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2022 Bold Prediction: Colts Roll Through Nashville

The Colts (3-2-1) head to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans (3-2) in their Week Seven divisional matchup. The Colts are fresh off a 34-27 victory over the Jaguars. Will they be able to duplicate their success against the Titans?

This week has divisional implications for the Colts and the Titans. The Titans are 1-0 against the Colts this season, number one in the division, and looking for a clean sweep. But, the Colts have other plans. The winner of this game will take control of the division and look to keep pushing for a playoff birth. Let’s get into the bold predictions for the Week Seven AFC South matchup.

Colts’ Defense Contains Derrick Henry

The Colts’ defense is coming off a week where they let the Jacksonville Jaguars rush 33 times for 243 yards. That is 7.4 yards per carry. Just two weeks prior, the defense gave up 114 yards to Derrick Henry. Heading into the matchup against the Jaguars, the Colts were only giving up 96.6 yards per game and ranked in the top 10 against the run. Heading into the Week Seven mathcup against the Titans, the Colts’ defense is now allowing 121 yards per game and ranks 21st against the run. Things must change this week.

not james robinson. not travis etienne. but jamycal hasty. — NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) October 16, 2022

In the Week Four matchup, Colts defenders decided they were not going to fight to get off their blocks and just let Derrick Henry run rampant. The same thing happened in the Week Six matchup against the Jaguars. This week will be different. Buckner and Stewart will let their presence be felt from the very first whistle. Another change that is going to help the run defense is Gus Bradley finally making the decision to replace Brandon Facyson with Isaiah Rodgers.

Not only has Rodgers been better in coverage than Facyson, he is a willing tackler in the team’s run defense. That showed last week and in Week Four against the Titans. Playing Rodgers will give the Colts another defender on the outside. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Isaiah Rodgers has a grade of 74.7 in run defense.

This week, the Colts will make a statement in the run game. They will hold Derrick Henry under 100 yards and force the ball into Ryan Tannehill’s hands.

Colts’ Jonathan Taylor Held In Check

Jonathan Taylor has not played since the Week Four matchup against the Titans. Taylor left the game with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. In that game, Taylor was held to 42 yards on 20 carries. ( I repeat: 42 YARDS ON 20 CARRIES! ) It looks like Taylor will be back in the lineup on Sunday versus the Titans.

After missing the last two weeks with an ankle injury, Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will play Sunday vs. the Titans — B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 21, 2022

Jonathan Taylor has not played well against the Titans. Through four career games, Taylor is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry:

  1. 11/12/2020 – seven carries for 12 yards, two receptions for 25 yards

  2. 9/26/2021 – ten carries for 64 yards, one reception for eight yards

  3. 10/31/2021 – 16 carries for 70 yards, one touchdown, three receptions for 52 yards

  4. 10/2/2022 – 20 carries for 42 yards, one reception for one yard

Will this week be different for Jonathan Taylor? My bold prediction is…Jonathan Taylor runs for 100 yards in his first game back. I know from the stats that I posted above it looks grim for Taylor. However, the way I see it, Taylor is well rested coming off of two weeks of rehab, and the offensive line finally looks to have some cohesion. There were some runs last week that Deon Jackson had where I believe if Taylor was in, they break for bigger gains. Ultimately, Taylor will run for 100 yards and two touchdowns this week.

Colts’ Matt Ryan Has Another 300 Yard, No Turnover Game

Last week, Matt Ryan threw the ball 58 times, completed 42 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. In the Week Four matchup, Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards, had two touchdowns, one interception, and lost one fumble. While I do not believe he throws 58 times this week, I do believe he duplicates his Week Four performance, but without the turnovers. Last week, they used the short passing game as an extension of the run game. That wont be the case this week with Taylor and Hines back.

The Titans have allowed 300 yards to opposing quarterbacks four times through five games. Quarterbacks in those games are also completing a combined 104 of 157 passes (66.2%), but they also have at least one interception in three of those four games.

My three keys to defeating the #Titans on Sunday: •Limit Derrick Henry and force the Titans passing offense to beat you •Find balance on offense with JT and Hines back this week •Protect Matt Ryan and allow him to carve up the struggling Tennessee pass defense — Cody Felger (@CPFelger55) October 21, 2022

The Titans passing defense currently ranks 32nd in the NFL. I believe the offensive line has shown improvement by keeping Matt Ryan clean last week against the Jaguars. This week, I believe the Colts continue to work the quick game, and rekindle the running game. I believe Matt Ryan will throw for 350 yards, three touchdowns, and have ZERO turnovers. Colts will beat the Titans 34-21.

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