The AFC Playoff picture is far from complete, but one thing is for certain. The winner of the Titans v. Colts matchup will be playing postseason football. The matchup of the 9-6 teams has divisional champion implications as well, crowning the winner of the game the champs of the AFC South if the Houston Texans were to lose to Jacksonville.
The Colts are the heavy favorites coming into this game, most likely due to the lethal record Andrew Luck holds over the Titans. Luck is 10-0 against Tennessee, totally dominating the team that he sees twice a season, giving the Titans a great feat to overcome if they are to see the Postseason in Head Coach Mike Vrabel’s first season. Luck enters the matchup with 4,308 yards, hitting the 4,300 mark for the first time in 4 seasons. Luck is likely to add to these already monster stats, and will have the chance to surpass his career best in yards and in touchdowns, coming within 360 yards and 4 touchdowns of each milestone respectively. Go-to wide out T.Y. Hilton has a large chunk of these yards (1,209), and the pair has Indy flying. They’ve won 8 of the last 9 games, the hottest team in the league during this period.
The Titans will have to have an improved offensive performance in the second meeting with the Colts, only scoring 10 points in a 38-10 thumping at Indy. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was injured mid game, and sat out most of the first matchup this season, and is recovering from a neck stinger that knocked him out of last week's’ game against the Redskins. Mariota must play for Tennessee to have chance of keeping up with Andrew Luck and the scoring that the Indy offense is inevitably going to bring. One advantage that the Titans will have is their running game, that seems to be peaking at the right time. The physical running style of Derrick Henry will be a hugely influential factor of this game, for it will give Tennessee the ability to dictate the pace of the game if they can move the ball on the ground. It is unlikely that the Colts will be outgunned, but if the Titans offense can successfully possess the ball for large amounts of time during this game, then Tennessee will put themselves in a great position to grab the upset.