The Indianapolis Colts are a middling 3-4, but surging off of a Sunday Night Football win over the San Francisco 49ers. Indy’s in a groove after getting out to a 1-4 start, but will have their hands full when the Tennessee Titans come to Lucas Oil Stadium on Halloween for an AFC South showdown. The Titans are empowered after reeling off of a 27-3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, so Sunday should provide plenty of entertainment.
The Colts are a completely different team than they were in Week 3, when they lost 25-16 to the Titans. After losing a 19-point lead late in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens, the defense bounced back last week. Quarterback Carson Wentz’s play has proven that he’s a solid fit in Indianapolis’ offense. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton left in the game on Sunday with a quad injury, but if he’s healthy and back in action this week, expect him to have a big game.
It’s hard to predict what Tennessee team will show up in Indiana – the one that lost to the New York Jets or the team that’s one of the best in the AFC? Either way, the Colts need to be ready to fire on all cylinders.
3 Indianapolis Colts matchups vs. the Tennessee Titans that must be exploited
3. Carson Wentz vs. the Titans’ front seven
Wentz made his way to Indianapolis in the offseason after spending his first five years in the league with the Philadelphia Eagles. He struggled with injuries and was playing completely deflated. The No. 1 QB has taken a turn for the best and has won three of his last four starts. Wentz has played nearly played perfect football and is coming off of his fourth consecutive game with multiple passing touchdowns and no interceptions, tying Peyton Manning.
The six-foot-five quarterback is going to need to keep this level of play up against Tennessee’s front seven. Wentz has done well at not spending too much time in the pocket and has improved at avoiding sacks. With the help of his offensive line, he’s going to need to use his veteran expertise to his advantage and continue to let the ball fly downfield.
According to Team Rankings, Wentz averages 7.7 yards per pass thrown and his longest pass on the year resulted in 76 yards. His ability to throw the ball downfield is something that the offense hasn’t seen since Andrew Luck was at the helm. If Hilton is back, you know that Wentz is going to have the upper hand over the Titans’ front seven by escaping the pocket and connecting with the team’s top wide receiver.
Tennessee linebacker Harold Landry II is just behind Myles Garrett with 7.5 sacks on the season, so he alone could disrupt Wentz’s flow. However, the quarterback clearly isn’t the same player that he was in the past and his awareness of not holding onto the ball for too long has played in his favor. If Wentz can be self-aware and do what he has done well at so far this year, the Titans’ front seven won’t be too much of an issue.