Tennessee Titans (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-5 SU, 4-4-1 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: TEN +3/IND -3
Over/Under Total: 52.5
The Tennessee Titans come to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in AFC South action. The Titans smoked the Packers, 47-25, on Sunday and are now 5-5, equaling their combined win total from the last two seasons. They look to avenge a week 7 loss to the Colts, when Indy beat them in Nashville, 34-26. Indy is also coming off a win over the Packers, but they had a bye last week and at 4-5, they need to start putting together some positive developments before the season gets away from them. As of now, they're looking up at both Tennessee and Houston.
Things are starting to come together for the 5-win Titans. They've gotten a big boost offensively from different sources. The addition of DeMarco Murray has given them a true threat on that side of the ball. Marcus Mariota's development has been sharp, as he has become a more reliable and efficient presence behind center. And contributions of guys like rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe, rookie back Derrick Henry, and first-year Titans receiver Rishard Matthews have been instrumental. They're the 7th overall-ranked offense and third in rushing. And it's important to put it into perspective, as we're talking about a team that couldn't get much of anything right with a 5-27 record in the past two years headed into this season.
On Sunday against Green Bay, the Titans looked really good on offense with a 47-point output. Mariota has been really on-the-money in recent weeks and was 19-for-26 on Sunday with 4 TD passes and no picks. Murray ran for 123 yards and had 33 in the air. He ran in a 75-yard touchdown and again, gives the Titans game-breaking ability. He even threw a TD on a trick play. Anthony Fasano, Kendall Wright, Sharpe, Walker, and Matthews all caught TDs on the day. We also see an O-line that is beginning to become a respected unit, keeping Mariota out of trouble, while playing a big role in making the Titans such a force on the ground.
Defensively, Tennessee lags behind the offense in terms of effectiveness and growth. They're a little leaky against the pass, which has led to giving up over an average of 25 points per game, a bit on the long side for an NFL defense. They've only recovered three fumbles this season and they haven't scored defensively. But they have some playmaking ability, while also having been clutch in a lot of different spots this season. Brian Orakpo has nine sacks, with Derrick Morgan having registered 6.5 this season. Perrish Cox has three picks, while Jason McCourty has been also making plays in the secondary. While not the stoutest of defenses, they're better than they look on paper.
Now would be a good time for the Colts to make a move. The bye week hopefully served as a time for them to collect themselves for a run. But a week doesn't cure some of the issues they have. They opened the season 0-2 and have alternated wins and losses since then en route to a 4-5 mark. But they got healthier and with some guys like safety Mike Adams, OL Jake Mewhort, and others getting back on the practice field. With Houston's position atop the AFC South tenuous, the Colts look to make a push and they proceed without much margin for error.
The Colts' offense has shown flashes without really ever being consistent this season on this side of the ball. A shaky O-line hasn't really helped, with the better fronts they've faced having slapped this group around. They have allowed Andrew Luck to get sacked 33 times, while being a big part of why the Colts run-game sometimes struggles. Frank Gore is getting old, but can still make things happen even with a ramshackle line opening holes for him. Luck is still prolific, but has seen injuries and youngsters not blossoming hurt him. TY Hilton is still doing his thing without a ton of help. Jack Doyle has become a reliable force at tight end, but shouldn't be the team's second-leading receiver. Donte Moncrief is working his way back from injury, so that's a good sign. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett's development has been slow, though he's far from being the only one under-performing on this offense.
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The Indy defense is a major roadblock to success—29th in points allowed, 30th in total defense, and 31st against the pass. The pass-rush has been negligible, while they've only picked off three passes all season. Sure, injuries have hurt and they can sometimes play over the head, especially when the offense is clicking. But they're not what you would call a bankable defense. And with Murray and a diversified aerial attack, Tennessee looks to do some damage against this group this week.
Luck did put up 353 yards and three touchdowns against Tennessee less than a month ago. With Moncrief back, we could see even more of that, as both Hilton and Doyle took to flight in that game, along with some nice runs by Gore along the way. And this was on the road. After a week off and Tennessee on a draining run of games, one could envision rather easily the Colts having a decent week. But Tennessee has worked like dogs to get to this spot and won't be separated easily from this newfound good feeling. I see both offenses having success, with Indy crossing the finish line ahead. I'll take the home team.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Indianapolis Colts minus 3 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Tennessee vs. Indy game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!