On paper, the Indianapolis Colts look like an optimal opponent for the Tennessee Titans following an unforgettable victory in Seattle last Sunday. The Colts carry an 0-2 record and have a ton of uncertainty surrounding their quarterback entering this matchup.
With a 1-1 record, the Titans look to get their first division win of the 2021 season after going 5-1 against AFC South opponents last year. However, the Colts come into this contest having won eight out of their last nine trips to Nissan Stadium.
The Titans are looking to take back home-field advantage, a place where they own a 9-7 record over the last two seasons. If you recall, Tennessee was trounced in Week 1 by Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals in front of their own fans.
The Colts’ primary focus leading up to Sunday’s main event has been stopping Titans running back Derrick Henry, which they’ve had difficulty achieving in their previous meetings. Here’s a look at what the Titans have been saying about Indianapolis ahead of Week 3.
RB Derrick Henry on Darius Leonard
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
Derrick Henry says he's really cool with Darius Leonard. Looks forward to the tough battle. Says when he's facing Leonard and the #Colts, it's time to really "tighten up his chin strap." #Titans pic.twitter.com/ax6hk2c8p9
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) September 23, 2021
HC Mike Vrabel on Colts’ QB situation
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, left, meets with Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich before an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
— 104-5 The Zone (@1045TheZone) September 24, 2021
HC Mike Vrabel on Colts’ run defense
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) September 22, 2021
RB Derrick Henry on finding success against Colts
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
— Kayla Anderson (@KaylaAndersonTV) September 23, 2021
DC Shane Bowen on preparing for uncertainty at QB
George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) September 23, 2021
DE Denico Autry on facing his old team
Tennessee Titans defensive end Denico Autry reacts to a play during an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Autry on this game being personal (from March): “That makes it real personal. They knew what they had. It is what it is,” Autry said. “I just like what (the Titans) have going on here. And I wanted to be a part of that. Actually, to tell you the truth, someone saw my worth, and that’s really why I chose the Titans.” Autry on playing against his former team: “It will be fun to play against some old teammates,” Autry admitted. “I know what they’re gonna do; they know what I’m gonna do, so it’s kind of even. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna have a little trash talk — it’s gonna be a little rough in the beginning, but they’ll simmer down a little bit.”
Titans on expecting to see Carson Wentz
Nov 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard (31) tackles Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Byard: “I’m expecting to see [Carson] Wentz, but as the week goes on and more stuff comes out, we’ll prepare for both quarterbacks for sure,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said after practice on Wednesday. “Wentz has been a quarterback in this league for a long time, and I know Eason is a younger guy, but we’ll prepare for both of them. I think both of them are starting quarterbacks in this league, so we’ll see what happens with the injury report.” Vrabel: “I don’t think that there’s a huge difference in the skill set. I mean, I think they’re gonna operate their offense,” Vrabel concluded. “You know, Carson’s [Wentz] play strength [and] obviously Jacob’s [Eason] limited exposure — but their receivers are tough, they’re physical. [Jack Doyle has been there forever, very productive. You know, their backs are fantastic.”
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