Colts vs. Titans: Staff picks and predictions for Week 7

The Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1) and Tennessee Titans (3-2) are set to square off for a Week 7 matchup at Nissan Stadium, the final time these two teams will play each other during the regular season.

The Colts will be without starting linebacker Shaquille Leonard and defensive end Kwity Paye but will see the return of running back Jonathan Taylor.

Going into the weekend, Vegas odds and the experts around the league both favor the Titans to win this divisional matchup.

Here’s how the Colts Wire staff sees this game shaking out:

Kevin Hickey: Titans 26, Colts 23

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

I’m pretty bad at a lot of things, but I don’t know how much worse I can get when picking Colts games. Every game I’ve chosen has been wrong thus far. And that might be a relief to Colts fans who are reading this considering I’m picking them to lose.

While the performance of the offense in Week 6 was extremely encouraging—and something I think can continue—the issue that scares me is the performance of the run defense. Over the last three weeks, the Colts have allowed 70 carries for 405 rushing yards and two touchdowns to running backs.

Most of the time, it wouldn’t matter all that much. But the Colts are facing Derrick Henry, who had 99 rushing yards in the first half of the Week 4 game. Maybe the adjustments they made in the second half of that game (limiting Henry to 15 rushing yards) will spill over. That seems unlikely, though, with Kwity Paye and Shaquille Leonard out for another game.

I expect the offense to continue working through the quick-passing game and the return of Jonathan Taylor certainly adds an explosive element to the backfield. We should see some strong outings from Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce this week against a struggling secondary.

It will be a close, physical matchup, and we may even come away encouraged about the direction of the team if they play well enough, but my concerns with stopping the run and the Titans’ stellar red-zone offense will keep the Colts from winning this game.

Follow Kevin on Twitter (@KevinHickey11)

Cody Manning: Colts 27, Titans 20

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

The Indianapolis Colts are looking to climb atop the AFC South standings after their trip to Nashville. Matt Ryan and the offense come out swinging early. Carrying the momentum from last week and using what worked in the second half of their previous matchup with the Tennessee Titans they put together their best first half performance of the season opening up a 17-0 lead. But it won’t be easy as the Titans defense tightens up and slows down the Indy offense. Derrick Henry and the Tennessee offense start finding some success in the second half as they climb back to make it a 20-20 game heading into the fourth quarter. It’s a back-and-forth battle as both offenses stall to start the final quarter until Isaiah Rodgers Sr. gets his hands on a ball for his first interception of the season. Jonathan Taylor gets to work and the Colts take the 27-20 lead to close out the game for Indianapolis.

Follow Cody on Twitter (@CodyTalksNFL)

John Alfieri: Colts 21, Titans 10

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

The train keeps on rolling as the Colts travel to Nashville to take on the Titans. After the offense rebounded last week against the Jaguars, this team is finally looking up after a rocky start to the season. In this huge AFC South showdown, the Colts come in as the healthier team and will be getting some key pieces back, including All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor.

Look for the Colts to stick to their pass-first approach as Matt Ryan continues to connect with his receivers. Parris Campbell will build off of his big performance last week and solidify his role in this offense. Expect Taylor and the run game to get going in the second half as well.

Follow John on Twitter (@alfierijohn)

Nick Melillo: TBD

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

TBD

Follow Nick on Twitter (@CircleCity21)

Standings

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

1. John (2-4)
2. Cody (2-4)
3. Nick (1-3)
4. Kevin (0-6)

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire