We have spent most of the week thus far either looking back on last weekend's win against the Jaguars and defending Vince Young against his #1 hater. It is time now for us to shift our focus to the Indianapolis Colts and their high-powered offense.
The Titans played the Colts better than any team in the NFL last season giving up only 31 points in 2 meetings. The reason for this is the game plan that has been implemented by defense co-ordinator Jim Schwartz. The key against the Colts is keeping them in front of you. You make them run the ball and take the check downs in the passing game. You don't try to come up with a way to trick Peyton Manning on a blitz. Every team in the NFL has tried it, and Manning beats them almost every time.
The 2 meetings with the Colts are the biggest games of the season for the Titans front 4. They have to get pressure on Manning because blitzing him is not really an option. The key match up to watch will be Kyle Vanden Bosch against Colts' rookie offensive tackle Tony Ugoh. Ugoh held up well against the Saints last week. If Vanden Bosch can get some pressure on Peyton early in the game it will force the Colts to keep a back in to help with protection. That will make things easier on the secondary.
Offensively the game plan will be very similar to last week's game, ball control, even though the defense couldn't be more different. The Jaguars front 4 is big and bulky while the Colts front 4 is much smaller and quicker. The Titans are going to need to have a big advantage in time of possession to come out on top this week. If you give Peyton enough opportunities he will eventually beat you.
I look for LenDale White to get the bulk of the carries against the smaller front. His style of running will wear the Colts defense down. Once he wears them down Chris Brown will have the opportunity to hit some big runs against them.
The key for Vince Young in this game will be to play efficiently. The running game will carry the bulk of the offense, but the passing game will have some opportunities for big plays. The Colts love to bring safety Bob Sanders in the box. This should open some things up down the field. The Colts also have different corners than last year's team. If Vince can connect with his receivers when the opportunities are there, he will have a big game. It won't be enough to shut up the Big Blue Shoe but it will be a start. I am not going to even talk about Vince's running because apparently those yards don't count anymore. If takes off to run the refs are just going to blow the whistle and move on to the next down.
To be the champs you have to beat the champs. The 1st chance for that comes on Sunday.