coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 11/11/2013 10:13 AM in NFL

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans: Preview and Pick

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans: Preview and Pick

The Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck had been playing some outstanding football until they ran into the St. Louis Rams. The Rams dismantled the Colts in a blowout left them limping into a matchup this week with the Tennessee Titans. The Titans may have been looking ahead to this game as they allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to get their first win of the season and now they have to deal with quarterback injuries.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game has the Colts listed as (-2.5) point favorites. Since the Colts are considered to be the better team and the Titans have problems fielding a healthy quarterback, the betting public is backing the Colts. In early wagering over 90 percent of the wagers are on the Colts. This has caused the line to move and the current point spread is Colts (-3) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks.

Against the Rams Colts superstar Andrew Luck had one of their worst outings of his young career. Andrew Luck finished the day 29-of-47 for 353 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Sunday was Luck's fourth career three-interception game and first of this season. Luck finished 3-of-11 for 16 yards, an interception and two sacks against at least five pass rushers. The Titans will try and send the pressure against Luck in this big game. They will have to play better than they did against the Jaguars.

The Jaguars took advantage despite being outgained 362-214 in total offense. Henne threw for 180 yards. Outscored 70-15 in the first quarter of the first eight games combined, the Jaguars jumped to a 13-0 lead with Paul Posluszny stripping Chris Johnson of his first fumble this season on Tennessee's first offensive play, and Dwayne Gratz intercepting a Locker pass. They need to get it together for this game against the Colts.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal that this could be a low scoring game. The total has gone under in 13 of Tennessee's last 16 games when playing Indianapolis and the total has gone under in 6 of Indianapolis's last 7 games on the road. Indianapolis is 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Tennessee. Indianapolis is 7-14 straight up in its last 21 games on the road but 8-1 straight up in its last 9 games when playing Tennessee. Tennessee is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home and 1-4 straight up in its last 5 games.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/12/2013 04:18 PM

- This is Tennessee’s first and only scheduled prime-time appearance of 2013, and the fourth time Indianapolis will start a game under the lights this season. The Colts are 2-1 in those games, with a loss at San Diego and wins against Denver and Houston, and are 6-0 in franchise history on NFL Network.

- After winning at St. Louis to move to 4-4, Tennessee’s players talked about the importance of defeating Jacksonville last week to make the matchup with the Indianapolis even more important. The Titans received help from the Rams against the Colts last week, but lost to the Jaguars. That outcome, ironically, has made this matchup even more critical. Instead of an opportunity to seize first place in the AFC South, Tennessee needs to win to move within one game of Indianapolis. A loss would put the Titans three back of the Colts with six games to go.

- Tennessee has held five of nine opponents to 21 points or less this season. Alterraun Verner is tied for the NFL lead with five interceptions, and Jurrell Casey has a team-best seven sacks.

- Fitzpatrick relieved Locker against Jacksonville and had his strongest passing performance of 2013, completing 22 of 33 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a short TD, but lost a fumble that was returned 21 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Kendall Wright leads Titans receivers with 50 catches for 580 yards has one TD.

- The Colts are led by second-year QB Andrew Luck, who is 183-for-311 passing for 2,198 yards and 14 TDs against six interceptions (87.5 passer rating) this season. Indianapolis is adjusting to playing without long-time great Reggie Wayne, who suffered a season-ending injury on Oct. 20. T.Y. Hilton leads Colts receivers with 41 catches for 663 yards and five TDs.

- Although it executed a trade for Trent Richardson from Cleveland, Indianapolis has struggled to run the football with former first-round pick. He has 88 attempts for 250 yards (2.8 per carry) with two scores. Luck poses a running threat, as well, accounting for 200 yards and three scores on 32 attempts.

- Robert Mathis has a career-high and team-best 13.5 sacks this season.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/13/2013 03:31 PM

Here are five things to watch Thursday night between the Colts (6-3) and Titans (4-5):

Under Pagano, the Colts are a perfect 7-0 in games after a loss. Pagano credits his players and coaches for believing in their system. Titans coach Mike Munchak pins the success on one person: Luck. The quarterback stole two wins from the Titans last season, rallying the Colts to an overtime win in Nashville, and from 13-down at halftime in Indianapolis.

"They have a quarterback that no matter what the score is can bring you back and win football games a lot in a short period of time," Munchak said. "The key is their quarterback staying healthy, and he usually plays very well."

Safety Bernard Pollard says the Titans are cursed, something they must break. The veteran who won a Super Bowl with Baltimore last season said the Titans are too talented a team to keep finding ways to lose. To him, the curse is being complacent and comfortable on a franchise that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2008. Munchak said he thinks his Titans are motivated and played sloppy with four turnovers against the Jaguars.

T.Y. Hilton has had two of his four 100-yard receiving games in the two outings since the Colts lost Reggie Wayne to a torn ACL. But the Colts need more from their other receivers. The other four receivers combined for just one more reception (eight) than Hilton had all by himself (seven) against the Rams. The Colts promoted Da'Rick Rogers off the practice squad to give Luck more options.

Whether it's Peyton Manning or Luck at quarterback the Colts dominate the Titans. The Colts have won three straight in this series and eight of the last nine. The Titans' last win against the Colts came Oct. 30, 2011, in Nashville with Manning sidelined by neck surgery and Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback for Tennessee. The Titans cut Hasselbeck in March looking to save some money, and now he'll be on the Colts' sideline backing up Luck.

The Titans now are in Fitzpatrick's hands. He was 0-2 replacing Locker last month, losing to the Chiefs and at Seattle. Fitzpatrick threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns with a 111.2 passer rating coming off the bench last week, and he also ran for another score. In his last start against the Colts in 2010 in Buffalo, Fitzpatrick threw for three TDs with no interceptions and a 120.8 passer rating.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/14/2013 01:17 PM

Though the Indianapolis Colts have some issues to deal with after their latest performance, they might pale by comparison to the one the Tennessee Titans must overcome.

With quarterback Jake Locker out for the season, backup Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to help the struggling Titans avoid a fourth straight loss to the visiting Colts on Thursday night.

If losing 29-27 at home Sunday to previously winless Jacksonville wasn't bad enough, Tennessee (4-5) lost Locker when he suffered a Lisfranc injury to his right foot in the second quarter. Limited to 18 career starts because of injuries, Locker could need surgery.

The focus now shifts to Fitzpatrick as he tries to help turn around a team that's lost four of five, is two games behind AFC South-leading Indianapolis (6-3) and hoping to avoid its first four-game home losing streak since 2005.

"We're just concentrating on these seven weeks," coach Mike Munchak said. "That's all we're concerned about. Next year is next year (with Locker). Right now we just got to go forward and try to win a game."

Tennessee has dropped eight of nine to the Colts, who it will face twice in three weeks. The Titans' lone win during that stretch came at home, 27-10 on Oct. 30, 2011.

Fitzpatrick completed 54.3 percent of his passes with a touchdown and four interceptions while starting for the injured Locker in consecutive losses to Kansas City and Seattle last month. He was 22 of 33 for 264 yards with two TDs, no picks and ran for a score in relief Sunday.

"When it's your turn to step up, you've got to step up and play, and that's where we're at," said tight end Delanie Walker, who had four receptions for a season-high 62 yards and a 14-yard TD with 40 seconds remaining Sunday.

"He's going to be the starting quarterback from now on because Jake is out for the year, so Ryan has no choice but to play (well). I feel like he did a great job against the Jaguars. This is his opportunity to be the man now."

Fitzpatrick could use some help from Chris Johnson, who ran 12 times for 30 yards against a Jacksonville team that came in surrendering an NFL-worst 161.8 rushing yards per contest.

Johnson, who gained 150 and scored twice in a 28-21 win at St. Louis on Nov. 3, has been held to 39 or fewer rushing yards five times in a six-game stretch. He's averaged 54.2 yards per game and 3.0 per carry without a TD in his last five against the Colts.

After turning the ball over a season-high four times Sunday, the Titans have committed 13 in five games following a 3-1 start where they didn't have any.

Indianapolis has forced one or no turnovers in three of four games, and committed a season-high five during Sunday's 38-8 home loss to St. Louis. Andrew Luck threw three interceptions to match his total from the season's first eight games and the Colts allowed Rams rookie Tavon Austin to score on a 98-yard punt return and pass plays of 57 and 81 yards.

"I think all we want is to never play like that again," tight end Coby Fleener said. "The feeling after that game was just disgust."

Luck threw for a season-high 353 yards, but one touchdown and was sacked three more times, including one he fumbled and returned for a Rams TD. Luck did run for 17 of the team's 18 rushing yards.

Trent Richardson gained two yards on five attempts, and has averaged 2.8 per carry while not running for more than 60 yards in any of his seven games since being acquired from Cleveland on Sept. 18.

Indianapolis has been held to 74 or fewer rushing yards in three of the last four contests. Tennessee ranks 21st allowing 114.9 rushing yards per game but held the Jaguars to 54.

"We realized how important the run game is to our success," Luck told the Colts' official website. "We'll improve, and we're looking forward to the Titans."

Defensively, Indianapolis has allowed at least 24 points in four of the last five games and five TD passes of at least 31 yards in the last three.

"Certainly we're not going to bury our head in the sand on this past ball game," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "We'll address the issues like we always address them. We know there are things that need to be fixed and we'll go to work on fixing those things."

Luck's 16-yard touchdown pass to Vick Ballard gave the Colts a 19-13 overtime win at Tennessee last season. He completed 58.3 percent of his passes with two TDs and three INTs while Indianapolis won both 2012 meetings by a combined 10 points.