Nov. 08, 2016
No Luck needed in Colts win over Titans
The Tennessee Titans once again took two steps back against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Andrew Luck completed 9 passes of 15 yards or more on Sunday, torching the Titans for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns. This wasn't supposed to be the Colts 10th straight win over the Titans. It was supposed to be a game where the Titans turned a corner.
Instead, we saw the old Titans.
The defensive front was only able to muster two sacks against Andrew Luck, leaving the quarterback with plenty of time to pick apart the secondary. The cornerbacks looked slow because of it, with Colts wideouts often having a few steps on the defensive backs. When you don't have pressure up front, it's easy for a DB to look slow. There's a clock in your head as a DB that counts down to when the play should be coming to an end. The Titans corners had to extend that clock indefinitely because of the lack of pressure, leaving them vulnerable and exposed. Andrew Luck took full advantage of that fact.
Once again, there was also nothing special about the special teams corps. This unit allowed the Colts to recover an onside kick, resulting in a Colts field goal. It was just the latest mishap in what has now become a weekly issue for this unit. Firing the coach did not help. It's on the players and coaching staff to address these issues now. The Titans are not a team that can afford mistakes. It's the little things like this that make a big difference.
Offensively, you have to wonder if the team needs to start using Derrick Henry more. DeMarco Murray has already logged 139 carries, well on pace to surpass 300 carries for the year. There has been plenty of research documenting the drop-off for running backs who hit the 300 carry mark. Henry has shown he can shoulder a decent load and in the interest of keeping Murray healthy, he should see some extra action.
Marcus Mariota once again had a tough time with accuracy, continuing the roller coaster ride he's taken the Titans on this year. The decision-making needs to improve if this team is going to improve. More than anything, he just needs to be consistent. On the bright side, we have seen him take more shots downfield which could pay big dividends given the success of the ground game. He just needs to connect on these passes.
Overall, it was a forgettable day for the Titans when it should have been anything but. The stadium was packed and there was an energy in the air not felt in a while. This was a perfect opportunity for the Titans to lay their claim to the division and make a statement. Instead, they announced they are not ready. On a short week with a Thursday night matchup against another divisional foe, the Titans need to get the train back on the track quickly.