INDIANAPOLIS – A gargantuan one awaits the Colts on Sunday afternoon.
It’s the Colts (3-4) and Titans (5-2) in a matchup Frank Reich’s team desperately needs for a realistic shot at winning the AFC South this season.
What did we learn about the Colts on Wednesday?
- The Colts will let this week play out before committing to a starter at right guard for Sunday. Frank Reich said on Wednesday no matter the decision both Mark Glowinski and Chris Reed will play against the Titans, so a rotation there will remain. Reed didn’t start against the 49ers, but out-snapped Glowinski, 44-to-24. While Glowinski’s level of play isn’t at the height of other Colts offensive linemen, there’s no questioning his availability. Sunday was the first time Glow had missed a snap since December 2018. Glowinski ranks 2nd in the NFL among OL with 40 consecutive starts. Reed has earned this though and has out-played Glow.
- The next step for the Colts is beating a playoff quality opponent. Early in the Frank Reich era, that wasn’t much of an issue. But it’s been one lately. The Colts have lost 7 straight games against playoff teams. In that span, they’ve won 7 games, against teams with a combined record of 21-63. They’ve beat these teams in that span: Texans 3x, Jaguars, Dolphins, 49ers and Raiders. You play who shows up on your schedule, but to get into the playoffs you have to eventually beat some of the better teams in the league.
- An interesting note on the Colts/Titans meetings over the past four years: Whoever has won the 2nd seasonal matchup between these two teams has gone on to make the playoffs: 2017 (Titans, game played in Nashville), 2018 (Colts, game played in Nashville), 2019 (Titans, game played in Indy), 2020 (Titans, game played in Indy).
- If you want to narrow down that first matchup in Week 3 (at 25-16 win by the Titans) to one stat, goal-to-go would be that figure. The Titans took advantage of those chances, scoring on a pair of third-and-goals. The Colts did not, going 0-for-2. When you go back and watch the first meeting, it’s amazing to see how limited Carson Wentz was due to his ankle injury. “I was stuck in mud,” is how Wentz described his lack of mobility back in Week Three. Well, that’s a big issue when the field shrinks. A more mobile Wentz has led this offense to much better red zone and goal line numbers as of late.
- When Frank Reich discusses what has impressed him the most about Carson Wentz this season, he points to the balance of finding success in pushing the ball down the field, while still leading the NFL in interception percentage (0.5 percent). Wentz has thrown just 1 INT in 219 pass attempts. Wentz will face a very banged-up Titans secondary this Sunday.
- While Derrick Henry ran for 100 yards in the first Colts meeting this year (28 carries for 113 yards), it was easily the best yards per carry (4.04) allowed against Henry by a Matt Eberflus defense. Before that performance, Henry had averaged at least 5.4 yards per carry in the 6 previous meetings vs. the Colts/Eberflus. Henry’s career of 5.65 yards per carry against the Colts is the 4th highest for him of any opponent.
- Last week was the NFL practice debut of Dayo Odeyingbo. DeForest Buckner liked what he saw from the rookie. Buckner was particularly impressed with the variety of pass rush moves by Odeyingbo, seeing his long-term value in playing inside and outside. Buckner did say, as expected, Odeyingbo has some things to clean up. “Very excited to see his growth and the type of player he’s going to become,” Buckner added on Wednesday.
- The Colts have altered their practice schedule this week after getting back to Indy in the wee hours of the morning on Monday. They had a walk-through on Wednesday. They’ll have a modified practice Thursday before a normal Friday session. Sunday’s kickoff is 1:00 PM.