Colts at Titans: What to watch

Friday, December 28, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 52

Colts at Titans

Sunday, Dec. 30

7:20 p.m.

TV: NBC (WSMV, Channel 4)

Radio: 104.5 FM

1. Lots of Luck. Andrew Luck has owned the Titans, something that is well documented in these parts. Luck is 10-0 all-time against Tennessee and has been even more dominant against the Titans than his predecessor, Peyton Manning. The Titans defense didn’t touch Luck in the first meeting in Indianapolis in November, but they must find some way to get pressure on him, a job made much harder by the likelihood that Jurrell Casey could miss the game with a knee injury.

2. Keep running with Henry. The Titans offense needs to run through Derrick Henry, even if Marcus Mariota is healthy enough to play on Sunday in the regular-season finale. That said, they have to be able to throw the ball effectively enough to keep the Colts defense honest, even though Indy knows that the Titans want to get Henry 20-plus carries in the game if possible.

3. Be ready for the moment. The Titans are probably helped by the fact that they made the postseason last year, but Sunday’s game could be like a playoff game for all intents and purposes. The Titans must not get behind early with a turnover or by giving up a cheap touchdown. Playing while ahead would seem to benefit the Titans, who want to run the ball, control the clock and keep Luck in check.

Matchups to watch

Andrew Luck vs. Malcolm Butler. The Titans defense has to find a way to keep Luck from picking them apart. Butler was having coverage issues earlier in the season but has played better of late. He can redeem himself if he can have a good game Sunday and not let Luck pick on him.

Derrick Henry vs. Darius Leonard. Leonard is being touted as the defensive rookie of the year this season and might well win it. The Titans’ decision to funnel the offense through Henry has worked during their four-game winning streak, taking them to the cusp of the playoffs. The offensive line must win at the point of attack to give Henry a chance to push the pile and get to the second level.