The Indianapolis Colts may not be having great success this season, but they have been successful against the Tennessee Titans. The Colts have won eleven straight games against the Titans and essentially have owned them. Not one player on the current roster has experienced a win against the Colts in a Titans uniform. The Titans head into Monday Night Football trying to break that streak as they face an Andrew Luck-less Colts team that has struggled this season. The Titans, no stranger to struggles this year, definitely need a win. They were embarrassed two weeks ago against Houston and they lost a close game against the Miami Dolphins last weekend. This game is huge for the Titans not only to get back on a positive win streak but to stay alive in their division. As they currently stand, they are sitting in third place in the division and things are not looking good. So how do the Titans get back on pace for the playoffs? Well, there are a few key things the Titans could do on both sides of the football.
1) A New Attitude
The Tennessee Titans offensive line has not been what they were billed to be this season. Before the season, all anyone could talk about was how physical they were and how their run game would overpower people. At this point, the word that describes the Titans offensive line is underwhelming. They have not gotten the job done up front as they have missed assignments and not consistently brought that nasty attitude that they were known to bring last season. For the Titans to win this game, they have to be consistently nasty all game long and create creases for DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. The more they are able to set a new line of scrimmage, the more they will control the game and the better the Titans will be this game.
2) What Mariota Are We Getting?
The Titans saw what their offense looked like without Marcus Mariota last week. Needless to say, he was sorely missed. So with him listed as questionable but expected to play, it will be interesting to see what he looks like to start the game. Hamstrings are fickle things and they could flare up at anytime, so it will be interesting to see the changes that could or could not take place with the offense. Could we get less read option and more classic dropbacks or do the Titans feel that he is healthy enough to do the things that he has been doing all season long? For the Titans sake, they better hope he is healthy enough to be that dual threat that he can be. If he isn’t, then the offense loses its dynamics. On the flipside, the good thing for the Titans is Matt Cassel will not be there for them, which all Titans fans are relieved.
3) Offensive Explosion Perhaps?
The Titans have been lacking in offense over the last two weeks. So with Mariota back, hopefully they will get it going on that side of the ball. The more they struggle, the more pressure they put on their defense. The Colts aren’t necessarily the strongest defense and they will probably give them some things through the air and on the ground. The key thing for Tennessee is taking advantage of anything that is given to them. The more they are able to get the football to their weapons, the more the Colts will be on their heels defensively and the more the Titans will be in control of the action.
1) Make Jacoby Brissett Dance
The Indianapolis Colts have been without Andrew Luck all season long and all signs point to him missing yet another game, with Jacoby Brissett starting another game for Indianapolis. The ride with Brissett starting has been interesting for the Colts. He has been good at times and lacking at others. All in all, he has been solid for them but not spectacular. With that being said and with the knowledge of Brissett being a young quarterback, the best thing to do is to make him dance in the pocket. The more he has to move around and his feet get happy, the more he is likely to make a mistake with the football for the Titans to take advantage. The onus here is on the Titans defensive line and they have to make some things happen and get to the quarterback.
2) Where Is Logan Ryan?
The Titans brought in Logan Ryan this offseason because they needed defensive back help. Ryan was excellent in the Patriots scheme and it was thought that he would continue his success in Tennessee. Well, so far he has been just another defensive back for the Titans and not the standout guy that he was thought to be. In this game, they will need him to be the man out there and not just another guy. Wide receiver TY Hilton of the Colts can be extremely dangerous and the Titans have to be able to trust someone to take him out of the gameplan. Ryan, this is your time and your moment. Time to show the Titans why they brought you here.
3) Stuffed Like A Turkey
The Tennessee Titans were not all bad last weekend versus the Miami Dolphins. The defense was able to keep Tennessee in the game for a long time. Unfortunately they were not able to win the game, but they were able to hang tough for a long time. One thing they did good last week is stuff the run game of the Dolphins. For the Colts, they can do the same thing again this week but with an inexperienced quarterback they are facing, it would make things more difficult for Indianapolis to win the game. Guys like Jurrell Casey and Sylvester Williams will be key in how things go stopping Frank Gore and the Colts running game.
The Titans have lost two straight and cannot let it slide to three straight with a loss here. They are in primetime for this one and face a wounded Colts team. Can they take advantage of the opportunity or do they struggle to get it done? For the Titans sake, they better get it done.
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