The Indianapolis Colts are approaching their final home game of the regular season, hosting the Tennessee Titans in which they just faced on December 9, in which the Colts defeated the Titans 30-28. For the third time in four years, the Colts and Titans will play in Week 17 in Indianapolis. This game has substance, where in former years the Colts usually have locked up their playoff spot, but this year is quite the opposite. It is imperative that the Colts win against the Titans on Sunday, if the Colts win or Jaguars lose, the Colts clinch the AFC South. If the Jaguars win and Colts lose, the Jaguars clinch the AFC South and No. 4 seed.
Although the Titans are simply playing with pride, due to their 6 and 9 record and will no way make the play-offs. The Colts cannot take their foot off the gas; they must end the regular season strong with a statement win.
Over the past few weeks, the Colts run defense has transformed from the laughing stock of the league to a solid defense holding the likes of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden to under 100 yards over the last few weeks.
Not only has the run game of the Colts opponents been minimized, but the quarterbacks have been contained.
Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are one of the best rushing tandems and have been making NFL quarterbacks feel the heat this season. Mathis had one of his best games of the season last Sunday against Oakland and must carry that momentum onto shutting down Titans quarterback Kerry Collins. Collins, who isn’t a very mobile quarterback, should be an easy target to rush and hurry out of the pocket with hopes to stack their sack count.
Offensively, Indianapolis have had an impressive run game, in the past two games combined, the Colts have rushed for 346 yards on 63 carries. Indianapolis welcomed back Dominic Rhodes who played with the Colts from 2001-06 and again in 2008. Last week against Oakland, Rhodes led the team with 98 yards rushing. To add another boast to the running attack, Joseph Addai and Mike Hart will have returned from injuries.
Let’s not forgot about what makes Peyton Manning a future Hall of Famer; his precise and accurate arm that dissects defenses. Manning must be hot against Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan who will most likely be covering Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Luckily for Manning, he has quite a few weapons to throw to such as break out sensation Blair White, veteran Pierre Garson and the very reliable tight end Jacob Tamme.
This has been a tumultuous regular season for Manning and the Colts, but they can close the season at Lucas Oil Stadium with a pleasant feeling as they look to return to the playoffs with the ultimate goal of winning another Super Bowl.
The Colts face the Titans Sunday at 4:15 pm (EST).
About the Author
Written by Gyasmine
Gyasmine George, M.S., a former basketball player, coach and advisor for student athletes and founder of Female Field Guide where she educates and advises women on sports and athletics. She has a rich love and knowledge for sports and athletics through her many years of growing up in a sports home. In addition, her hands on experience in a plethora of entities of athletics such as playing on championship travel and high school teams, coaching, teaching and advising, sales, marketing and promotions, game day management, communications and writing, has lead her to continue to fuel her passion for athletics. Contact Gyasmine at firstname.lastname@example.org