Colts Opponent Scouting Report: Titans Defense

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 12: Linebacker Wesley Woodyard
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 12: Linebacker Wesley Woodyard /

Jacoby Brissett played a clean game back in October against the Titans and the Colts allowed only one sack in their 36-22 loss to Tennessee. If Indianapolis can mimic that offensive performance again on Sunday they have a great chance to walk out of Lucas Oil Stadium with their fourth win of the season.

Wesley Woodyard was dominant against the Colts in Week 6, and Indianapolis must know where number 59 is at all times. Woodyard, in his 10th season out of the University of Kentucky, has been a productive linebacker in the NFL for some time now. Though somewhat undersized for a linebacker, Woodyard is able to make the most out of his ability.

Woodyard recorded 8 total tackles, 3 quarterback hits and a fumble recovery against the Colts earlier this season. Woodyard also made a crucial stop for the Titans late in the game when Brissett rolled out of the pocket on a fourth-down play and came up just inches short. The Colts’ offensive linemen must get off the line of scrimmage and put a body on Woodyard to help Frank Gore and Marlon Mack make plays in the running game.

Jurrell Casey, the Titans mammoth in the middle, is having another solid season. Casey has been one of the better interior defensive linemen in the NFL since he came into the league in 2011, and with the Titans’ success he’s finally starting to get much-deserved praise.

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While Woodyard may be the leader on the Titans’ defense, Casey is their best player. Ryan Kelly will have his hands full all afternoon, but the Colts must get a good push up front and improve upon Week 6’s rushing performance which netted only 70 yards on 15 carries from Indianapolis running backs.

The Titans’ secondary has been playing very well this season. Second-year safety Kevin Byard leads the NFL with 6 interceptions on the year. Logan Ryan, the Titans’ prize free agent signing, recorded 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 pass breakups against the Colts in their previous meeting. T.Y. Hilton will likely be lined up opposite Ryan throughout the contest and must take advantage of one-on-one match ups.

The Titans will likely shade their ball-hawking safety Byard toward Hilton’s side of the field, meaning Donte Moncrief and Chester Rogers must get separation from their defenders. Moncrief and Rogers each had a touchdown in the Colts’ last game against the Steelers and Indianapolis would love to see a duplicate performance against the Titans on Sunday.

When playing the Titans, you can’t forget about the two guys on the edge. Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo can wreck an offensive drive in a matter of seconds. The two have combined for 8.5 sacks on the season and Orakpo has 3 forced fumbles.

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Statistically, Tennessee is not that good defensively, ranking 24th in total defense. However, they do have playmakers across the board on that side of the ball. Limiting turnovers and establishing the run game will help tilt the scales in the Colts’ direction and help them emerge victorious.