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This 5-2 Tennessee Titans team is beginning to have a passing attack as quarterback Ryan Tannehill begins to connect more with wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, plus now running back Derrick Henry has proven he can also throw the football as he tossed one for a touchdown last week on a trick play, now if only their 22nd ranked defense could step up, too.
The last time the Indianapolis Colts played was on Monday Night Football when they battled both the 49ers and an ‘atmospheric river’ to earn the 30-18 win, and now it appears that quarterback Carson Wentz is finally healthy enough to shine as his new favorite target T.Y. Hilton returns to the field, a new offensive duo that has yet to tap into its fullest potential.
These two AFC South rivals have met up 54 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Indianapolis Colts winning 35 of those games and the Tennessee Titans winning 19 of the games.
When you have running back Derrick Henry on your roster it must become tough to give the ball to anyone else, last year’s NFL Offensive Player of the Year and 2x rushing yards and touchdown leader a force to be reckoned with so far carrying the ball 191 times for 869 yards and 10 touchdowns, all tops in the NFL.
Of course, that becomes obvious to game plan against, so having an effective passing attack as well gives the Titans office an additional dimension that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is beginning to utilize.
Tennessee has three solid pass receivers on their roster – Julio Jones, A.J. Brown (below), and slot man Josh Reynolds – all playmakers who run crisp routes and know how to gain yards after the catch, and now they are beginning to find a connection with their QB making that Titans offense even tougher to defend.
When Colts quarterback Carson Wentz can stay healthy enough to play he is excellent, and right now his body is healed up and he is beginning to shine again, having thrown only one interception all season so far with 11 touchdown passes posted.
Wentz is beginning to find his rhythm with receivers in the red zone and he’s thrown two touchdown passes in each of his last four outings, a sign that he and his targets are getting used to playing with each other, a huge step forward for his first season with the Colts.
The return of T.Y. Hilton is key to Wentz’s passing attack, the two only playing in one game together so far this season where they connected four times on four targets for 80 yards and no touchdowns, an indicator of hopeful things to come in Indianapolis.
The name A.J. Brown is beginning to make its way around the league as this third-year receiver (all in Tennessee for the Titans) continues to be a consistent source of offensive production for this offense that is typically focused on the run.
That changes with Brown, a 6’ 1” 226-pound speedster who has already caught 25 passes off 43 targets for 354 yards and 2 touchdowns, so far a consistent 1,000+ passing yards contributor every season he’s been in the pros.
Brown and quarterback Ryan Tannehill continue to be a powerful alternative to all things Derrick Henry, then add in star playmaking receiver Julio Jones to that mix and now Tennessee has an offense that is instantly tougher to game plan against and infinitely more fun to watch.
Colts’ best receiver TY Hilton was placed on injured reserve back in September to start the season and was just reactivated on October 16 and played in one game so far with new quarterback Carson Wentz, the tenth-year receiver caught all four balls thrown his way.
Last season, Hilton played in fifteen games and caught 56 passes for 762 yards and got in the end zone five times, a production that he can improve on this year as he and his new quarterback Wentz slowly adjust to each other’s style of play.
At 5’ 10” and 183 pounds, Hilton has enough size and speed to gain extra yards after the catch, and this week his Colts could use some of that magic as the 4x Pro Bowl receiver returns healthy now to play at home in Indianapolis for the first time this season.
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|Titans vs Colts Information
|Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts
|Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN
|Sunday, October 31, 2021; 1:00 PM ET
|How to watch
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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