Pick Six: Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts

It all comes down to one final game. The Titans and the Colts face each other on Sunday night to determine one last playoff spot. And if Houston loses, then it could mean one game to determine the winner of the division. Indianapolis has had Tennessee’s number and for Tennessee, they would like nothing more than to stop that trend on Sunday night. In order to do so, they must be engaged, focused and ready to make things happen. They also could do these six things offensively and defensively to increase their chances.



1) Establish the run


Derrick Henry stiff arms Jacksonville player


The Tennessee Titans have certainly been big on establishing the run recently and having Derrick Henry as their main back is a testament to that. The burly back has been dominating defenses over the last three games, gaining almost 500 yards in the last three games. Even though the Colts are very good against the run, the Titans cannot shy away from doing what they have been doing best in their current win streak. Ideally, the Titans should get Henry the football at least twenty times running the football against the Colts.

2) Take what they give you and then take what they don’t

Marcus Mariota throwing the football in the rain

Assuming Marcus Mariota plays, there will be a spotlight on him during this game. The Colts will be keying on the run, so there will be times he will have to make plays with his legs or his arm. Mariota isn’t very highly ranked among starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is a guy who can make plays. The Titans need him to be the guy they drafted out of Oregon Sunday night. If he sees an opportunity to make a play down the field or with his legs, he has to make it. There needs to be no hesitation at all. It’s either win or go home and the Titans need Super Mario to show up.

3) Be the bully

Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones

The Tennessee Titans offensive line has been inconsistent this season. In this big game, however, the Titans need them to be the bullies they have been in the past. The trenches is where any football game is won and lost and the Titans must own the Colts in this area. If they are able to dictate the game in the trenches, then that means the Titans will be able to control the clock more and dominate time of possession. What dominating time of possession also means is less chances the Titans give Andrew Luck to make things happen.



1) Who replaces Jurrell Casey?

Jurrell Casey dancing

The Titans enter this crucial game without Jurrell Casey, who suffered a season-ending injury in last week’s game versus the Redskins. With him being gone, who replaces him? At this point, not one name has consistently been mentioned and rightfully so because Casey is irreplaceable by just one person. One thing the Titans must hope is they get a joint effort from all their guys up front. If not, then Luck has more time to throw and that isn’t a good thing, especially considering the weapons he has at his disposal.

2) Find Eric Ebron and TY Hilton

Eric Ebron and TY Hilton

The Titans have to find these two and cover them. The Colts have other weapons on the field, but these two are most important to Luck’s success in the passing game.  Ebron is a versatile tight end who has enjoyed a career rebirth as a member of the Colts offense and it’s evident with his 12 touchdown receptions for the season. Bottling him up will mainly rely on safeties Kenny Vacarro and Kevin Byard. These two dynamic safeties will be put the test in this game. As far as Hilton, he got the better of Adoree’ Jackson last game. In this one, expect Jackson to take on the challenge and try to avenge what happened last time these two met.

3)  All eyes on Luck

Andrew Luck Colts

Andrew Luck has enjoyed a career resurgence this season. After plenty had thrown dirt on his career with the consistent shoulder issues he has had, Luck has led the Colts to the brink of the playoffs with his stellar play. While everyone worries about his arm and what he can do there, Luck can actually hurt you with his legs too. The Titans need to make sure Luck doesn’t hurt them running for first downs and getting outside the pocket, so that’s where the outside linebackers in the 3-4 come into play. The Titans need to make sure and keep Luck in the pocket with pressure around him. The more they can make Luck uncomfortable and keep him in the pocket, the better the Titans chances are to win the game.

It all comes down to this and the Titans have to have this game. Will they show up and handle the business or will they fold under the bright lights and the pressure of the moment? We shall find out on Sunday night in primetime.




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