Colts run defense gearing up for another rumble with Titans RB Derrick Henry

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Jaguars Colts Football
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Bengals Titans Football
Posted at 5:27 PM, Oct 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-06 16:52:35-04

TENNESSEE (2-2) at INDIANAPOLIS (2-2) Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Colts by 1 1/2. SERIES RECORD: Colts lead 35-22. AGAINST THE SPREAD: Titans 3-1, Indianapolis 2-2. LAST MEETING: Titans beat Colts 19-10 on Oct. 23, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. LAST WEEK: Titans beat Bengals 27-3; Colts lost to L.A. Rams 29-23 in OT. TITANS OFFENSE: OVERALL (28), RUSH (15), PASS (28), SCORING (23). TITANS DEFENSE: OVERALL (12), RUSH (4), PASS (23), SCORING (8). COLTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (16), RUSH (14), PASS (18), SCORING (14). COLTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (29), RUSH (23), PASS (28), SCORING (22). TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Titans even; Colts plus-2. TITANS PLAYERS TO WATCH: DE Denico Autry and DT Jeffrey Simmons. While Autry, a former Colt, has been a menace on the outside (3 1/2 sacks), Simmons has been a force in the middle (three sacks). These two are a big reason Tennessee's defense is in the league's top 10 in sacks and are No. 4 against the run. If the Colts are missing two starting offensive linemen again this week, Autry and Simmons could have big days. COLTS PLAYER TO WATCH: RBs Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss. Taylor, the 2021 NFL rushing champ, hasn't played in a game since Dec. 26 and hadn't even practiced with his teammates until this week. But he — and his contract dispute — sure were focal points throughout the offseason and into the regular season. So seeing if he returns to his pre-injury form will be interesting — whenever he returns. The Colts ruled Taylor questionable for this game. With or without Taylor, though, Moss has given the ground game a boost. He's rushed for 280 yards, scored twice and caught a 2-point conversion pass in his three games as the starter. KEY MATCHUP: RB Derrick Henry vs. Colts run defense. The two-time NFL rushing champ has dominated this series recently, getting seven 100-yard games in 14 games. Henry has 253 carries for 1,287 yards and seven scores all time against Indy. And after last week's 122-yard game against the Bengals, he may be poised for another big day against a defense allowing 126.8 yards per game. Indy must play better to slow down Henry. KEY INJURIES: Titans starting LG Peter Skoronski returned to practice this week after having an appendectomy Sept. 16. Starting WR Treylon Burks (left knee) will miss a second straight game. Starting DL Teair Tart (toe) also is out. WR Kyle Philips (knee) is practicing after being designated to return from injured reserve, and the Titans declared OL Nicholas Petit-Frere out as he remains on a roster exemption returning from his four-game gambling suspension. ... Three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly is available after clearing the concussion protocol. But both LT Bernhard Raiman and DE Kwity Paye are out and remain in the protocol — something WR Alec Pierce avoided after being evaluated for a concussion late in last week’s game. The Colts ruled out starting LB Shaquille Leonard (groin), and starting CB Dallis Flowers suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury last week. SERIES NOTES: Tennessee has won five straight and six of seven in this series since Andrew Luck retired, including four in a row at Lucas Oil Stadium. ... Prior to the Titans current streak, the Colts had won 19 of 22 behind a collection of QBs such as Luck and Peyton Manning along with Dan Orlovsky, Jacoby Brissett and the combination of Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley in the 2015 season finale. ... Tennessee won the only playoff game between these current AFC South rivals, handing Manning his first postseason loss following the 1999 season. ... Titans GM Ran Carthon appeared in nine games in two seasons with the Colts. STATS AND STUFF: This will be the Titans first game against a division opponent this season. They are 2-0 at home and 0-2 on the road. .... QB Ryan Tannehill needs 19 completions to reach 3,000 in his 150th game. ... Henry's 38 career 100-yard games are tied with Eddie George for the most in franchise history. Henry also needs one 200-yard game to break a tie with Adrian Peterson and O.J. Simpson (six) for the most in NFL history. ... Tennessee's defense hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in the past 10 games. ... K Nick Folk has made 18 consecutive field goals and his 65 in a row from under 40 yards are five short of Justin Tucker's league record. ... The Titans are celebrating their 25th season in Nashville this season, while the Colts are celebrating their 40th season in Indianapolis. ... Indy’s next regular-season victory will be No. 550 in franchise history. ... The Colts are one of six teams to score 20 or more points in all four games. ... QB Anthony Richardson needs 25 yards rushing to pass Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas (155 in 1956) for the franchise’s third-highest single-season rushing total by a Colts rookie quarterback. ... Richardson’s next game with a TD run and a TD pass would be his third this season, matching Unitas, Bert Jones, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck for the most in a single season in franchise history. ... Taylor hasn't played in a game since Dec. 17, 2022. ... Indy’s defense leads the NFL with five strip-sacks, forced fumbles (eight) and is tied for No. 1 in tackles for loss (27). FANTASY TIP: Henry. This is one time fantasy players should just make the safe pick. No, Henry didn't look like his dominant self the first three weeks, but he sure impressed last week against the Bengals when he averaged 5.6 yards per carry and scored his second TD of the season. And this is a matchup Henry has exploited for years and it seems likely he will again Sunday. ___ AP NFL coverage: