NFL Week 6 Preview: Colts at Titans
The Indianapolis Colts visit the Tennessee Titans in Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
Coverage by Mike Alessandrini
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts offense vs. Tennessee Titans defense
- WR T.Y. Hilton vs. CB Logan Ryan – The Colts’ leading receiver is coming off a huge game against the 49ers last week. Hilton hauled in 7-of-9 targets for 177 yards, good for 25.3 yards per catch. For the season, his 2.76 yards per route run is the fourth-highest mark among wide receivers. He has enjoyed a strong 2017 despite not having Andrew Luck throwing him the football. How Logan Ryan matches up against Hilton will be a key battle to watch on Monday Night. Against Jarvis Landry last week, Ryan did not allow a catch on three targets. Tennessee’s top cornerback has allowed five catches on eight targets for 60 yards over his last two games.
- Colts running backs vs. Titans linebackers – Indianapolis employed a two-headed rushing attack in Week 5 featuring veteran Frank Gore and rookie Marlon Mack. Gore forced three missed tackles on 17 touches, adding a 16-yard run. Mack had the best game of his young career against San Francisco, leading all Week 5 running backs with an 80.2 breakaway percentage and three 15-plus yard runs. The fourth-round pick also forced five missed tackles, giving him the second-highest elusive rating (222.2) at his position. Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson could be up to the task this week. Both defenders rank inside the top ten linebackers in terms of run stops (Woodyard leads the team with 14 while Williamson has accumulated nine). Woodyard’s 11.2 run stop percentage ranks fifth at his position in 2017.
- T Anthony Castonzo vs. Edge Brian Orakpo – Castonzo allowed just one pressure in 43 pass block snaps in Week 5 while being sturdy as usual in the run game. The Colts left tackle has earned a 78.7 overall grade this season, ranking 15th at his position. This includes an excellent 88.0 run block grade (best among tackles). Orakpo has also enjoyed a strong season for Tennessee. The veteran has accumulated 22 total pressures in 128 pass rush snaps thus far, giving him a 13.1 pass-rush productivity grade. This mark is good for ninth among edge defenders.
Coverage by Sam McGaw
Matchup: Tennessee Titans offense vs. Indianapolis Colts defense
- HB DeMarco Murray vs. Edge defenders John Simon & Jabaal Sheard – Murray has struggled to start the season, ranking 41st at his position with a PFF overall grade of 57.4. He’s forced only eight tackles and has an elusive rating of 27.3, which ranks 35th among running backs. In comparison, he forced 24 missed tackles and had an elusive rating of 61.5 through the first five games of 2016. One of the keys to Murray’s success is to get him running outside, especially to the left. Since the start of last season, Murray has averaged 5.16 yards per carry when running outside of the left tackle. With 29 of Murray’s 56 carries going outside of the tackles, Colts outside linebackers John Simon and Jabaal Sheard can expect to be attacked heavily Monday night. Sheard’s 91.1 run defense grade is the second-highest among edge defenders, while Simon ranks 22nd at 81.2. Additionally, Sheard ranks 16th among edge defenders with an 8.6 run-stop percentage. Simon’s 7.3 run-stop percentage is 20th.
- WR Rishard Matthews vs. CB Rashaan Melvin – Matthews has been Tennessee’s top pass-catcher this season, averaging 1.80 receiving yards per route run. He has a PFF overall grade of 79.2, which ranks 22nd among receivers. He’ll often be challenged by Colts cornerback Rashaan Melvin this week. Despite being thrown at 37 times this season (the third-most in the league), Melvin is allowing 1.06 receiving yards per coverage snap, which ranks 41st out of 78 qualified cornerbacks. His PFF overall grade of 86.3 ranks 10th.
- TE Delanie Walker vs. S Matthias Farley – After averaging 1.93 receiving yards per route run through the first three weeks of the season, Walker’s production has sputtered to 1.55 receiving yards per route run over his last two games. Despite the recent cool down, Walker is still at the top of his game. He possesses a PFF overall grade of 87.6, which ranks second behind Rob Gronkowki’s mark of 88.0. Walker receivers a favorable matchup against Colts safety Matthias Farley, who’s rate of 1.28 receiving yards allowed per coverage snap is the fifth-most among safeties.