NASHVILLE — The Titans launched the regular season last week with a 43-13 victory in Cleveland. Quarterback Marcus Mariota directed the offense with three touchdown passes, while the defense contributed three interceptions, five sacks and a safety—a first in franchise history for the defense for that combination.
Tight end Delanie Walker was on the receiving end of two of Mariota’s scoring passes in his first game back since being injured in the 2018 season opener, while rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown totaled 100 receiving yards in his NFL regular season debut. Running back Derrick Henry had 159 total yards of offense, including a career-best 75-yard touchdown reception.
The defense’s totals included 2.5 sacks (including a safety) by outside linebacker Cameron Wake, who became the second active player (Terrell Suggs) to reach 100 career sacks. Additionally, cornerback Logan Ryan became the third Titans/Oilers player since 1982 to record at least one interception and at least 1.5 sacks in the same game.
When the Titans last saw the Colts, the two teams squared off in “Game 256,” the final game of the NFL’s 2018 regular season (Dec. 30), which decided a wild card playoff berth. The Colts left Nissan Stadium with a 33-17 win to advance to the postseason.
Like Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel, Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich is in his second season at the helm. He became the third head coach in Colts history to win a playoff game in his first season.
Reich and the Colts experienced an abrupt change at the quarterback position only two weeks before the 2019 regular season. On Aug. 24, former starter Andrew Luck announced his retirement, leaving the job to fourth-year veteran Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett started last week when the Colts opened their season on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. He passed for two touchdowns and helped the Colts come back from a 24-9 deficit in the second half. However, the Chargers won the game 30-24 in overtime.
This week’s game will mark the 50th all-time contest between the Titans and Colts. The Colts lead the series 33-16.
The last time the Titans and Colts met at Nissan Stadium was the 2018 season finale on Sunday night, Dec. 30, 2018. It was a contest to decide who would clinch a playoff berth as the AFC’s sixth seed. The Titans were forced to play the game without injured starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Colts were opportunistic and pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 33-17 victory.
In the first meeting of 2018, played on Nov. 18 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Andrew Luck totaled 297 yards and three touchdown passes to lead the Colts to a 38-10 victory. Mariota left the game in the second quarter due to an elbow injury.
In 2017, the Titans swept the season series with the Colts for the first time since 2002. Prior to 2017, the Colts swept the season series every year from 2012 through 2016.
The Titans and Colts have met only once in the postseason, a 19-16 Titans victory in a Divisional Playoff game in the RCA Dome on Jan. 16, 1999. Eddie George rushed for 162 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run to help lead Tennessee during its run to Super Bowl XXXIV.
Three years later, in 2002, the NFL realigned, and the AFC South was created. The Titans moved from the AFC Central, and the Colts moved from the AFC East to form half of the new division.
The teams first clashed in 1970 following the AFL-NFL merger. The then-Baltimore Colts defeated the then-Houston Oilers 24-20 during the Colts’ run to a Super Bowl V Championship.
This week’s game will be televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes and analyst Adam Archuleta.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Amie Wells and gameday hosts Rhett Bryan and Jonathan Hutton.