By Rich Bergeron
Betting Line from bet365:
Spread: Colts -7.5 (20/21), Titans +7.5 (20/23)
Money Line: Colts 5/18 (1.27), Titans 14/5 (3.80)
Over Under: 46 points
The Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans square off this Sunday in a game where both teams have a lot to prove. Each squad comes in with a 1-2 record, and they both also lost back to back games to get those two losses. The Titans will be fighting to stop their mini losing skid while the Colts will be trying to establish a winning streak after starting the year 0-2.
Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck (86-126, 912 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs) is primed and playing better than ever after leading his team to a 44-17 victory over Jacksonville last Sunday. Luck is maturing nicely, running in much more key situations (54 yards, TD), and making better decisions before he lets the ball go. Unfortunately, his run support is lacking. Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw have a combined 306 yards rushing on 66 attempts with Richardson already coughing up two fumbles. Neither back has a single touchdown on the ground going into this week four contest, though Bradshaw has three touchdown receptions and over 100 yards receiving. A great passing game can only do so much for an offense if there is no credible threat of the run to keep the defense honest.
Meanwhile, Titans QB Jake Locker (57-101, 685 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs) comes into week four all banged up with a bad wrist, and he may not even make the start. He’s been sacked eight times so far this season for a loss of 33 yards. He’s also demonstrated a penchant for mobility with 73 yards of scrambling on 14 attempts. Locker’s main back is Shonn Greene (30 carries, 144 yards, TD). Tight End Delanie Walker is an absolute beast on the field so far this season with 233 yards already and two scores to his credit. Walker’s status is also uncertain going into this game, so even if he plays there’s no guarantee he’ll be at full strength.
The Colts defense has five sacks on the year so far with four forced fumbles and three interceptions. The Titans have eight sacks on defense to go with four interceptions.
The Colts have the advantage in this series, winning 18 of 24 total meetings between the two squads in the rivalry. They are also riding a five-game win streak over the Titans. To top it all off, the Colts are on their home field.
NFL Prediction for Week 4: Colts win easily, building off the momentum of last week’s win. The Titans defense makes a great effort, but three field goals and a touchdown are all Tennessee can muster in this one. The Colts should explode again on offense for at least 34 points. Colts: 34, Titans: 16.