The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans will meet in a pivotal AFC South match-up on Monday night. Both clubs are 2-3 and are being outplayed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans lately, yet have vastly different rosters at this point.
In one corner, you have an underwhelming Colts roster beginning to find it’s health, and working through some kinks with their franchise quarterback seemingly within a few weeks of taking the field. In the other, you have an opportunistic defense, an offense with a lot of weapons with the potential of being without their franchise quarterback for a second straight week.
The Colts have been getting quality play from Jacoby Brissett at quarterback since acquiring him via a trade with New England, but there is obviously some chemistry still missing — but it’s coming. The Titans, on the other hand, have Matt Cassel who hasn’t had a better touchdown percentage than interception percentage, or 60 percent completion rate in a season since 2013.
If that’s not enough to make you second guess how entertaining this Week 6 match up could be — if Marcus Mariota sits — then I’ve got something else to drop on ya. I guess there’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good news: Jerome Boger’s officiating crew will NOT be calling the game Monday night. The bad news: Walt Anderson’s crew will be.
Not only will we likely have either an ugly passing game from Cassel in which he looks his ripe age of 35, or, we’ll see terrible pass defense by the Colts, but we’ll potentially see nearly 5 penalties per quarter in the process. There isn’t much that could make a game in which the bulk of the plays are rushes —for 2 yards at a time-- worse, but an officiating crew with happy whistles is absolutely one of them.
Anderson’s crew is one of the worst in the league at slowing the game down and eliminating any sort of a flow which pleases the fans, both, at home and at the game. In fact, this overzealous group of zebras only called fewer penalties per game than the aforementioned Boger and his breed of pleasure bandits this time last season.
Seemingly year-in and year-out we have the same names come up about how tight they call a game. Touchy holding calls that don’t even affect the play in question, questionable block-in-the-back calls behind the ball that do nothing but mount up with the necessary calls throughout a game that can make it unwatchable. Anderson’s crew continues to be one of those repeated each season as the largest offenders.
We notice it. People at the game paying good money to watch it live notice it. Those calling the game for networks are noticing it too, particularly the Monday Night crew calling the game for ESPN.
We often see these games on Thursday Night Football, with bad matchups within bad divisions and this could be argued to hold both of those distinctions as well. Thinking about play stoppage every few plays does not sound very appealing to fans with a vested interest in the game, but those nationally who don’t — have no reason at all to remain tuned in.
Yes, we want the Colts to win and get to .500 Monday night, but we also want to see some decent football. We want Mariota to play AND have the Colts look good pulling out a much-needed win. We also it to come without significant outside interference that turns the game into a snoozer.
Let ‘em play!