Game Scout: Titans at Colts

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Indianapolis Colts (7-4)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein
*Keys to the game: The Colts rallied to a 30-27 win when the teams met Nov. 14 in Nashville and have won nine of the past 10 meetings. But it's no longer a gimme that Indianapolis takes the AFC South. QB Andrew Luck is taking a beating with teams teeing off until the Colts establish a running game. They still haven't had a 100-yard rusher and "Boom" Herron is now getting reps as the Colts continue to search for a steady runner. The Titans are winless in the division but with the running game showing signs of life, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has dodged the turnover issues that plagued him in Buffalo. Fitzpatrick has thrived with a dink-and-dunk approach that lulls cornerbacks to sleep and sets up the Titans to take their shots over the top. He has also made plays outside the pocket, but indoors on a fast track in noisy environment, that'll likely change.
*Matchup to watch - Titans CB Alterraun Verner vs. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton: Verner set a physical tone in the first meeting and Hilton is getting double coverage in clear passing situations, averaging 8.2 yards per catch the past two games.
*Player spotlight - Colts OLB Robert Mathis: Fitzpatrick slipped away from Mathis in Nashville. Mathis has a career-best 14.5 sacks so far this season and has six career sacks, one forced fumble and three fumbles recovered in 18 games against Tennessee.
*Fast facts - Luck has been hit 82 times on non-running plays in the pocket this season. He was hit 110 times as a rookie. ... Fitzpatrick has a QB rating of 110.4 in his past three games.
QB Andrew Luck and the Colts continue to be dogged by slow starts. Jumping ahead early and taking the conservative Titans out of their comfort zone puts them in the catbird seat again in the division.
*Our pick: Colts 29-20

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