Colts: DeForest Buckner clearly ready for Titans in 2021

DeForest Buckner #99 of the Indianapolis Colts jogs off the field before a game.(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
DeForest Buckner #99 of the Indianapolis Colts jogs off the field before a game.(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts are blessed with an immensely talented roster, but their best hope of reaching the playoffs in 2021 will be winning the AFC South.

After all, the AFC was loaded last season, and all of the top teams — like Kansas City, Buffalo, Cleveland and Baltimore — only improved their rosters this offseason.

That’s to say nothing of fringe contenders like Steelers, Dolphins, Titans and potentially the Chargers if Justin Herbert takes a massive leap as a sophomore.

In any event, Indianapolis will have their work cut out for them to win the division, which they haven’t done since 2014 (!). Though the Titans had a tumultuous offseason, they still have a talented roster and landed arguably the best receiver in the game in Julio Jones.

The Colts won’t find it easy stopping the Tennessee’s high-powered offense, but DeForest Buckner is ready for the challenge. During an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Buckner expressed his excitement for the teams’ two matchups in 2021.

DeForest Buckner can’t wait to face the Titans next season.

"“Going against (the Titans) twice a year is going to be a lot more fun. The bigger the challenge, the more interesting the game gets and I love it. I love going against the best and, you know, to be the best you’ve gotta beat the best and they’re one of the best teams in the league right now.”"

We wouldn’t go as far as to call the Titans “one of the best teams in the league,” as they lost several key pieces this offseason. That laundry list includes wideout Corey Davis, cornerbacks Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler (whom they replaced with a washed Janoris Jenkins), star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and tight end Jonnu Smith.

With that being said, Colts-Titans matchups are always must-see television … even though both meetings last season were blowouts. Unfortunately for Buckner, he only got one taste of the rivalry in 2020, as testing positive for COVID-19 forced him to miss Week 12.

However, the All-Pro defensive tackle made his presence felt when the teams locked horns in Week 10, as he logged five tackles and three QB hits over 47 snaps. To nobody’s surprise (Indy tended to win when Buckner was at his best), the Colts won that game 34-17.

Assuming the Colts still have a pulse after their brutal opening six-game stretch, sweeping the Titans would almost guarantee them the AFC South crown. Taking that into account, it’s easy to see why Buckner is seemingly counting down the hours until Sept. 26, which is when the Colts will get their first crack at the new-look Titans next season.