Titans vs Colts: The Indianapolis Colts (3-4) can make life for themselves in the AFC South much easier if they beat the Tennessee Titans (5-2) on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are five Colts to watch in the Week 8 matchup against the Titans.
The Indianapolis Colts (3-4) are entering the midpoint of the 2021 season with a divisional bout on tap against the Tennessee Titans (5-2) in Week 8 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
While the Titans have a two-game lead on the Colts for the division and essentially a three-game lead given that they currently hold the tiebreaker after their Week 3 win, this is a huge matchup for both teams.
The rookie is finally making his debut. After missing all of the offseason, training camp and preseason work, Odeyingbo started the season on the non-football injury (NFI) list as he recovered from Achilles surgery. Now after missing the first seven games, Odeyingbo is expected to be active.
The Colts fell in love with Odeyingbo during the draft process given his athleticism on tape, length and versatility to work both inside and outside. They envision a role for him similar to that of Justin Tuck from the New York Giants.
It isn’t clear how much playing time Odeyingbo will get. He’s likely to be on a pitch count, but at least we’ll get to see the highly-anticipated rookie make his debut.
The Colts are expected to see the return of Smith after missing six games due to a foot injury he suffered in the Week 1 opener against the Seattle Seahawks. In the meantime, the Colts have had to patchwork the right tackle position between Julién Davenport and Matt Pryor, the latter of which has been the starter for the better part of the last month.
The Colts offense has been humming in recent weeks. Carson Wentz is playing well and seems to be more comfortable with his supporting cast while the offensive line has slowly gotten healthier. Though there are still some moving parts, getting Smith back can have a big outcome on this game.
Another player making his return from injury, Hilton is expected to suit up after suffering a quad injury during the Week 6 game against the Houston Texans, which just happened to be his season debut after missing the first five games of the season due to a neck injury.
Now, it seems Hilton is ready to return when the Colts need him most. Michael Pittman Jr. has done a wonderful job stepping in as the WR1 in the offense, and it appears he’s ready to take that next step. But the Colts could use a solid complement like Hilton and after taking four receptions for 80 yards in Week 6, it seems he can play that role well.
The run defense starts with Stewart, and he’ll be tasked in leading the unit against the league’s best running back. Derrick Henry is currently leading the NFL with 869 rushing yards. That’s 290 more rushing yards than the second-leading rusher in the league, which just happens to be Jonathan Taylor.
The Colts defense has to find a way to contain Henry if they want any chance of staying in this game on Sunday, and Stewart will be the one to lead the charge both directly and indirectly.
We didn’t get to see the full effect of Julian Blackmon’s absence in Week 6 because of two factors. One, Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t throw downfield. Two, even if he did, the weather wouldn’t permit it. That won’t be the case with Ryan Tannehill and the Titans offense.
With Sendejo likely playing the majority of snaps at free safety, the Titans have an area they can exploit. The veteran in Sendejo hasn’t had the strongest start to his time with the Colts when it comes to making plays, and it’s likely he’ll be put to the test on Sunday.