Part 1 of 2: The Colts/Titans game is unique in that it will feature two on-the-field matchups between former Colt teammates. These players have previously battled each other in Colts practices and training camps. Part 2 will look at WR Marvin Harrison vs. CB Nick Harper.
An October 19th headline in the Nashville Tennessean said it all: "Unbeaten Titans have offensive line to thank." As a unit, the Titans have allowed just two sacks in six games, and none in the last four games. The line's work in the running game is also impressive as Tennessee ranks fourth in overall rushing in the NFL with 927 total yards.
The Tennessee Radio Network recently identified former Colt and starting RG Jake Scott as "one of the main reasons the Titans are fourth in overall rushing."
Jake Scott, right, as a Colt with Jeff Saturday and Ryan Lilja
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
His former quarterback, Peyton Manning, also had nothing but praise for his former blocker. "Jake was an excellent player for us during his time here and you hate to see guys like that go," Manning said this week.
A key reason to why this season might be a changing of the guard in the AFC South is that Tennessee has something Indianapolis does not — a healthy, cohesive offensive line.
Coltpower analyst Brad Keller explains what makes the Titans offensive line so good in his scouting report: "As a unit, (center Kevin) Mawae, left tackle Michael Roos, right tackle David Stewart, left guard Eugene Amano, and right guard and former Colt Jake Scott trap, seal off and finish blocks, and contain backside pursuit as well as any offensive line in the NFL."
This is a sound, stable line, one that's paving the way for what is developing into a very special season for the Titans. One of the Colts who'll try to create some havoc for his former teammate and practice opponent is LDT Keyunta Dawson.
After watching him for four seasons, Colts fans know exactly what Jake Scott gives a team. He's a very consistent presence, a tall, athletic offensive lineman with very good feet and in-line quickness who gets off the snap well and into defenders quickly.
That will be especially important this week against the Colts smallish but quick interior defensive linemen. The faster Scott can get off the snap and into Dawson's body, the more he'll be able to neutralize Keyunta's speed advantage.
If Jake is able to counter Dawson's speed off the ball, it will be a long day for the young Colts defensive tackle. It will be a battle of first steps for these two. When Keyunta is able to get the first step and into people quickly he is more effective and can knock people back initially or get offensive guards off balance and go after the ballacarrier.
But if Scott can get that first step, he'll have a big advantage. Given that he's giving up nearly 50 pounds to opposing linemen each week, Dawson will struggle dealing with even single blocks and is rarely doubled.
With these factors in mind, look for the Titans to attempt to exploit this matchup in the run game.