Colts vs Titans: Keys to the Game Preview

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Key Matchups for the Indianapolis Colts against the Titans

Andrew Luck:

Andrew Luck as said before, is facing a defense designed by Dick LeBeau. Luck’s reads at the line of scrimmage will be critical to the Colts success today. Dick LeBeau revolutionized the exotic looks of the zone-blitz. LeBeau spent ten years with the Steelers from 2004 to 2014 and created the ‘Blitzburgh’ defense that caused so many problems for opposing offenses. Luck is likely to see defensive linemen dropping back and corners blitzing just as much as he will see a four-man pressure from up front. Luck is going to need to make the right protection calls and checks at the line of scrimmage to protect himself and the ball. look for Luck to audible from under center to and shotgun and making checks to the receivers to run shorter routes if he sees the blitz coming. Luck will have to protect himself just as much as the offensive line will.

Frank Gore:

Frank Gore is not nearly getting the love he should for the Colts. Yes, he fumbled at the goal line against the Jets which was completely uncharacteristic. However, Frank gore also had over 30-yards rushing called back on holding calls. Every time, he broke a big run the offense was flagged for holding even though some of those were questionable calls by a flag-happy officiating crew. Frank Gore has been running angry and he will likely be looking to smash some heads today. Look for Gore to also be more of a check down receiver out of the backfield this week against the Titans pressure. If the Colts can get him out on a screen or two, Gore could have a huge game against the Titans defense. After all, the Colts streak of 42 games without a 100-yard rusher has to end sometime.

Henry Anderson:

Call him Mr. Anderson. Rookie Henry Anderson is currently tied for the lead among defensive linemen in tackles. He has 14 tackles, five tackles for a loss and a sack in two games. If he continues that level of production against Tennessee he could be the difference maker up front for the Colts. He has been solid on third-and-short against the run and will need to generate pressure on Mariota in this game. Anderson’s athleticism has been impressive as he has already made several plays from across the field. We here at Ink On indy have already begun the discussion of #HenryForDROY. Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the #4 defensive rookie and Mel Kiper Jr. has him ranked as the #5 rookie in the league. Look for Mr. Anderson to make an impact in this game lining up over backup guard Jamon Meredith (who played briefly with the Colts in 20-14).

Coby Fleener:

Dwayne Allen is out and Fleener has only seen one target in two games. Coby Fleener is in a contract year and needs to find ways to get open in the Titans secondary. As one of the fastest player on the Colts roster, Fleener will need to get separation on whichever linebacker or safety draws him as an assignment. Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton has taken a lot of heat from the media because of the lack of targets for the tight ends, much of which is caused by the max protection calls made to protect Luck, but Fleener will need to be Luck’s check down target on the flat and crossing the middle of the field against Tennessee. If Fleener can get free in the secondary he could be a big difference maker and the catalyst for the passing offense that will keep the Titan honest on defense.

Next: Final Thoughts