After spending the first two weeks of the NFL season on the road, the Tennessee Titans will finally open the home portion of their schedule this Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts visit Nissan Stadium for a noon CST kickoff for the first AFC South divisional game for both teams.
The Colts are off to an 0-2 start, just like last season, but are the prohibitive favorites to capture the division crown yeat again. To do that, the Colts must win in Nashville on Sunday as this is the start of a three week division run for the Colts where they will face the Titans, Jaguars and Texans in back-to-back-to-back games. It is a chance for the Colts to establish their divison dominance and put the two losses behind them.
For the Titans, who sit atop the division standings, tied with Jacksonville at 1-1, it is a chance for them to put the Colts in a hole that might be hard to recover from, and to signal that the Titans are an improved team.
Coming off last week's 28-14 loss to Cleveland, the Titans have some question marks of their own to answer and the Colts will likely try to duplicate what the Browns did defensively to Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota who was hit eleven times and suffred seven sacks in the loss.
Likewise the Titans will look to do something similar to Andrew Luck and the Colts offense as were applied by both the Bills and the Jets. The Colts offensive line has struggled and left guard Lance Louis missed practice time this week with an injury, but is expected to play Sunday.
Both teams have issues on defense, as the Colts defensive line has not been good against the run, surrendering 145 yards per game through the first two contest. The Titans issues are in the defensive secondary where Cleveland exploited them for two long scores last week.
This game will come down to which team can run the football most effectively and allow their quarterback to pass in comfortable down and distance situations and not allow the opposing defense to be able to exploit question marks on the offensive lines.
The Colts desperately need a win, and I think they get it on Sunday and restablish themselves as the team to beat in the AFC South.
FINAL SCORE: Colts 28 Titans 24
NOTE: For the season Titan Red Zone is 1-1 in predicting Titans games this season.