INDIANAPOLIS – Areas of interest in the Indianapolis Colts’ Sunday meeting with the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium:

*Kickoff: 1 p.m.

*Broadcast: CBS4.

*Spread: Titans by 2½.

*History lesson, Part I: It’s win or buck history for the Colts. They’ve never won the AFC South or earned a wild-card playoff spot with a losing division record. In fact, the only time they did either at 3-3 was in 2006. As you undoubtedly recall, the Colts won the AFC South that year and finished 12-4 en route to their Super Bowl XLI win over the Chicago Bears.

Lose to the Titans and the division record slips to 1-3-1. After dealing with division opponents in five of their first seven games, the Colts aren’t back in the division until the final game of the season against Houston in Indy.

*History lesson, Part II: The Titans have seized control of the series. They’ve won four straight and five of six, including a 24-17 nod in Indy in week 4. On the flip side, the Colts have won three of the last four meetings in Nashville.

“No. 1 seed last year in the AFC, obviously division champs,’’ Frank Reich said. “All roads go through Nashville.’’

*History lesson, Part III: With a victory, the Colts move to 4-2-1 and grab sole possession of first in the AFC South for the first time since week 8 of 2019. Yeah, it’s been awhile.

*History lesson, Part IV: The Titans are 4-0 coming out of a bye under Mike Vrabel.

*Offensive mix: It’s going to be interesting to see Reich’s offensive approach. He found the winning mix last week against Jacksonville with the no-huddle, up-tempo, pass-heavy game plan. Matt Ryan was masterful while distributing 58 passes and coming away with 389 yards and three TDs. The offense was efficient (no turnovers and zero sacks allowed for the first time this season, 10-of-15 on third-down conversions) and productive (a season-high 34 points, scores on six of their last seven possessions).

But a running game operating without Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines remained hit-and-miss. Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay averaged just 3.3 yards on 15 attempts. Yes, the controlled passing game was an extension of the run game – Jackson had 79 yards on 10 catches – but the Colts aren’t built to sustain the type of run-game rut they’re in. Since Taylor accounted for 161 of the 177 rushing yards in the opener at Houston, it’s averaged 65 yards per game and 3.1 per attempt.

In the first meeting with the Titans, the run game got little done: 38 yards on 23 attempts against a Tennessee defense that was allowing 145 yards per game and 5.8 per rush.

*No more Bully Ball: The Colts and Titans are constructed similarly. Be physical on the offensive and defensively lines, establish the run, get competent play from the quarterback and make a handful of plays on defense.

It’s fair to say the Titans have been doing it better than Indy. They’ve won the last two division titles and again sit atop the AFC South.

A startling stat during the Titans’ current four-game winning streak in the series: They’ve outrushed the Colts 629-264, averaging 157.2 yards per game and 4.7 yards per attempt. The Colts are at 66.0 and 3.2, respectively. Derrick Henry has rushed for at least 100 yards in three of those games. The Colts haven’t hit triple digits as a team during that stretch.

Owner Jim Irsay is sick and tired of the Titans pushing his franchise around. If that continues Sunday, it might be a long afternoon.

Reich mentioned the Titans rarely beat themselves. They’re a plus-1 in turnover differential and have turned it over just six times. Despite being turnover-free in the win over Jacksonville, the Colts are a minus-5 and their 11 turnovers are tied for 2nd-most in the league. Those 11 turnovers have led to 46 points.

The Colts are a minus-1 during the four-game losing streak to Tennessee, but the six turnovers have led to 34 points. In week 4, the Titans bolted to a 24-3 lead in large part by capitalizing on a Ryan fumble and interception with two TDs.

The bottom line: The Titans don’t need the help, so don’t give them any.

*Track Henry: Henry is averaging a career-low 3.9 yards per attempt, but appears to be finding his legs. After being limited to 107 yards in Tennessee’s 0-2 start, he’s averaged 100.3 yards per game and 4.3 per attempt as it has won its last three. He’s had consecutive 100-yard games, including 114 yards and one TD against the Colts in week 4. His productivity – along with the Colts’ carelessness – allowed the Titans to win with Ryan Tannehill passing for 137 yards and average 6.5 yards per attempt.

Complicating matters is the sudden vulnerability of the Colts’ run defense. It was gashed for 243 yards by the Jaguars, who averaged 7.4 yards per attempt. That knocked Indy from No. 4 against the run to tied-21st. The culprit has been a flurry of break-out rushes. Jacksonville piled up 169 yards on just five attempts (61, 48, 27, 19 and 14), and opponents have gotten loose for 14 gains of at least 10 yards in the last four games.

An occasional missed tackle or loss of gap control has proven costly. If that happens against Henry, he’ll make the Colts pay.

One more thing about the Titans’ offensive meal ticket. He’s gotten heavily involved in the pass game. After having zero targets in the first two games, he’s had 10 catches for 121 yards on 13 targets in the last three.

*Cash in: One of the more stark differences is each team’s efficiency in the red zone. The Titans rank 1st by a wide margin: 92.3% (12-of-13), well ahead of Kansas City’s 76 % (19-of-25). They’ve scored TDs on their last 11 trips inside the 20.

The Colts are tied-25th (47.4%, 9-of-19). That’s not going to cut it over the course of the season.

In week 4, Tennessee went 3-for-3, all in the first half, while the Colts finished 2-for-3.

*And the winner is: Titans 24, Colts 21. This was our pick early in the week and we’re sticking with it even though if we were betting with someone else’s money, we’d probably flip the prediction. The Titans own the series until the Indy does something about it.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.