NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Here's a look at six things to watch:
Derrick Henry's Productivity
Titans running back Derrick Henry has 532 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in December. His rushing total is the most by any player in any calendar month this season. With one or more rushing touchdowns vs the Colts, Henry would tie the franchise record for most consecutive team games (5) with a rushing touchdown. The Titans need a big outing from Henry on Sunday. In his career, he's had some nice games against the Colts.
Titans quarterback Marcius Mariota practiced on Thursday and Friday, which was a step in the right direction. Will he be the starter on Sunday? And if he plays, will he be able to finish? Well, he's listed as questionable on the team's Injury Report, so his status isn't decided. Mariota was knocked out of the first meeting against the Colts. The Titans would love to see him available, and making plays like he did in big games late last season. Meanwhile, back-up QB Blaine Gabbert is on standby.
Can the Titans Stop Luck?
Well, we all know the streak by now – Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is a perfect 10-0 against the Titans. What Luck has done in the past doesn't matter now, however. What matters now is how well the Titans do against him on Sunday, and whether they can make him uncomfortable in the pocket. The Titans couldn't pressure Luck in the Week 11 meeting, and they're going to have to find ways to do it on Sunday. If not, it's going to make things very difficult.
Contain T.Y. – and Eric Ebron
The Titans did a great job shutting down Colts tight end Eric Ebron in Week 11. The problem is Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton had a monstrous day, hauling in nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns while working mainly against Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson. Will the Titans take a different approach the second time around? Stay tuned.
Stepping up for Casey
I mentioned in category No.3 the important of harassing Luck. Well, the Titans will be playing without defensive tackle Jurrell Casey for the first time this season, so the mission is tougher. Who steps up? Across the board the Titans are going to need defensive linemen to play well, from DaQuan Jones to Austin Johnson to Bennie Logan. Coach Mike Vrabel indicated earlier this week young d-lineman Matt Dickerson should be active as well. Darius Kilgo is also on the mix.
I'm expecting a hyped-up, sold out crowd at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, where the Titans will be trying to go 7-1 at home for the first time since the 2008 season. Vrabel said he wants fans to get "tuned up" on Broadway leading up to the contest. The Titans are 16-3 in their last 19 homes games, and the crowd has played a role. The Titans want to see fans at the game early, and they want them loud. Facing a win-and-in scenario, I'm looking forward to seeing the raucous atmosphere.
The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series with the Indianapolis Colts. (AP Photos)