INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a matchup of the most feared running back in the NFL against one of the league’s best rushing attacks.
That is the biggest ‘game within the game’ as the Colts (5-3) hit the road to take on the Titans (6-2) in Week 10.
What did we learn from the Colts on Tuesday?
- Here is a look at Derrick Henry’s stat line in 4 career games against Matt Eberflus and the Colts: 2018: 9 carries for 46 yards; 16 carries for 93 yards; 2019: 15 carries for 82 yards (1 TD); 26 carries for 149 yards (1 TD). Henry’s averaged at least 5 yards per carry in each of those games. His long rush in each of those games are as followed: 16, 34, 33, 18.
- How has Henry fared against the Eberflus’ led Colts defense compared to other running backs? Since 2018, Henry has averaged 5.6 yards per carry against the Colts, while other running backs have averaged just 3.73 yards per carry. It’s a bit interesting to note Henry has averaged nearly a full yard per carry better against the Colts (5.6) than his career average (4.7). Henry is the only NFL running back to run for 100 yards against an Eberflus Colts defense (42 regular season games).
- The Colts made a very deserved roster move on Tuesday, bringing WR-DeMichael Harris up onto the 53-man roster. Harris had used up his two practice squad promotions in games already, so the Colts needed to make such a move in order to keep a guy who has sparked their offense on the team’s active roster. To make room for Harris, the Colts waived DE-Ron’Dell Carter, who had yet to play in a game this season.
- Could we see some up tempo from the Colts on Thursday night? A reason for that comes from the Titans having 5 defenders play all 77 defensive snaps this past Sunday against the Bears. Having to play 77 plays in one game is a very high number, so the Colts could/should try some quicker pace to try and wear down the Titans on a short week.
- While the Colts split their meetings, including a win in Nashville, over the Titans last season, they only faced Ryan Tannehill in the loss at home. In that game, Tannehill went 17-of-22 for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tannehill did get sacked 6 times in that contest.
- The offense for the Titans is what you would expect: reliable run game, efficient inside the red zone and goal-to-go. Defensively though, the Titans have struggled, especially in getting after the quarterback (30th in sacks per pass attempt) and situationally (32nd in third down, 31st in red zone).
- Frank Reich knows there’s a little more at stake in Thursday’s matchup against the AFC South leader: “Yeah, it’s a big game. I think it’s still too early to say this is an ‘all or nothing’ type of game, but there’s no doubt this is a huge game. We win it, we are tied for the lead in our division at 6-3 and with a win over the team that we are tied with, if we can pull that off. We know it’s another good football team, a team that knows how to win games. That’s what we really need to do. We need to prove that we can win these types of games against tough teams. I know we have the talent and the players to do it. We proved that (this past Sunday) in many ways. We just have to take the final step of taking the final step and closing these games out against the kind of teams you see in the playoffs. I believe we have the players and coaches to do that. But time will tell. We’ll find out over the course of the season.”
- If the Colts want any decent chance at winning the division this season, Thursday would fall into the ‘must win’ category. A loss, and you are 2 games behind the Titans with 7 to go, along with being 0-1 in the head-to-head matchup, and 0-2 in the division, with the Titans at 3-0. These division/conference games mean a whole lot for obvious reasons, but especially for a team that is already 2-3 in the AFC, missing some early opportunities for tiebreakers.
- Those in Indianapolis probably don’t view the Titans as a ‘rival.’ That comes from the Colts having won 19 of their past 23 matchups with the Titans. While the Colts have won this head-to-head matchup a whole lot, it’s the Titans who have had more recent success overall. The Titans have had four straight winning seasons, and won three playoff games (all on the road) in the last four years.
- Based off what Chris Ballard said on Monday night, it sounds like the return of Kemoko Turay (ankle) won’t be on Thursday night.
- The short week schedule for the Colts is as followed: Monday walk-through, Tuesday walk-through, Wednesday walk-through/travel to Nashville, Thursday-8:20 PM kickoff.
Tuesday Injury Report (estimation if the Colts would have practiced)
-DNP: TE-Jack Doyle (concussion), LB-Matthew Adams (non injury related)
Bowen Analysis: Doyle will not play on Thursday night.
-Limited: TE-Mo Alie-Cox
Bowen Analysis: It looks like Alie-Cox will play this week.
-Full: WR-T.Y. Hilton (groin)
Bowen Analysis: It’s a walk-through, but another positive sign Hilton has a chance to play this week.
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