Listen Live

INDIANAPOLISThe first AFC South rematch of the 2020 season is here for the Colts.

It’s quite a big one inside of Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday afternoon with the Colts (7-3) and Titans (7-3) meeting at 1:00 PM.

Here are 7 things to watch for as the Colts play a monumental game in the AFC South:

1. Health Of Philip Rivers

No one actually thinks the right big toe injury for Philip Rivers is going to keep him out of Sunday’s matchup with the Titans.

But it’s fair to have a little curiosity to see if the injury impacts him throwing it at all.

Does an injury that had Rivers sore this week, and miss a practice, hinder his ability to push off that right foot and get his full body into throws?

2. No Let Up Against Henry

There’s no running back in the league who produces more game-changing runs late in contests than the 6-3, 247-pound Henry.

If this game is closer in the 4th quarter than it was in the first meeting, you know the Titans are going to lean more on their workhorse back.

The Colts must rotate bodies up front to keep guys fresh knowing that there can’t be a let up in the run defense as Henry seems to only get more dangerous the deeper the game goes. At linebacker, Anthony Walker and Zaire Franklin must step up with Bobby Okereke (ankle) missing.

3. Interior Defensive Line Health

It’s looking more and more like the Colts will be without DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry this Sunday against the Titans.

If that is indeed how it plays out, that’s a big blow to a defensive line group that has the big task this week to control the line of scrimmage against the vaunted Titans rushing attack.

Yes, Tennessee is dealing with its own offensive line injuries, but the Colts will have to rely on depth pieces in Tyquan Lewis, Taylor Stallworth and maybe rookie Rob Windsor to support Grover Stewart in the interior.

4. Offensive Line Fundamentals

Frank Reich and his offensive staff had some meeting time this week to discuss the Colts issues in committing a slew of holding penalties in 2020.

While it looks good that Braden Smith will return this week, the hold issues have included several guys up front. And now the Colts run game is without C-Ryan Kelly (center) and RB-Jonathan Taylor (COVID). Rookie C-Danny Pinter is the likely starter for Kelly. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins are the only available running backs on the active roster.

The Titans are without Jadeveon Clowney, after he played in the first meeting back on November 12th.

5. Up Tempo Attack?

Back in that first matchup in Nashville, the Colts offense found a consistency moving the ball that we haven’t seen all season.


Well, they did go with a no-huddle, up-tempo approach on the short week. Was that plan weighted more because it was a short week or do the Colts think the Titans are susceptible to such a pace?

6. Don’t Forget About A.J. Brown

Easily the quietest game of 2020 for A.J. Brown came against the Colts (1 catch for 21 yards on 4 targets).

Brown had a massive drop early in that game, which could have sent the Titans up 14-0.

Just watch Brown’s touchdown from last week’s overtime win over the Ravens to see the type of impact he can make. The Colts must account for him.

7. Special Teams Strength

In the last two meetings between these two teams, the loser has had some major gaffs in the kicking department.

For the Colts, special teams has been such a constant strength for them this season.

It was the case in Nashville, and needs to be in order again.


Bowen’s Prediction: Colts 24-17. Man, this one carries so much weight. Typically, if the Colts are involved in a huge AFC South matchup, it is more of a mid-December meeting with the Texans. But now it’s the Colts and Titans that will decide who wins the AFC South in 2020. The Titans started the week in a far worse state health wise, but the Colts have given them a run for their money as the week has moved along. Still, the Colts have been a constant strong run defense (even before DeForest Buckner arrived). I see them containing Derrick Henry enough to get this one, and take firm control of winning their first division title since 2014. Michael Pittman’s continued growth helps the Colts offense convert in the red zone for the one-score victory.

93.5 / 107.5 The Fan

Quick Links