Monday Night Football in Tennessee as the Titans host the Indianapolis Colts. All of the attention in Indianapolis has been on the status of Andrew Luck, who has been practicing this week. Despite him looking great in practice, the Colts are not going to rush him back. Consequently, Luck will sit this one out, and Jacoby Brissett will get another start for the Colts.
The former Patriot came in to Indy as an afterthought, just for some extra insurance. However, Scott Tolzien played so poorly that the Colts had no other choice but to go to Brissett. Brissett had a bit of starting experience in New England before coming to Indianapolis. He hasn’t been great, but better than Tolzien was offering. All Tolzien was doing is giving points to the opposing team, so when you look at it that way, Brissett has been a major improvement.
Marcus Mariota enters with a strained hamstring, but it looks like he is giving it a go on Monday night. Mariota sat last week out, while Matt Cassel got the nod at quarterback. It didn’t go so well, as they dropped a 16-10 decision to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins’ offense has been putrid this year. Holding them to 16 points isn’t overly impressive against that outfit. Behind Cassel, the offense couldn’t find their footing and will welcome Mariota back with open arms tonight. The playbook is crafted around Mariota, so it isn’t a surprise that Cassel didn’t put up top numbers.
They kept it simple for Cassel, and he passed for 141 yards and a touchdown. Now we should see the Titans open it up with their starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota. Both teams enter at 2-3, so it’s an important game. Either go to .500 or fall to two games below .500.
The AFC South hasn’t been too strong, so the division is there for the taking. If Andrew Luck comes back and plays well, who knows what transpires. After yesterday, the Jags and Texans are tied at 3-3. After Monday night a team will join them at 3-3. Head below for our free Colts vs. Titans pick on MNF.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans Betting Odds:
vs. Titans -8.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Colts vs. Titans Pick:
Up and down is one way to describe the Titans, on offense and defense. Starting with the offense, who have really good outings to their credit, and then some abysmal showings. The Titans scored 37 points on the Jaguars, following it up with 33 points on the Seahawks the next week. Those are two of the better defenses in the NFL. However, they went out and laid a dud against the Texans, scoring just 14 points. Mariota threw 2 interceptions and Cassel threw another 2. The defense was shredded with 57 points to make for an epic blowout, 57-14. Mariota will see his first game action since that game.
If Mariota can stay healthy, I believe the offense is going to be fine. However, the defense might need some time to get better. They’re 22nd in the NFL, allowing 345 points per game. Additionally, they’re giving up 28.4 points per game, 31st in the league. The only team worse at defending the end zone is the Indianapolis Colts, who are allowing 31.8 points per game. The Titans have struggled mightily at getting after the quarterback, with only 8 sacks on the year in total, 29th in the NFL. The Colts are 23rd with 11 sacks.
Brissett and Mariota are both slippery quarterbacks, they can run and avoid the rush. Brissett has passed for 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, but has added an additional 3 touchdowns rushing. Mariota also has 3 touchdowns on the ground. The Colts just allowed 46 points to an average to below average Seahawks’ offense, and then 23 to a bad 49ers’ offense. Going back three weeks ago, the Browns scored 28 points on the Colts which is their best of the year. In summary, they are last in the NFL in points allowed per game and haven’t played the best offenses in the league. I like the Titans to move the ball effectively, but -8.5 is begging for a backdoor. The OVER looks like a fine bet on Monday night.
PICK: OVER 48 (-110)