Titans at Colts: What to watch

Friday, November 18, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 47

Press Luck. The Colts max-protected Andrew Luck in the first meeting, keeping tight ends and running backs in to protect their QB. Luck simply waited for T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle to break free from the Titans’ zone coverage and hit them for big gains.

Tennessee has to either disrupt Luck’s timing or do a better job of staying with Hilton.

Mistake-free Marcus. Marcus Mariota has shown what he can do when he plays mistake-free football. The first Colts game was one of those with a fatal mistake at the end, when a Mariota fumble was returned for a touchdown to seal the contest.

Mariota has played great of late, but he can’t revert back to turning the football over if the Titans are to have a chance.

Run the football. The Titans, despite the exploits of Mariota and the passing game, are still a run-first team and need to establish that early against a suspect Colts defense. Getting DeMarco Murray, who did have 107 yards in the first meeting, involved early and consistently could be a recipe for victory for Tennessee.

End the jinx. The Titans have never won at Lucas Oil Stadium and have never beaten Andrew Luck. There will be a moment of reckoning for the Titans sometime in the course of this game.

Can the Titans reverse their fortunes and have someone come through with a game-changing play for the better?

Matchups to watch

Andrew Luck vs. Brian Orakpo. Orakpo has nine sacks this season, but the Colts did a better-than-expected job of protecting Luck in the first meeting, using a max-protect scheme. The Titans have to do better than just getting two sacks of Luck. If they can, they have a chance to win.

T.Y. Hilton vs Titans secondary. Hilton torched the Titans for seven catches for 133 yards in the first meeting. He is probably salivating at the thought of a rematch so soon after his highlight reel day.

Delanie Walker vs. Mike Adams. Walker had a big day against the Packers and will always be a go-to guy for Marcus Mariota. Adams is the Colts best safety, and could provide an interesting matchup between these two grizzled veterans.