PFF Preview: Colts @ Titans, Week 17
Locked into the fourth seed in the AFC thanks to a disappointing showing against the Cowboys, the Colts will travel to Tennessee instead with hopes to finish strong and build some momentum heading into the playoffs. Conversely, Tennessee is in position to scoop up the top pick in next year’s draft, and even a win against the Colts should see the Titans land a Top-5 pick.
With little on the line, it remains to be seen if the Colts’ top talent will suit up, but the defense could use a game to rebound. Vontae Davis got a well-earned Pro Bowl selection, but opposite him Greg Toler hasn’t been as stout, allowing eight touchdowns on the year and a passer rating of 103.6. With just one pass defense in the last six games, Toler needs to put his last couple games behind him to help elevate Indy’s pass coverage.
With Charlie Whitehurst taking his turn on the carousel yet again, Tennessee will have a quarterback coming off a strong game against Jacksonville where Whitehurst recorded one of his better performances, completing 24 passes and earning a 102.9 passer rating. He doesn’t have the most imposing receiving options, though, despite a slow start to 2014, Nate Washington has tallied at least 50 yards in five of the last six games and hasn’t dropped a pass since Week 5. Kendall Wright has over 200 receiving yards in his last two games (sandwiched around an injury) and with a Drop Rate of just 1.79%, he’s been one of the most sure-handed receivers in the league.
Even without playoff seeding on the line, Indianapolis would love to gain some momentum and extend their winning streak against the Titans to seven.
Donte Moncief – At a solid 1.85 Yards per Route Run, Moncrief has made the most of his opportunities, catching over 70% of the passes thrown his way and averaging 7 YAC per reception.
Arthur Jones – Since returning from his ankle injury, Jones has been a bit disappointing, but if he can replicate his form from Baltimore, his talent as a run defender could help shore up a defense that’s struggled in the ground game. In 2013, Jones had the fourth best Run Stop Percentage (10.0) of all 3-4 ends.
Mike Adams – Even though he may not be widely regarded as one of the NFL’s better safeties, Adams is second among safeties with nine combined pass breakups (five picks, four pass defenses).
Taylor Lewan – With limited participation in practice, having Lewan back in the lineup would be a huge boost to the Titans’ run game. Lewan has just two negative grades as a run blocker this year and sits at +5.2 on the season.
Ropati Pitoitua – Pitoitua has a +10.5 run defense grade even though he’s played no more than 45 snaps in a game this year. That’s the 10th-best run defense grade — every 3-4 end with a higher grade has played a minimum of 287 more snaps than the Titan.
Avery Williamson – At +5.3, Williamson isn’t taking the league by storm but is vastly outperforming his fifth-round draft status. Over the last four weeks, Williamson has earned a cumulative +6.8 grade.
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