To the casual football observer, this game looks like a laugher. The undefeated Indianapolis Colts take on the ultra-deflated Tennessee Titans. While these two teams are on opposite sides of the AFC South, Indianapolis is 4-0 and the Titans are 0-4, no game is a guaranteed win. Especially when these two teams play twice a year and consider each other their biggest rivals.
This is not a make-or-break their season type of game for Tennessee. Since the 92′ San Diego Chargers are the only professional football team ever to start the season 0-4 and still make the playoffs, the Titans season all but died last week. However, this is the team that won the division last year and would love to show the world that they are not as dead as everyone thinks. Not only do they want to prove that they are not as bad as their record indicates, they would love to throw a monkey wrench into the Colts gears, who so far are firing on all cylinders.
While Tennessee’s intentions might be to play spoiler to the Indianapolis sports football franchise’s hot start, it is easier said than done. Peyton Manning is off to an unbelievable start this season, racking up 300+ yards and at least one touchdown pass in every game the Horseshoes have played thus far. With the trouble that the Titans secondary is having this season, don’t expect the trend to stop this Sunday night.
Tennessee has given up the most passing yards in the entire NFL this season, so look for Reggie Wayne (26 rec, 399yds, 3TDs), Dallas Clark (26 rec, 364yds, 2TDs) and Pierre Garcon (10 rec, 207yds, 2TDs) to add to their already impressive totals. Now that ex-Tennessee run stopper Albert Haynesworth has moved onto greener pastures, and by green we mean money(7yrs $100 million), Indy will have a chance to get some sort of ground game going. If Donald Brown and Joseph Addai can move the ball effectively off the run, Manning and his play action passing game will make it a long night for the opposing secondary.
The Titan’s best chance against the pride and joy of the Circle City rests in the hands of running back Chris Johnson. If the young speedster can move the chains on the not so great run defense of the Colts, and keep Manning&Co. off the field much like the Dolphins in Week 2, Tennessee could stick around for a while. The Indianapolis Colts can nullify Johnson’s speed by getting out to an early lead, forcing the Titan’s to play catch-up through the air.
|A video of Indianapolis Colts Darrel Reid giving one of the hardest hits in NFL history.|
A side note for the Colts defense is that they are starting to get reasonably healthy again. Dwight Freeney, who saw limited action last week against the Seattle Seahawks, should play the majority of downs on Sunday. Gary Brackett is listed as probable for this weekend’s game and there are even rumors that safety Bob Sanders could play, although it is not likely. Sanders practiced for the first time all season this past Wednesday. The All-Pro hitman has been sidelined since before training camp with a knee injury.
In a way, Colts games are easy and almost boring to predict. Not in the sense of what the outcome will be, but rather what you can expect. With Manning at the helm, opposing teams know what they are going up against, the only question is whether or not they can stop it. The Colts quarterback is in such a zone right now that it is not a stretch to say anywhere from one to three of his wide recivers/tightend will have a big day. Here is a prediction, Peyton is going to throw the ball to someone on his team and they will score from a long ways away, see not that tough.
On the defensive side of the ball, the boys in blue defensive-line bookends, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, will make an old Kerry Collins look even older as they pressure him non-stop. What might play out to be a close and hard fought first half due to the familiarity between the two teams, will end with the Colts having a comfortable lead at the end of three quarters. Another thought is that this game will be the first time the Wonderlic test’s not so wunderkind Vince Young will see significant playing time come the third or fourth quarter. The Colts will go into their bye week undefeated as the Titans will be left unresponsive.
The game is the NFL’s Sunday night game of the week and starts at 8;30 p.m.
Check back with us here at funcityfinder.com on Monday morning for a full rundown of all the Colts action from their. Week 5 game