Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Game Preview: Colts Get Back into AFC South Race

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts prediction and pick for Week 8's game between the two AFC South rivals. NFL handicapper Mike Spector gives his pick
Mike Spector
Sat, October 30, 10:57 PM EDT

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Game Preview: Colts Get Back into AFC South Race

It is only Week 8, but this game between the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts already has massive playoff implications. The 5-2 Titans own a two-game lead in the division over the 3-4 Colts. And with Tennessee's 25-16 at home in Week 3 over Indianapolis, a win this week would make a three-game lead feel like four games, as the Titans would have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Colts. So will Tennessee have an early stranglehold on the AFC South race at the end of this game, or will Indianapolis announce its presence with a big win and prove the race is far from over?

Titans vs. Colts odds

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Injury Report

TENNESSEE: Questionable: OT Kendall Lamm (ankle)

OUT: WR Julio Jones, LB Monty Rice, WR Chester Rogers, OT Taylor Lewan, S Amani Hooker

INDIANAPOLIS: Questionable: WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps), CB BoPete Keyes

OUT: DE Kemoko Turay, RB Jordan Wilkins, CB Rock Ya-Sin, OT Braden Smith, S Julian Blackmon (Achilles), WR Parris Campbell (foot)

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Start time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021

Start Time: 1 PM EST

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium — Indianapolis, IN

TV Coverage: CBS

Colts vs. Titans Odds

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Prediciton

The Tennessee Titans are riding high after back-to-back wins over the AFC's two biggest preseason favorites, the Bills and the Chiefs. However, those two wins were utterly different, as the Titans beat Buffalo in a shootout and smothered Kansas City defensively last week. In the first half last week, Tennessee shut out the Chiefs, and Kansas City's three total points were their lowest in nine seasons with Andy Reid as head coach. However, it was not all Tennessee's defense that was the reason for their big win over the Chiefs, as they continued their offensive momentum from their Monday night win over Buffalo by scoring on all five of their possessions in the first half.

Like the Titans, the Indianapolis Colts also won outright as underdogs in Week 7. Indianapolis braved the elements of a constant downpour in San Francisco and beat the 49ers 30-18 on the road on Sunday night. The Colts have won three of their last four games after an 0-3 start, mainly because of an early-season resurgence from quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has a current streak of four consecutive games with two or more passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. That is tied for the longest streak in Colts franchise history, as Peyton Manning also accomplished that feat in 2006-07.

In Tennessee's 25-16 victory over Indianapolis in Week 3, Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 113 yards, and Tennessee's defense held Indianapolis to just 265 total yards. The Colts ran the ball just 18 times while Wentz attempted 37 passes. Given that Indianapolis is 3-0 when Jonathan Taylor runs for 100+ yards, the Colts will focus on getting their ground game going early and often.

Titans vs. Colts odds

The Colts have looked like a different team since that Week 3 loss, and much of that credit is due to a shift in their offensive philosophy. Since Week 4, Carson Wentz has led the league with a total QBR of 74. Indianapolis has used a heavy dose of play-action pass, which helps him get the ball out quick and protects him from the never-ending parade of hits he took in the first three weeks. In the first three weeks, the Colts used play-action 20% of the time. They also averaged 8.5 yards per play and Wentz had a QBR of 67 on play-action passes. Since Week 4, Indianapolis has used play action 40% of the time, the most of any team in the NFL. As a result, they have averaged 10.5 yards per play in that span, and Wentz's QBR rose to 86.

Wentz's overall performance has been among the league's best since Week 4. In that span, he leads the league in yards per attempt and total QBR. In addition, he has eight touchdowns to zero interceptions in that span, which is a far cry from the 194-yard and zero-touchdown performance against Tennessee in Week 3.

In addition, the Colts should have better success defending the run this time around. Entering last week, Indianapolis' run defense ranked first in expected points added per game at 5.0. Though they allowed 5.9 YPC to San Francisco's Elijah Mitchell last week, Indianapolis' front four will take advantage of a Tennessee offensive line missing their best lineman, Taylor Lewan.

The Colts are 7-3 ATS in their last ten home games against the Titans and 14-6 ATS in their previous 20 meetings overall. With the way Indianapolis is playing lately, we are not sure they deserve to be home underdogs this week.

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Pick

Mike Spector
MikeSpector01
Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest
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