Match ups to watch for Sunday
Titans pass rush versus Colts offensive line
The Colts’ offensive line has received much praise for their improved play the past few weeks. Improved is an understatement; they have been one of the best units in the NFL. The Titans sacked Tom Brady seven times last week. That is an alarming number against a usually solid Patriots’ offensive line.
The Colts need to keep Andrew Luck upright – that goes without saying. The offensive line has not given up one sack in FOUR weeks. That is a ridiculous stat, however the competition has not been that great. Here is a great test for this young talented offensive line.
Marcus Mariota versus Colts secondary
Marcus Mariota did not start off hot at all. In fact, I thought he was the worst starting quarterback earlier in the season. However, in recent weeks, Mariota has looked like his rookie self when he gave opposing defenses hell with his arm and his legs. Mariota is a dangerous player to play against, and we could see that on Sunday.
The Colts just gave up big numbers to Blake Bortles – 320 yards, 2 touchdowns – that is not something to be proud of. Marcus Mariota reminds me a lot of Bortles, and if things go similarly, Mariota could match or even top Bortles’ numbers. Indianapolis defensive backs need to create turnovers, which Mariota is infamous for forcing.
Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin remains in concussion protocol and is questionable to play on Sunday. Linebacker Derrick Morgan is also questionable with a shoulder injury. Receiver Taywan Taylor is dealing with a foot injury and his status for Sunday’s game is in question as well. Running back David Fluellen will miss Sunday’s game after injuring his knee last week against New England.
The Colts have yet to put out their injury report, but the team hopes to get back those players who did not play last week versus Jacksonville. Clayton Geathers, Mike Mitchell, and Erik Swoope were all held out last week and hope to be ready for this important divisional game versus the Titans.
Both teams come into this game relatively healthy and figure to be at full strength for their first meeting this season. The winner of this contest will own the second place position in the AFC South, and keep their shot of winning the division. A loss for the Colts here would all but end their hopes of winning the division, and likely end their goals of the postseason altogether.