Titans have chance at Indy if they can hang for 4 quarters

Friday, November 29, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 48
By Terry McCormick

Things don’t get easier for the Tennessee Titans, who are technically in a four-way tie for the AFC’s final wild-card spot, but currently are fourth in the tiebreaking pecking order behind the Steelers, Raiders and Colts.

The Titans get a chance to change all of that during the next two weeks when they travel to Indianapolis and then Oakland.

Playing the Colts has never been a good thing for the Titans, who are 15-34 all-time against their rival and have exactly one win at Lucas Oil Stadium since it opened in 2008.

So what must the Titans do to come out of Indy with a rare win?

First down

Keep on trucking with Henry. Derrick Henry has carried the load during the Titans’ wins over the Chiefs and Jaguars, and there is no reason not to feed him the ball and hope that the offensive line can continue to play improved football.

Second down

Burn them with big plays. The Titans surely expect the Colts to stack the box against them to try and stop Henry. That means getting play-action going and getting the ball into the hands of receivers like A.J. Brown, who had a good day against Jacksonville and needs to keep showing up big in the passing game for Ryan Tannehill.

Third down

Play sound football. The Colts might not be flashy, but they won’t beat themselves very often with costly mistakes. That means the Titans can’t afford mistakes either, because Indy will certainly make them pay if the Titans turn the football over.

Fourth down

Survive early. On the road, and especially at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Titans must be prepared to overcome early issues. If they have a penalty or a three-and-out, they cannot let that affect them. The longer the Titans hang in the game, the better chance they have to gain the upper hand, the way they did in the third quarter against Jacksonville.