The Titans (4-5) host the Colts (6-3) on Nov. 14 at LP Field. Here’s a first glance at the matchup:
Tennessee lost to the Jaguars 29-27 on Nov. 10, committing four turnovers. QB Jake Locker suffered a season-ending foot injury and will be replaced by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Indianapolis is coming off a 38-8 home loss to St. Louis. The Colts are 7-0 in weeks following a loss in the past two seasons, including a 27-7 win at San Francisco and a 39-33 win over Denver this year.
Team stat comparisons
Tennessee’s Offensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 21st (322.9)
Rushing Yards/Game: 13th (111.2)
Passing Yards/Game: 23rd (211.7)
Turnover Ratio: Plus-4 (tied for 9th in NFL)
Indianapolis’ Defensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 21st (367.8)
Rushing Yards/Game: 26th (126.6)
Passing Yards/Game: 18th (241.2)
Points Allowed/Game: 9th (21.4)
Tennessee’s Defensive Rankings:
Yards/Game 9th (326.2)
Rushing Yards/Game 21st (114.9)
Passing Yards/Game 8th (211.3)
Points Allowed/Game: 10th (21.8)
Indianapolis’ Offensive Rankings:
Yards/Game: 13th (348.1)
Rushing Yards/Game 15th (110.2)
Passing Yards/Game 15th (237.9)
Turnover Ratio Plus-3 (11th)
The Titans trail 23-14 in 37 meetings (including the 1999 AFC Divisional that Tennessee won). Indianapolis has a three-game win streak in the rivalry that’s included two meetings every year since 2002 when the NFL went to its current division alignment.
The previous meeting
Tennessee built a 13-point lead at halftime, opening with an 80-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass from Jake Locker to Jared Cook, a pair of field goals by Rob Bironas and a 40 interception return for a touchdown by Will Witherspoon, but lost 27-23.
Indianapolis engineered an 80-yard drive of its own to open the second half that included three third-down conversions (two passes and a 1-yard TD run by Delone Carter), and seized the lead on a 3-yard interception return for a touchdown by Cassius Vaughn.
The Titans moved to the Colts’ 2-yard line but had to settle for another field goal by Bironas to give Tennessee a 23-21 lead four minutes into the fourth quarter, but Indianapolis added a pair of field goals by Adam Vinatieri.
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.
Tags: Alterraun Verner, Chris Johnson, Jake Locker, Kendall Wright, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans
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