3 things Colts must do in Week 13 to sweep Titans

The Indianapolis Colts will travel to Nashville in Week 13 as they try to hand the Tennessee Titans their first home loss of the season.

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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1. Focus on stopping Derrick Henry and force Will Levis to beat you

On offense, Tennessee’s identity remains rooted in the ground game. Former All-Pro running back Derrick Henry has the fourth-most rushing attempts and the fifth-most yards in the league and, simply put, the Titans tend to do well when Henry is running the ball effectively. Tennessee is 4-1 in 2023 when Henry runs for at least 76 yards, but 0-6 when he records 75 or less.

The last time Indianapolis faced Henry earlier this season, the defense limited him to only 43 yards on 13 carries. The defensive line actively clogged running lanes while the Colts' talented linebackers used their speed to explode through the gaps and initiate contact. Henry was held to 3.3 yards per carry and his longest run of the day was just eight yards. The Colts’ premier run-stoppers — DeForest Buckner, Zaire Franklin, and E.J. Speed — need to replicate that Week 5 performance to shut down Henry again.

If the Colts can stuff the Titans’ ground attack, head coach Mike Vrabel will have to lean on an iffy passing game that hasn’t been consistently good this season regardless of whether Ryan Tannehill or Will Levis is under center. Levis has had some flashy moments, but he has struggled immensely with accuracy and decision-making (he's completed only 59.9% of his attempts). While Levis’ arm talent always makes him dangerous, the Colts will like their chances if Tennessee is forced to ride the rookie passer to a victory rather than Henry.

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