Colts vs Titans: Keys to the Game Preview

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Key Matchups for the Tennessee Titans against the Colts

Marcus Mariota:

The Titans have finally found their quarterback after drafting Marcus Mariota with the 2nd overall pick. Though the season is still young, the early numbers indicate that the Titans came out on top in the “Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota” debate. Through two weeks, Mariota is 34-53 for 466 yards and six touchdowns. Mariota has yet to throw an interception but has already been sacked 9 times. Tennessee, like the Colts, has struggled to protect their quarterback. Compare Mariota’s numbers to Andrew Luck and you’ll see why it’s believed that Mariota is the real deal. Mariota and the Titans will come out fired up today because this is their first home game of the season. You can expect Colts defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky to dial up the pressure on Mariota. Robert Mathis is due a sack or two after all he went through to get back this season.

Harry Douglas:

Harry Douglas is likely to draw Jalil Brown like Eric Decker did for the Jets last week. Douglas has struggled to start the season. After catching both of his targets in week one for 24 yards and a touchdown, Douglas caught only one pass on eight targets in week two against a tougher Cleveland defense. Look for Douglas to rebound against the Colts and challenge Jalil Brown. According to Pro Football Focus (via Mike Chappell), Brown was targeted 9 times last week for 8 completions, 108 yards, 1 TD. That’s a 153.7 passer rating. If Douglas wants a rebound game then this is his chance.

Jason McCourty:

This will be the individual biggest matchup between the two teams. McCourty will draw T.Y. Hilton in this contest. Hilton who appears 100% back from his knee contusion has given cornerbacks fits his entire career. You could argue that Hilton did not do much against Darelle Revis, but much of that was on the Jets pressure on Luck more than Hilton’s performance. Hilton is Luck’s security blanket, if McCourty can disrupt Hilton’s targets, this could force Luck to make throws in tight windows, which is where Luck struggles in the turnover margins.

Jamon Meredith:

We could easily include the entire offensive line in this as they are facing a big matchup against a surprisingly improved Colts defensive line. However, Jamon Meredith is stepping into the starting lineup to replace guard, Chance Warmack. He will be facing Colts rookie nose tackle David Parry and Henry Anderson who played together at Stanford and force penetration at the line of scrimmage as good or better than any duo in the league. Meredith will have to wall off either or both if they are to have success in the running game. That is not an easy task. Just ask Nick Mangold.

Next: The Colts Key Matchups