Cleat Geeks

Colts @ Titans on Monday Night Football

There are no moral victories in the NFL. You win or you lose. The Titans were defeated last Sunday by the Miami Dolphins 16 to 10. It wasn’t the blow out loss that the Texans laid on them in week 4 but there are no moral victories.  It doesn’t matter that Marcus Mariota didn’t play in that game. He is the face and leader of the franchise, there is no one more important long-term than he is. I hope that he does not play until he is ready. That all said I hope he is ready Monday night in Nashville. As a divisional game with the Indianapolis Colts is looming.

The Colts have won 11 consecutive games and seven of the past eight in Nashville.

The Jacksonville Jaguars going into this week are first in the AFC South at 3-2 and the Texans, Titans, and Colts were all just a step behind at 2-3. The Jaguars faced and lost to a resurgent Rams team in Jacksonville 27-17 and the Texans handled the Cleveland Browns at home 33-17. The winner of the Colts-Titans game will ind find themselves in a tie for first place in the division. The loser will be a game behind of the other three. It will be an important night for Tennessee’s hopes for winning the division.

It won’t be an easy night though no matter what the stakes are. The Colts have won 11 consecutive games and seven of the past eight in Nashville. Yes, a lot of those were to quarterbacks named Manning and Luck. The Colts just seem to have the Titans number. The Colts may not be the only team without their starting quarterback, Mariota is still questionable to play and it wouldn’t surprise me if he spent one more week in street clothes. There is still a lot of football to be played this year but those games take on a different meaning to a team that is 3-3 with two wins in the division vs a team that is 2-4 with a single divisional win.

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The Titans defense looked better last week but the Dolphins offense is not the measuring stick you want to use. Indianapolis is 22nd in the league with just over a thousand yards through the air but 17th in rushing yards. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is a large part of that with over 80 yards running the football and three rushing touchdowns, tops on the team. Those three touchdowns on the ground also tie Brissett for the lead among all quarterbacks with Carolina Panthers Cam Newton and our own Marcus Mariota. Containing Brissett in the pocket and staying home on his designed runs will be a key defensively.

Offensively the key is Marcus Mariota. If he plays Monday night then the Titans chances increase significantly. If not then it will be difficult generating offense through either the air with Matt Cassel or on the ground against a loaded box. The Titans are still in a position to win the game but the margin for error gets a smaller with Cassel at the controls.

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