MNF: TENNESSEE TITANS vs INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
TENNESSEE TITANS vs INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
By: Robert L. Porter Jr.
The Titans host the Colts in this AFC South showdown. Tennessee gets back QB Marcus Mariota who missed last weeks game with a hamstring injury. The Colts and Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and wide out T.Y. Hilton look to get Their 12th straight win in this rivalry.
Tennessee receives the opening kick and a good return by rookie Adoree Jackson sets them up with good field position. The Titans moved the ball but Mariota looked a little rusty, the drive would stall but Ryan Succop hit a 48 yard field goal to give his team a 3-0 lead. On the Colts first drive it looks as if the Titans recent defensive woes will continue as the Indianapolis offense moved down the field with ease but a Donte Moncrief drop in the end zone forced them to take 3 points and tie the game. Colts penalties keeps the Titans 2nd drive alive after what looked to be a 3 & out. Mariota looked better on possession number 2 but again could only muster a field goal, 6-3 Titans. A completion by Brissett to Kamar Aiken for 14 yards is how this fast moving first quarter comes to a close.
The 2nd quarter starts with the Colts offense still looking to be ahead of this Titans defense. Frank Gore is finding running lanes and Brissett is hooking up with his receivers at will as he caps the drive with a pass to TE Jack Doyle for an 8 yard TD making the score 10-6 Colts. Great kick coverage paired with a mind boggling decision to bring the kickoff out of the end zone has Tennessee deep in their own territory. A couple good Mariota passes has his team in business over midfield. Derrick Henry would have 2 tough runs to get the Titans down to the 22 yard line but has to settle for another Succop kick shrinking the Indy lead to 1, 10-9.
Gore has seemed to found the fountain of youth as he continues to gash this Titans front for nice gains. As the clock hits 2 minutes, Indianapolis is on the move again after a short completion to Robert Turbin gives them another first down. Brissett runs a very good 2 minute drill as he hit his open guys and kept a good pace to his offense. The drive would ultimately end with another Adam Vinatieri field goal from 25 yards out giving the Colts a 13-9 lead with 14 seconds until the half but the drive did what is was designed to do, get points before halftime then receive the kick to start the 2nd half.
Brissett and the Colts open the 2nd half with a quick 3 & out. Mariota and his offense comes on the field to try and improve on a 1st half that saw them get 3 field goals and no touchdowns. It was not to be, Mariota’s first pass was intercepted by John Simon and taken back for a touchdown but Vinatieri missed the extra point leaving the score 19-9. The Titans come out on the next drive looking to stabilize the ship. Completions to Decker and Murray would get them into Succop range and he bangs another 48 home making it 19-12 Indianapolis. Another quick Colts 3 & out gives Tennessee the ball back near the 35 yard line. Mariota returns the favor with a 3 & out of his own.
Jack Doyle would open the next drive with a catch but Wesley Woodyard was there to strip him and Tennessee recovered. A quick WR screen to Rishard Matthews gets the Titans down inside the 10 yard line. 3 unproductive plays ends with a 23 Succop field goal, that gives him 5 on the night and all of Tennessee’s points. The rhythm Indianapolis had early has left them as Brissett is hit hard on 2 of the 3 plays they ran before another punt. Two Eric Decker Catches of 21 and 7 yards starts the drive for Tennessee as the tide seems to have turned. A holding call put the Titans behind the chains with a 1st & 20 but good sharp passes gets them withing 3rd & 5. A short pass to Decker makes it 4th & 1 as the quarter expired with the score Colts 19 and Titans 15.
Mike Murlarkey decides to go for it to begin the 4th and a QB sneak picks it up and keeps the drive alive. On a long 3rd down Mariota finds Matthews for the first down at the 28. Although Mariota isn’t as mobile as we are accustomed to, he has began to slide in the pocket and find receivers running open. DeMarco Murray bullies his way down inside the 5 yard line for a first and goal then caps it off with a TD run to give Tennessee its first touchdown of the game and the 22-19 lead. A good Colts kick return gets them into Titans territory to start this drive trailing by 3. A Brissett scramble then a Moncrief catch has Indy in field goal range. An intentional grounding call followed by a Doyle drop brings Vinatieri on the field to attempt a 51 yard field goal to tie it. The 41 year old splits the up rights tying it up at 22.
The Titans receive the kick with 7:27 to go and a tie game. Mariota and Decker has found the chemistry the team was hoping for when they got him. After a Decker first down Taywan Taylor got behind the defense for a 53 yard TD to give Tennessee a 7 point lead. Brissett finally gets his groove back as they put together a nice drive that found them with a 4th & 1 at the Titans 13 yard line but a naked bootleg by Jacoby is a half yard short. Turnover on downs with 2:19 left in this one. Chuck Pagano challenged the spot but the ruling stands as called. Murlarkey would give the ball the their Hammer Derrick Henry to try and close it out a d he does that in a huge way with a 72 yard TD run with 47 seconds remaining. Indianapolis has had issues closing games all year, they once lead 19-9 then were outscored 27-3 in embarrassing fashion.
STARS OF THE GAME
Marcus Mariota – 23/32 306 yards 1 TD 1 INT
Derrick Henry – 20 touches 145 yards 1 TD
DeMarco Murray – 40 rush yards 1 TD, 4 rec 47 receiving yards
John Simon – 1 Sack 1 INT 1 TD
Eric Decker – 7 rec 88 yards
Jack Doyle – 7 rec 50 yards 1 TD
TITANS 36 – COLTS 22