Colts vs. Titans: Staff picks and predictions in Week 8

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The Indianapolis Colts (3-4) and Tennessee Titans (5-2) are all set for a divisional battle in Week 8 at Lucas Oil Stadium in what will be a crucial matchup for both sides.

While the Colts are trying to stay in the race for the AFC wild-card and potentially the division with a win, the Titans are doing what they can to lock up the top seed in the AFC South. Should the Titans come out with a win, their chances of wrapping up the division increase dramatically.

While Vegas has the Colts favored slightly at home, the experts around the league are siding mostly with the Titans to win this game in the Circle City.

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

Kevin Hickey (@KevinHickey11): Colts 29, Titans 27

I’ve been going back and forth all week with this prediction. The Titans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now with consecutive wins over the Bills and Chiefs, respectively, entering this matchup. Meanwhile, the Colts have won three out of their last four games and nearly upset the Ravens in prime time.

Indy is getting healthier. With right tackle Braden Smith and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton expected to be back, this should boost their odds of keeping this game close. The loss of Julian Blackmon will be a big one and an area the Titans can exploit.

Furthermore, the recent lack of success in stopping Derrick Henry will have an impact on the game while Ryan Tannehill will be without Julio Jones.

I’m expecting this to be a close game at Lucas Oil Stadium with the Colts sneaking out a win at home to make the division race a bit more exciting.

Cody Manning (@CodyTalksNFL): Colts 24, Titans 21

The Indianapolis Colts have an opportunity to get to .500 after their 0-3 start to the season and I expect Frank Reich to open up his full playbook to get the job done. Jonathan Taylor continues his dominance, but it’s Nyheim Hines who helps make the difference and has a strong performance by helping create chunk plays throughout the afternoon.

Carson Wentz feeds off the running game and hits T.Y. Hilton on a bomb touchdown at some point in the second half to give his team some momentum.

I expect it to be a close battle in the fourth quarter and the defense will need to step up to not let Derrick Henry run it down their throats. Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner help slow down the Tennessee Titans rushing attack when it’s needed.

The big play finally comes from the pass rush and Kwity Paye gets his first NFL sack to derail a drive to help close out a Colts win. Indy leaves Lucas Oil Stadium with a 24-21 victory.

John Alfieri (@alfierijohn): Colts 28, Titans 24

A battle of the league’s two leading rushers commences Sunday as the Colts host the Titans. Both teams are flying high after winning their last two games.

The Titans are coming off big-time performances against Buffalo and Kansas City. The one thing they did exceptionally well in both wins is run the ball, with Derrick Henry totaling 229 rushing yards. To beat Tennessee, the Colts have to limit Henry and force the Titans to throw the ball. Darius Leonard, who is on pace for another all-pro season, will have his hands full come Sunday.

Michael Pittman Jr. should have a big day against the Titans secondary. After a dominant performance last week, expect he and Carson Wentz to continue their connection.

Nick Melillo (@CircleCity21): TBD

TBD

Standings

1. John (6-1)
2. Kevin (5-2)
3. Cody (5-2)
4. Nick (2-5)

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