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Highlights from week 13: Colts vs. Titans

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Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Overview

Now proudly hanging at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee:

This game went poorly. I really don’t feel like writing some big flowery intro. Jacoby Brissett came out and was more aggressive to start the game. It was a welcome change. The second half started with a 75 yard drive that ended with a touchdown.

Life was good, then the wheels fell off. These are some highlights from this disaster of a game.


First Quarter

Yes the defense gave up 24 points

The Colts defense gave up 24 points on the day but they forced this fumble and played well most of the day.

Frank Reich called a great game

You’re going to see some hot takes from morons talking about how Frank Reich isn’t getting it done, if you’re reading this I assume you’re smarter than to buy into that talk, if you’re not just know the person you’re seeing say that has absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

3rd and 8 in zone coverage

Ryan Tannehill made a good throw and his receiver did the rest. This became a theme today.

Adam Vinatieri has been bad

But you can’t ask your struggling 46 year old kicker to kick 55 yard field goals. It’s his job to make this but again, it’s asking a lot. Also, as I write this, the talking heads on CBS are talking about how Vini’s bad kicking is ruining the season, the Indianapolis Colts lost by two touchdowns today. It’s amazing Vini is missing kicks and somehow preventing Jacoby Brissett from playing winning football. In a way that makes him even better than any of us could have imagined. He hasn’t helped win games but there are more issues than #4.

Nothing like a sack-fumble

The Colts defense carried the team most of the day until the levee broke.

I was mostly just impressed by the announcer on this one

This ball wasn’t going in either way, but the announcer said that this kick “may have been blocked” as if there was a chance the ball just did that on it’s own. Amazing work, CBS.


Second Quarter

It took the Titans three quarters to figure out the Colts pass rush

Obviously not the same as the play stoppage against the Texans, I was honestly just hoping for some Titans fan interaction. I got none. Thanks for nothing.

Wilkis

Jordan Wilkins production eventually dried up and the Colts failed to get anything going on the ground but the day started well.

This was fun. I forgot what fun was in the second half.

I still wish we would work to get the ball into Hines hands in space more. Maybe they give it a shot over the final four games.

Darius Leonard

I believe that Leonard officially had 1.5 sacks on the day. He’s sitting at 11.5 sacks through his first twenty-four games which is amazing considering he’s an off ball linebacker in a system that hasn’t traditionally blitzed that often.

I played around with some different options for working “sack” into “Indianapolis”

This option wasn’t great and I get it. “Nap-sacks-olis”? What was I thinking?

If the Colts keep losing we might just keep Eberflus

Matt Eberflus deserves a chance to be a head coach but selfishly I want him in Indy for a long time. He’s taken the talent that Chris Ballard has given him and he’s made the most of it, putting together a very good unit.


Third Quarter

Jack Doyle

Doyle had 6 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. It was a nice day for the Colts best tight end.

Nyhiem Hines scored on the play before this one

Hines scored twice on two plays in a row but he only got credit for one, which is too bad.

Derrick Henry had a big day

Henry is the perfect back for the Titans offensive system. No that doesn’t mean he’s a “system back” it means that every player in the NFL has a system that they would do well in and the Titans have place him in a system that makes the most of his abilities, which sucks for us.

I feel really good about Sacksanapolis

Sacksanapolis is much better. We should use that as a hashtag if the Colts ever have a pass rush again.

4th and short? That’s 6 points for the opponent.

I don’t wanna talk about it.

Bad Jacoby:

So many bad things happened here. It’s amazing the defense held up as long as it did.

Bobby Okereke is really good

No one talks about plays like this but Okereke does a great job filling this gap, taking on the blocker and giving the back nowhere to go. It’s not as splashy as his strip-sack but this is the kind of play the Colts have to have from their linebackers.


Fourth Quarter

This one confused some people

Frank Reich threw the challenge flag, it was a good challenge. The officials ruled that the ball was fumbled but that they weren’t sure that Clayton Geathers had possession of the ball in bounds. Therefore the play could not be overturned.

So if there was a catch and a fumble why was the ball spotted back at the 50 instead of the 42 where the ball was fumbled?

The explanation

Gene Steratore tried to explain it and in my opinion he didn’t do a great job.

Challenging a fumble is kind of like this; if I’m at a store and I want to buy a football and football’s cost $30 but I only have $25, I can’t go to the register with my money and ask to buy $25 worth of that football. It’s all or nothing.

So when the officials determined that there was no clear recovery they couldn’t overturn the incompletion. It was an all or nothing deal.

Now that’s a stupid rule, but it’s a stupid rule that worked in our favor this time so I’ll allow it.

Brissett... why?

Here the quarterback panics and runs himself into trouble. It’s asking a lot from your quarterback to be close to perfect but if you want to be “the guy” you can’t do things like this.

Really just an all-around terrible outing.

What do you even say about this? Seriously, someone help me out in the comments.

Time for a comeback!

Just kidding, we’re going to throw into triple coverage.

Ryan Tannehill is vastly superior to Marcus Mariota

It’s okay to hate the Dolphins for trading him to the Titans, hopefully the Titans decide to let him walk in free agency and try drafting another quarterback in the first round. They’re really terrible at drafting quarterbacks.

Ruled a fumble and the Titans recovered.

Ross Travis had a really solid couple of catches until he didn’t. Then he had a pretty rough day all of a sudden.


Final Thoughts

This Colts defense is the best I’ve ever seen in Indianapolis, that might be a low-ish bar but it’s true. Between the injuries and the shortcomings from the games most important position this Colts team could have been something special. Instead this loss will most likely leave us looking ahead to the draft and 2020.

One final thing, tanking is the dumbest thing a team like this can do. Ruining the morale by intentionally losing the last four games isn’t worth the buy-in and excitement that Frank Reich might earn from ruining someone like the Texans season in week 17. It isn’t likely the Colts could get into the top 10 even if they lose out and I trust Chris Ballard enough to win the draft even if he’s slotted a few spots worse than he could have been. I hope the Colts win out and see what shakes out across the league.

Go Colts.