pass Chris Gardocki and David Lee (nine) for the fourth-most such games in franchise history.
  • Safety/special teamer George Odum needs two special teams tackles to pass Rob Morris and Justin Snow (40) for the eighth-most in franchise history.
  • The Colts made the following roster moves this week: Activated linebacker Jordan Glasgow from Injured Reserve and Dayo Odeyingbo from the Non-Football Injury list. Waived running back Jordan Wilkins and defensive tackle Khalil Davis. Elevated running back Deon Jackson and safety Josh Jones to the active roster from practice squad. Signed safety Jahleel Addae and tight end Eli Wolf to the practice squad. Released guard Zack Bailey from the practice squad.

Catch Before The Game

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