Week 7 Preview: Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts

AFC South rivals will face off for the top spot in the division when the 3-2-1 Indianapolis Colts visit the 3-2 Tennessee Titans in Week 7. The teams faced off earlier in the year in a 24-17 Titans victory, but the Colts have bounced back with a pair of consecutive wins and may have turned a corner on offense after a big Week 6 performance. Regardless, the Titans are 2.5-point favorites to complete the sweep.
The Titans followed their top-seeded 2021 finish with an ugly first two games in the 2022 regular season, losing the contests by a combined 62-27. But they've turned it around, winning three straight closely contested games to enter their Week 6 bye 3-2. That's all despite not doing anything particularly well on either side of the ball: the team ranks 31st in yards gained, and 28th in yards allowed, including a dead-last ranking in net yards per passing attempt. 

Even the Titans' vaunted running game hasn't taken off. Running back Derrick Henry is down to 81.6 rushing yards per game and 3.9 yards per attempt this year after averaging 115.5 and 5.0 marks over his previous three seasons. As a result, the team finds itself 27th in rushing yards per attempt. 

To their credit, the Titans have made plays when they matter most, earning a second-overall ranking in third down conversion rate allowed and a first-overall ranking in red zone conversion rate. That should serve them well against a Colts team that has won all its games by single scores.
As for the Colts, they enter Week 7 looking to prove they're evolving after their own ugly start to the season. There have been hints of progress: after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-0 in Week 2, the Colts topped their rivals 34-27 in Week 6. Quarterback Matt Ryan played his best game of the year last week, netting a season-high 389 yards and three touchdowns while avoiding a turnover for the first time this season.

Ryan should also have help from a rejuvenated run game. Running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hynes both appear poised to return after missing Week 6. Taylor led the league last year with 2171 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns, and he'll have had three weeks of rest when he takes the field on Sunday.

If the offense starts carrying its end of the bargain, the Colts defense might finally get some of the credit it deserves. The team ranks 10th in yards allowed, 13th in net yards per passing attempt allowed, and ninth in rushing yards per attempt allowed. If the offense can claw its way back to mediocrity, the Colts could be a balanced, competitive team as they approach the back-half of the season.

The Tennessee Titans host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 this Sunday at 1:00 p.m ET.
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