This week’s Thursday night game has the Colts going on the road to take on the Titans in an AFC South battle. The Colts should be ready to go after a very unexpected 38-8 loss to the Rams at home. Andrew Luck is hoping to rebound against a defense that is underrated for its work against the pass as they boast one of the true breakout defensive backs of 2013 in Alterraun Verner. On the bright side, T.Y. Hilton has really stepped up as the number one receiver since Reggie Wayne went down with his season ending injury. While Hilton is primarily known for his big play ability, he has played like a much more complete receiver of late. With the Colts running game reeling of late and players such as Trent Richardson not living up to expectations, it wouldn’t be surprising if they decide to have Luck air it out 35 plus times to get other players such as Coby Fleener and Darrius Heyward-Bey involved.
The Titans are coming off a loss to the previously winless Jaguars at home. It will be harder for them to bounce back as starting quarterback Jake Locker is now out for the year. Taking his place will be Ryan Fitzpatrick who has had his ups and downs throughout his career but has the ability to move an offense. Chris Johnson continues to be wildly inconsistent and struggled last week in a very favorable matchup. With this game being on national TV, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Johnson perform like fans became accustomed to early in his career. In the passing game, look for Fitzpatrick to try and get it to Kendall Wright early and often. Wright leads the Titans in receptions and up to this point his numbers resemble those of a possession receiver. However, Wright has big play ability comparable to what the Colts have in Hilton. With a new quarterback under center, it will be interesting to see if the Titans take a few more chances down field.
Overall, this matchup is much closer than the records indicate as the Titans defense has been one of the more underrated units in the AFC if not the league as a whole. If the Colts do have what it takes to make a playoff run, these are the kinds of games where they need to bounce back and take care of business. With an advantage at the quarterback position, I feel they have the potential to do that. My prediction is Colts 24 Titans(+3.5) 20