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VOL. 41 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 24, 2017
Titans at Colts: What to watch
Titans at Colts
Sunday, Nov. 26, Noon
Radio: 104.5 FM
First down: Exorcise the demons. After their four-game winning streak came to a crashing halt, the Titans have to find a way to right themselves in a place that has always been a house of horrors – Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Titans have as many wins at Lucas Oil Stadium as I do. Zero. Granted, the Colts are down and are trying to get by the Jacoby Brissett subbing for Andrew Luck, but they have shown some scrappiness, and the Titans have to be ready if they want to win their first ever game at Lucas Oil.
Second down: Find the running game. The Titans ran for all of 52 yards against the Steelers, and that simply isn’t good enough for a team that supposedly is all about running the football and controlling the line of scrimmage. The Colts defense is not very stout. Might be a good time to get DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry cranked up a bit.
Third down: Get a bounce back from Mariota. For the first time in a long time, Marcus Mariota’s play is being questioned. Four interceptions in a game will do that.
The Titans schedule eases up over the next month, and now is the time for Mariota to find the rhythm he had over the second half of last season. Generally, after a bad game, Mariota has picked things up the next time out. Let’s see if that trend continues.
Fourth down: Go back to playing good defense. Before the Thursday night massacre in Pittsburgh, the Titans defense had been playing much better. Of course, no one is going to confuse the Browns, Ravens and Bengals for the Air Coryell Chargers of the ’80s when it comes to offense, either.
That said, Tennessee’s defense has to get back to controlling the game, getting off the field on third down and giving the offense a short field on occasion with a turnover.
Matchups to watch
Adoree’ Jackson or Logan Ryan vs. T.Y. Hilton. The Titans had issues covering Antonio Brown last week, and Hilton has traditionally given them fits. They did a good job holding him in check in the first meeting in Nashville, and need to keep Hilton bottled up, even if they have to use a lot of bracket coverage.
Ben Jones vs. Al Woods. Woods played with the Titans the past few years before being released and signing with the Colts. Jones should know him well. One of the things the Titans have to do in order to run the ball, is be more consistent at the center and guard positions.
Wesley Woodyard vs. Frank Gore and Marlon Mack. Gore is the grizzled veteran here, who is still effective, while Mack has given the Colts an unexpected lift in the running game as the backup. Woodyard is the Titans top inside linebacker and has been a tackling machine this year. He will have his work cut out defending this tandem Sunday.