Week 10 of the NFL season kicks off Thursday night with the Indianapolis Colts traveling to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans in a pivotal AFC South matchup (8.20pm ET; TV: Live on Fox).
The Colts are coming off a disappointing loss to the Baltimore Ravens after giving up 17 unanswered points. They were unable to score a single point in the second half and ultimately lost 24-10 after leading at half 10-7.
The Titans are coming off a convincing win and cover of the spread (-6pts) over the Chicago Bears 24-17. They took their foot off the gas a bit after being up 24-3 and gave up two touchdowns to make the game more respectable. The Titans come into this critical game in first place in the division with a 6-2 record. The Colts are hot on their trail in second with a 5-3 record. The Texans (2-6) and Jaguars (1-7) are all but out of the division race, which has turned into a two-horse affair.
So who wins this Thursday night football collision? Read on for the rest of our preview and Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts’ predictions.
Strength on Strength Battle
This will be another strength on strength matchup with the Titans’ strong rushing attack pitted against the Colts’ stingy rushing defense. The Colts’ ground defense was able to limit a Ravens rushing attack that generally carries the team, but they still weren’t able to win the game. They held Lamar Jackson to 58 yards rushing, rookie running back JK Dobbins to 30 yards and Gus Edwards to 23. This was an impressive performance against a Ravens team that ranks 1st in average rushing yards per game. The Colts’ defense ranks 3rd in the NFL giving up on average 83.6 rushing yards per game on the season.
The Titans and Derrick Henry are an entirely different kind of animal. Henry is second in the NFL in rushing yards with 843 and the team averages 147.6 yards on the ground per game. Henry is one of the most physical running backs in the NFL and should be able to have a significant impact on this game. He also has eight touchdowns on the year. Will the Colts’ defense be able to step up once again and slow down another formidable running game? This is a tough ask on a short week against such an imposing player as Henry. The Ravens offensive line was able to assert their dominance for much of the second half and must have left the Colts’ defense quite battered.
The Colts’ secondary is also quite strong. Their defense is easily their biggest strength on the team with the offense leaving much to be desired. Ryan Tannehill and the Titans’ passing attack has been fairly average on the year and I don’t know if this is the week they will drastically improve. I can see Henry beating down and tiring out the defense, which should help open up the field and allow Tannehill to make some plays. The Colts rank 3rd in passing yards allowed per game (206.4) while the Titans offense ranks 20th in passing yards per game (237.0). They say defense wins championships and that will need to be the case for the Colts come Thursday.
The Colts’ passing offense is in the middle of the pack and is coming off a disappointing effort against the Ravens. They rank 14th in the NFL in average passing yards per game (258.1). Last week against the Ravens, Philip Rivers was only able to amass 227 yards through the air with zero touchdowns and one interception. They will likely be without starting tight end Jack Doyle due to a concussion and fellow tight end (and former college basketball standout) Mo Alie-Cox is questionable with a knee injury. He was limited in practice on Monday.
Doyle and Alie-Cox are both tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns with two. These are two key injuries to watch throughout the week and are crucial with the wide receiver core battling injuries as well. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton missed last week but returned to practice and is set to play. This would be a big boost for the mediocre passing attack. If there is a defense to get right against, it is this Tennessee secondary. They rank 27th in the league and give up on average 275 passing yards per game. They gave up 355 yards and two touchdowns through the air to Nick Foles and the Bears. I think the Colts’ passing attack should be able to exploit this weakness and have relative success, but I also think Rivers is too mistake-prone to really make the Titans pay.
Our Betting Preview’s Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts Predictions & Picks’ Recommendations
USAbetting is looking to the total for our first play of the week. We like this game to go under the total, which is currently sitting at 48.5 points with the most popular USA sports betting sites. Expect this to be a close and competitive divisional game that lends to the under. The strength of the Colts’ defense and the physicality of the Titans run game also points that way.
The Titans should control the game on the ground and ultimately the time of possession. We think this game goes to the Titans in a hard-fought victory. The Colts’ offense doesn’t impress us quite enough. We ultimately like the under the most and also lean towards the Titans thanks to a strong ground performance, which will open up the play action game and lead to a big play or two. So, for the betting picks, these are our Titans vs Colts predictions: