Thursday Night NFL Action: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

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Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Time: 7:20 PM (EST)

Spread: EVEN

Total: 48.5

Odds c/o 5dimes

The 6-2 Tennessee Titans find itself atop the AFC South as it prepares to host the Indianapolis Colts in a Thursday night showdown. The Colts enter as slight underdogs on some bookmakers, but oddsmakers at 5dimes have the betting line set as a PICK EM, with the over-under sitting at 48.5 total points.

The game will air at 7:20 PM (EST) on FOX networks.

TEN News & Notes:

The Tennessee Titans snapped its two-game skid last week by defeating the Chicago Bears 24-17. This week brings the Colts to town, in a game that is too close to call according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes. A win by the Colts would even these teams at the top of the AFC South, while the Titans could extend its lead to two games with a “W.”

The Titans have largely gone away from the pass-heavy offense it employed during the (failure) tenure of Marcus Mariota. While the Titans managed just 237 passing yards per game, it ranks No. 6 in the NFL in rushing— accounting for 147.6 yards per game. Even with the lack of play diversification, the Titans rank No. 7 in scoring at 29 points per game. While the defense has been less than outstanding, it is managing to limit opponents to 25.1 points per game, which works out to a +3.9 point differential for Tennessee.

While the yardage may not be overly impressive, the accuracy and lack of mistakes from Ryan Tannehill have been plenty impressive. He has thrown at a 65.7 percent clip and has 19 TD passes with just three interceptions. He has also been sacked just 11 times in eight games, showing that the OL has provided him with the protection to make good decisions, while also providing many great holes for the Titans’ backfield to exploit. That improvement on the line is one of the biggest factors in the Titans’ turnaround in the last two seasons.

In terms of the rush game, it would not be incorrect to assign most of the improvement to the tremendous season Derrick Henry is having. He has rushed for 843 yards at a 4.6 yard-per-carry average, and he has eight of the Titans’ nine rushing touchdowns. He has also rushed for 42 first downs and has yet to suffer a single fumble. The Titans really could not ask for more from its No. 1 back. Jeremy McNichols has been effective in fewer touches, with just 23 rushes on the year but a 6.4 yard-per-carry average. Tannehill, too, has been a good rush threat with his 4.8 yards-per-carry on 22 attempts this season.

The Titans have five receiving options with at least 22 receptions this season. AJ Brown leads the team in yardage (457) and is tied with Jonnu Smith for the lead in TD receptions (six). The overall work of the receivers has been great, but some of that success must be attributed to the attention that Henry draws from opposing defensive backs. The Titans average 11.9 yards per reception, and it has scored 19 touchdowns via the pass, compared to just nine rushing TDs.

IND News & Notes:

The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a tough 10-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on its home field. And the Colts have lost two of its last four games. A win today would more than get it back on track as that would tie its opponent in the AFC South divisional race.

The Colts have been a force defensively. It allows just 20 points per game while managing to hang 26 up itself, giving it a better win differential than Tennessee even.

Philip Rivers has seamlessly adapted to his new team, and he has already eclipsed 2,000 yards this season with 10 touchdowns. Problematic, however, is the fact Rivers has thrown seven picks. The backfield is experiencing similar woes due to poor blocking. The Colts’ top-three ball carriers all averaged under four yards per attempt. The Colts also have just eight rushing touchdowns on the season, while it has managed 10 TD receptions. Overall, Indy has some of the metrics to suggest that this will be a close game, but it can be expected the Titans pull this off and jump out to a two-game lead on Indy at this early juncture of the 2020 season.

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