Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Tennessee Titans At Indianapolis Colts
- QuarterbackThe Titans are coming off a one-sided loss in Week 11 to the Steelers, and that should serve as motivation for a top effort in this game against an opponent they should be able to overpower. QB Marcus Mariota threw four interceptions in the loss, and that performance is atypical of his career to this point. Mariota is a smart, athletic leader who has struggled a bit this season.The Colts have been unable to compete with many of the top teams in the league this year, and that has not been a surprise considering that Andrew Luck has not been able to play. Jacoby Brissett has attempted to give the Colts leadership and a decent passing game, but he has not been able to get the team in the victory column very often. Brissett has a 9-5 TD-interception ratio.
- OffenseThe Titans want to establish the run early in the game so they can have a varied attack that is difficult to contain. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry have given the Titans a solid running attack with 884 yards, but the feeling is that they should have even more production. WR Rishard Matthews has been Mariota’s leading wideout with 41-626-3, while TE Delanie Walker is a tough third-down receiver.The Colts have been able to have a modicum of success running the ball with veteran Frank Gore and speedster Marlon Mack, but they have not been able to take over games and dominate. Wideout T.Y. Hilton knows how to separate from the defender, but he often attracts double-coverage. TE Jack Doyle has done a fine job of keeping drives alive with third-down catches.
- DefenseThe Titans’ defense got shredded by the Steelers in Week 11, and look for this prideful unit to bounce back in a big way. Wesley Woodyard is one of the best tacklers in the league and he leads the team with 82 stops, while OLB Derrick Morgan leads the team with 6.0 sacks. Unheralded FS Kevin Byard has six interceptions and 19 passes defensed.The Colts have regularly struggled on the defensive side of the ball for years, and this season has not been any different as they rank 29th in yards allowed. The Colts have gotten a bit of a lift from Jabaal Sheard, who leads the team with 4.5 sacks. LB Jon Bostic has had a solid year with a team-leading 72 tackles and three passes defensed.
- Special TeamsThe Titans do a solid job on special teams and they know that rookie Adoree Jackson is capable of making a difference as a punt or kickoff returner. Veteran PK Ryan Succop is one of the most dependable kickers in the league, while Brett Kern is averaging 51.9 yards per punt.The Colts still have an advantage over most teams in overall special teams, and they are led by the redoubtable Adam Vinatieri, who has made 18-of-19 FG attempts this year, including 4-of-4 from 50 yards or more. Quan Bray is an ordinary return specialist.
The Colts are catching the Titans after they were embarrassed by the Steelers, so the home team is unlikely to match the visitors’ motivation and effort in this game.