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Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Five things I feel forward of the Indianapolis Colts (Three-7) internet hosting the Tennessee Titans (6-Four) Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium  (1 p.m., TV: FOX-59, Radio: WFNI-AM (1070), -FM (107.5), WLHK-FM (97.1)):
1) I feel the Titans' winless streak inside Lucas Oil Stadium may finish Sunday.
Tennessee has performed 9 video games inside Lucas Oil Stadium because the $720 million venue opened its doorways in 2008, and the Titans have left in defeat 9 instances. Not even in the course of the Colts’ disastrous 2011 season – a 12 months through which they received solely two video gamesmay the Titans win in Indianapolis. Dan Orlovsky and Co. received that one, 27-13. Similar goes for the 2015 assembly on the finish of a really lengthy 12 months for the Colts. Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley, signed off the road that very week, traded snaps at QB and Indianapolis in some way received, 30-24.
The Titans did snap their 11-game shedding streak to the Colts again in October, racing away within the second half for a 36-22 victory in a recreation the Colts led by as many as 10 factors within the third quarter.
Beginning with that one, the Titans have ripped off 4 wins in 5 video games, however of their final outing, every week in the past Thursday, they had been thumped 40-17 by the identical Steelers squad that scraped previous the Colts 20-17 two weeks in the past. Tossing out the Pittsburgh beating, Tennessee’s confirmed a knack for successful the shut one among late, holding off the Browns by three, the Ravens by three and the Bengals by 4 throughout that span.
The Colts, alternatively, have a knack for shedding the shut ones. Everyone knows that story.
Benefit: Tennessee, regardless of its porous historical past on this metropolis.
2) I feel the Colts will see a unique Marcus Mariota this time.
Coming back from – and nonetheless very a lot hobbled by – a hamstring damage the final time these two groups squared off, Titans QB Marcus Mariota was roughly 75 % himself. He had no curiosity that evening in escaping the pocket and beating a protection together with his legs, one thing he’s confirmed absolutely able to all through his transient profession. Anticipate a extra elusive Mariota on Sunday.
Mariota went 23-for-32 that evening for 306 yards and a 53-yard, game-turning landing to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left. A recreation the Colts had led all through had turned, and turned shortly. The Titans dominated from there.
The Colts’ protection – an bettering unit to make sure – will face a much more harmful opposing QB on Sunday afternoon.
“He’s a harmful man damage or not,” mentioned Colts defensive deal with Al Woods. “So that you undoubtedly simply wish to do your greatest to comprise him.”
Mariota, it's value noting, is coming off a four-interception outing towards the Steelers.
Three) I feel one man you must root for down the stretch is Frank Gore.
He’s been quietly climbing the charts since he arrived in Indianapolis in 2015, the veteran working again signed to solidify a place that had been an utter mess since Andrew Luck got here to city. Frank Gore has completed that. He’s been a uncommon shiny spot amid this group’s swift descent into mediocrity.
A listing of the rushers Gore has handed on the all-time yards record since arriving in Indianapolis: Marcus Allen, Edgerrin James, Marshall Faulk, Jim Brown, Tony Dorsett, Erik Dickerson.
With 89 extra yards he passes Jerome Bettis for sixth all-time. With 111 he passes LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth.
Barring damage, it’ll occur over the following few weeks. Gore has began 102 straight video games, 75 greater than every other working again in soccer.
Four) I feel with John Simon and Clayton Geathers again, this Colts’ protection may be pretty much as good because it’s been all 12 months.
No – that’s not saying all that a lot. Nevertheless it echoes a press release first-year Common Supervisor Chris Ballard mentioned a number of instances all through the summer season: That his group will probably be higher in November and December than it was in September and October. To this point, that’s proving true.
Particularly on protection. By way of seven weeks it was among the many worst items in soccer, final in factors allowed, second-to-last in passing yards, backside 5 in dashing yards. Since then? Should you can consider it, the Colts’ protection has performed like a top-10 unit. Over the previous month, it's seventh in factors allowed, fifth in complete yards allowed, ninth towards the run and seventh towards the move.
These large performs allowed early are what crushed this group in blowout losses in Los Angeles, Seattle and Tennessee. The within linebackers, Jon Bostic and Antonio Morrison, are taking part in higher. Rashaan Melvin and Pierre Desir have settled in on the beginning cornerback spots, rookie Nate Hairston on the slot. The line of defense, led by newcomers Jon Hankins and Al Woods, has been regular if not spectacular all season.
Even with defensive finish Henry Anderson and stud rookie security Malik Hooker gone for the 12 months, the protection you watch on Sunday will probably be as entire because it’s been since September. Simon returns after lacking three video games with a stinger. Security Clayton Geathers will play his first recreation in a 12 months after present process offseason neck surgical procedure.
As Ballard mentioned, the Colts are taking part in a lot better now than they did earlier within the 12 months. Whether or not they can maintain it over the following six video games stays to be seen.
5) I feel should you’re determined for a touch the Colts may win Sunday, that is it.
The Colts are Four-1 following a bye since Chuck Pagano arrived in 2012, together with victories of their final two such outings, at Atlanta in 2015 and residential towards the Titans final season.
Additionally value mentioning: The Titans haven’t swept the Colts since 2002. That was Peyton Manning's fifth season.

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