The 6-3 Indianapolis Colts will travel to Tennessee to play the 4-5 Titans.
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick Will Have a Passer Rating of Over 100
The Colts have been struggling recently against quarterbacks. The last three quarterbacks they've played have a combined total of 8 touchdowns to 1 interception and each have passer ratings over 96, with their last two being over 123.
Let's also consider that the last three quarterbacks have played have been Kellen Clemens, Case Keenum and Peyton Manning. Manning's a superstar, but Clemens and Keenum are definitely not and considering they are the ones that posted the two highest passer ratings the last three weeks; that's not a good sign going forward.
Fitzpatrick had a passer rating of 111 last week and will improve in this system. The Colts' secondary has been very average recently and ever since the Broncos game, Vontae Davis has taken a step back, being torched on 2 touchdowns two weeks thanks to Andre Johnson and being left in the dust by Tavon Austin last week.
Kendall Wright and Nate Washington have been hot and cold this year, but with the right matchup, they'll be able to have big games again. So, considering the Colts have played badly vs mediocre backups, and Fitzptarick had a passer rating of 111 last week, I believe he'll be able to go over 100 again this week.
2. The Colts Will Continue to Struggle with Drops and Have Five of Them
The biggest issue the Colts have had on offense is inconsistency from their receivers. Darrius Heyward-Bey has several drops this year including a few in the last couple of weeks. Ever since they lost Reggie Wayne, we've seen a large drop in production from the receivers.
T.Y. Hilton has helped pick up the slack, but no one else has stepped up. There is a big void behind Hilton, and it's clearly affecting Andrew Luck. They've had some issues with drops even before Reggie Wayne went out with injury, and it only continued after.
Add in the fact that the Tennessee Titans have some good cornerbacks, especially Alterraun Verner, who's playing like an All-Pro, and you're going to have a tough time this week. They will continue to have trouble with catching the ball, and will have five drops this week. Two from Heyward Bey, one from Hilton, one from Fleener, one from Whalen and one from Brown.
3. The Colts Will Finally Establish a Running Game
The Colts have failed to establish a running game for most of the season. Trent Richardson has not been able to do anything, Donald Brown, although good at times, has failed to have a very big impact in games, and the interior offensive line has been brutal this year at opening up holes.
As for the Titans, they've been good and bad this year against running backs. They've allowed a couple of big games, like Zac Stacy's huge 127-yard, 2 touchdown performance two weeks ago, and they've also shut down guys like Maurice Jones Drew and have contained Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch.
This week, however, the Colts are expected to see a slightly different line, especially on the interior, and I think that will be all the difference. I think the Colts will finally be able to have a running game this week. If Joe Reitz plays at right guard, I think they'll finally be able to open up some holes and give Richardson a chance to run.
I think this week they'll be able to get over 120 total rushing yards with 70 from Richardson and 50 from Brown.
Indianapolis Colts 23, Tennessee Titans 19