NFL Football: Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 26, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1 p.m. ET, Sept. 26, 2021
Venue: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Titans -5.5; O/U 48; Titans -265, Colts +215
BetMGM: Titans -5.5; O/U 48; Titans -238, Colts +200
Caesars: Titans -5; O/U 48; Titans -260, Colts +210

Season record
Colts: 0-2
Titans: 1-1

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Titans-Colts preview and analysis


Recent form
Colts: lost 27-24 vs. Rams in Week 2
Titans: won 33-30 (OT) at Seahawks in Week 2

It just took a bit for the Tennessee Titans to get off the runway. Sooner or later, Derrick Henry was going to break through the traffic.

And seeing how it appears the Titans are back on track after a dud in Week 1, we like the Titans in a big way against the banged-up Indianapolis Colts in this AFC South showdown.

Henry, last season’s rushing champ, ran all over the Seattle Seahawks defense for 182 yards and three touchdowns to propel a much-needed 33-30 overtime victory Sunday. Ryan Tannehill threw for 347 yards and, more importantly, wasn’t devoured by Chandler Jones like he was in Week 1.

Tennessee’s defense is still a question mark after Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett played catch for most of the afternoon. Locket had eight receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown pass from Wilson, who threw two on the day to go with 343 yards.

But the Titans’ defense did get to Wilson three times and made enough plays to give the Tennessee offense a chance to win the game. After that home dud against the Arizona Cardinals, it was a much-needed win.

And now things are looking even better for the Titans heading into Week 3 against their division rivals and whichever one starts at quarterback. Carson Wentz is questionable with an ankle injury, and with rookie Sam Ehlinger already on injured reserve, it could be Jacob Eason getting his first NFL start.

Eason showed some promise in the preseason if there was ever a time Wentz wouldn’t be available due to injury. Sure enough, Wentz missed all of the preseason with an ankle injury, and Eason had to fill in. Eason played the final moments of the Colts’ 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams; Eason finished 2-for-5 for 25 yards and an interception for their second consecutive home loss to begin the season.

The Colts are already down top receiver T.Y. Hilton and slot receiver Parris Campbell is questionable on this week’s injury report. Eason will need to rely on the Colts’ running game led by Jonathan Taylor, but it’ll be a moot point should Tennessee’s staggering front stack the box.

Prediction


You know who the Colts could use right now? Andrew Luck. That would be the boost needed for all quarterback woes in Indianapolis. Unfortunately for the Colts, they’re realizing quickly how unreliable Wentz is. His inability to stay healthy will cost the Colts a chance in this wide-open division. Expect another strong outing for Julio Jones after his first 100-yard day with the Titans, and a comfortable win for the Titans. Titans by 17

Betting trends


The Colts are 2-11 straight up in their last 13 as an underdog and 5-7 against the spread.

Tennessee is 14-8 in its last 22 as a home favorite.

Players to watch


Colts: Wide receiver Zach Pascal is quickly becoming attached to the end zone. Pascal scored his third touchdown of the season on Sunday after a five-catch effort for 38 yards. Get in the red zone and find him; that should be Eason’s main focus.

Titans: It was a rough go for Julio Jones in Week 1, but to bounce back for six catches for 128 yards is a welcoming sight. He also should’ve had a touchdown, and my fantasy team is very angry at the refs for that.

Key injuries:


Colts: QB Carson Wentz (ankles, questionable), WR Parris Campbell (questionable), DB Xavier Rhodes (questionable)

Titans: OT Taylor Lewan (questionable), LB Jaylon Brown (questionable)

Statistical leaders


Colts:
Passing: Carson Wentz -- 498 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jonathan Taylor -- 107 yards
Receiving: Michael Pittman -- 152 yards
Defense: Khari Willis -- 1 INT

Titans:
Passing: Ryan Tannehill -- 559 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Derrick Henry -- 240 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Julio Jones -- 157 yards
Defense: Kevin Byard -- 1 INT

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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