The Colts come into this game with a 6-5 record, having just lost to the Houston Texans in Week 12. The loss gave Houston sole possession of the lead of the AFC South.
On the other side, Tennessee is also 6-5 and has newfound momentum with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. This game could end up deciding who gets a chance to play beyond December.
With that being said, here are four things to watch and a prediction for Sunday’s game between the Titans and Colts.
4. Can Jonathan Williams continue to have success for the Colts?
Two weeks ago, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Marlon Mack sustained a fractured hand. As a result, Jonathan Williams was given an opportunity to get more touches and he seized that opportunity.
The fourth-year running back has now had two straight games of more than 100 rushing yards. Can he continue having success for the Colts on the ground on Sunday?
For the Colts to maintain within striking distance for the playoffs, Williams is going to have to be able to run the ball effectively versus the Titans.
3. Do the Colts have an answer for slowing down Derrick Henry?
The last time these teams played one another in Week 2, Derrick Henry had a modest performance with 82 yards and a touchdown. In Henry’s past two games though, he’s gashed the Kansas City Chiefs and Jaguars for a grand total of 347 yards and four touchdowns.
Will the Colts have an answer to Tennessee’s bruising back? Indianapolis has the seventh-ranked run defense in the NFL (97 rushing yards per game).
The Colts will have to contain Henry if they want to keep control of this game.
2. Will the Colts be able to overcome all of their injuries?
The injuries continue to mount up for the Colts as Eric Ebron has now been placed on injured reserve. Besides Ebron, Indianapolis could be without T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, and Mack on the offensive side of the ball.
While the Colts have playoff aspirations, injuries to their key contributors on offense may cost them a chance of making the postseason. It’s hard to imagine an offense led by Williams, Zach Pascal, and Jack Doyle can withstand the Titans’ defense.
Hopefully, the Colts can get Campbell back in the offense for the first time since Week 9.
1. Ryan Tannehill is on fire, can he maintain this level of play?
Ever since the Titans chose to go with Tannehill under center, they’ve won four out of their past five games. On top of that, Tannehill has completed 71 percent of his passes for 1,276 yards, 10 touchdowns, and three interceptions.
The former quarterback of the Miami Dolphins has also found the end zone three times with his legs. There aren’t many quarterbacks playing at the level of Tannehill but can he maintain this level of play?
If Tannehill is able to pick apart the Colts’ defense, the Titans are in line to win their third straight game.
Prediction: Titans 27, Colts 20
With all of the injuries to the Colts, the Titans come into this game with some momentum. In addition, the difference that Tannehill has made in the Titans’ offense gives Tennessee an edge in this contest.
The Titans will also make a concerted effort to get Henry going to get into an early rhythm on offense.