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Preview: Indianapolis at Tennessee
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 27, 2015
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
After falling to a pair of AFC East teams, the Indianapolis Colts will try their luck within their own division when they visit the AFC South rival Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon. Speaking of luck, Andrew Luck tossed three of his five interceptions in Indianapolis’ 20-7 setback to the New York Jets on Monday to remain winless after two weeks for the second straight season.
“My play, turning the ball over, fumbles, interceptions, it’s a pretty glaring issue,” said Luck, who threw for 393 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-17 rout of Tennessee on Sept. 28. A date with the Titans should provide some comfort for the Colts, who have won seven in a row versus their division rival and 12 of the last 13 meetings. Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will receive his first taste of AFC South play, as the second overall pick came back to earth following a scintillating four-touchdown performance in the season opener with two fumbles in a 28-14 loss to Cleveland. When asked how he can improve, Mariota matter-of-factly stated that he needed to “keep two hands on the football.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Colts -3.5. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE COLTS (0-2): Coach Chuck Pagano failed to hide his displeasure after Luck’s latest performance, telling reporters that “he’s got to take care of the football. It’s not that hard. It’s not trigonometry.” The math also is not adding up for Frank Gore (23 carries, 88 yards), who was acquired in the offseason to give the backfield some much-needed punch. The veteran nearly knocked out his own team with a costly goal-line fumble on Monday for Indianapolis, which has rushed for just 157 yards – good enough for 26th in the league.
ABOUT THE TITANS (1-1): Mariota has connected with 11 different receivers this season, with Kendall Wright and tight end Anthony Fasano leading the way with just six catches. Wright scored a touchdown and rolled up 101 yards in Tennessee’s season-opening 42-14 triumph over Tampa Bay, but was limited to just two catches versus Cleveland. Second-year running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 74 yards and a score last week, but was held to just 52 yards rushing in two meetings with the Colts in 2014.
1. Following Sunday’s tilt, Indianapolis can right the ship with dates against division rivals Jacksonville and Houston before hosting New England in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game.
2. Six Tennessee players have at least one touchdown reception this season, more than any other team in the league.
3. Colts WR Donte Moncrief leads the team in receptions (13) and receiving touchdowns (two), but had just five catches for 30 yards in two meetings with the Titans in 2014.
PREDICTION: Colts 31, Titans 21