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Penalties, Turnovers and Highlights from Colts vs. Titans

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts played in another close game that came down to the final minutes. Unfortunately it seems that this was likely Adam Vinatieri’s last game as a Colt, Jacoby Brissett didn’t play great and despite those two things, the Colts came away with a division win on the road. Truly a huge win for a franchise moving in a new direction so early in the season.


Pregame

Normally kicker warm-ups aren’t a big deal

It doesn’t seem like Vini’s problems are physical, as he reportedly has continued to show that he still has the leg to get it done. Pat McAfee has talked about how amazing it is that for as long as Adam Vinatieri has played that he’s never gotten the “yips”. The yips are essentially just a mental block that prevents you from doing the thing you know how to do but for some reason you just can’t seem to get it done. It’s most often a fear of failure combined with overthinking the process.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen this


First Quarter

Eric Ebron getting involved

I like this highlight play, I really hate that he left his feet. I realize without it he probably isn’t picking up this first down but I like my Colts tight ends in one piece and if he keeps doing this, that will eventually change.

Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni doing big things

This is just a pretty play design. Brissett had options and he chose well.


Second Quarter

Jacoby Brissett struggled at times but made some things happen too

They called this a first down and it was really close. Couldn’t have been upset had they spotted this one a little short, but regardless Brissett picked up the first down and made it happen on his own.

A few more plays like this and the score would have been vastly different

This is a well timed play that works three receivers to multiple levels of the defense and Brissett fits this ball in to Hilton who sits down in this hole like a pro.

This ball wasn’t 500 MPH

This is Parris Cambell’s only catch and only target on the day. It was also his first career touchdown. All things considered a good day for the rookie.

Denico Autry had himself a great day

Autry kept the Titans offensive line busy all day, racking up 2 sacks. He now has 2.5 sacks through 2 games.

A quick note about the end of the second quarter; CBS sent in it’s third string (at best) production crew for this one. I understand why, from a national appeal standpoint they had more attractive places to send the first and second units but it led to me not being able to pull all of the defensive highlights I wanted to grab.


Third Quarter

These are the types of plays Reich needs to keep calling for #7

This is a simple read and a high percentage throw. These types of plays aren’t always a viable option depending on the game situation but there’s nothing wrong with relying on receivers, backs and tight ends to pick up yards after the catch.

The defense should get a lot of credit in this game

When Grover Stewart logs a sack, it’s probably a good day for the defense.

The best 2 yard run of the day

On 3rd and 1 Marlon Mack made guys miss and dove to pick up a much needed first down to keep the drive alive.


Fourth Quarter

Are these the Colts? Are these what coverage sacks look like?

Darius Leonard has a lot of things to worry about before worrying about his goal of having 10 sacks this season, but he did get his first of the season on this play.

Last week it was Mack

This week it was Jordan Wilkins who came up with a big second half run. Wilkins looked like he was shot out of a popgun. Maybe I’m misremembering his speed, maybe his foot injury isn’t completely healed. Either way, he made a great read, stayed patient, hit the hole hard, ran through an arm tackle and set up the game winning score.

The Brissett to T.Y. Hilton TD

The Tweet says it all. It’s the score that won the game and CBS didn’t offer us a replay. They probably don’t care that I wasn’t able to reproduce it without the express written consent of CBS and the NFL, but I do and I’m sure you might, also.

This play was amazing

Sure, it’s just a QB sneak, but it’s so much more than that. It was 4th an inches, the Colts were up by 2. If they turned the ball over here the Titans would need to go five-ish yards to be in field goal range and there was still 2:24 on the clock, the Titans had two timeouts.

Initially the Colts came out and tried to get the Titans to jump offside, giving hard counts, sending men in motion and “audibling” multiple times before running the clock all the way down to 1 second on the play clock and using a timeout.

Everyone who has ever watched a football game knew Frank Reich was just bluffing and he did all of that just to send out his punter.

Instead Frank Reich, with ice in his veins, said “Yeah, let’s go for it.” and punched them in the mouth. Maybe I’m making too much of it but it was such an emotional swing for the Titans defense, thinking they had forced a punt, they didn’t jump offside and then the opposing offense picks up a first down and there was absolutely nothing they could do to stop it.

I love this call, I hope I would love this call even had it gone the other way, but luckily for me, I don’t know how I would react to that.

The Colts did have to punt

And the defense force a driving Titans offense into 4th and 2. The ball from Marcus Mariota was off target but Quincy Wilson was in good position to make sure effective rookie receiver A.J. Brown couldn’t make a catch.


Penalties

It’s undeniable that penalties play a huge role in NFL games. Some calls are good, some calls aren’t. I stand behind the idea that at the end of the season the bad calls that hurt your favorite team are most likely evened out by bad calls that help your favorite team. A game here or there may have it’s outcome truly impacted by the boys and girls in stripes but that is a rarity. There were a few rough calls today but all in all things evened out and the outcome of this one had little to do with erroneous yellow flags.

After this play early I thought it might be a blow out

I was wrong, but this was definitely pass interference.

Remember when I said that things tend to even out

I didn’t see the P.I. but maybe I took it a little too gladly.

There were a few holding calls, they were mostly good from what I saw

Quenton Nelson made a rare mistake and rather than let his QB take a sure hit he tackled his mistake. As much as 10 yard penalties can kill a drive, relying on your 3rd string QB to start games because your 2nd string-starter is injured can kill a season.

This call is accurate

Clayton Geathers held his man on this play and I guess it was better than giving up the touchdown but Derrick Henry would punch it in on the next play. This is another call that you hate to see but if holding and P.I.’s in the endzone save 6 points, it might be worth it to try to get a goal line stop instead. Ideally you would just force a 3-and-out on the other side of the field but this isn’t the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and Rod Woodson isn’t walking through that door (bet you forgot Woodson was on that team, to be honest I had to Google it).

I’m a big fan of the old NBC TV Show My Name is Earl

It’s this really quirky show about a couple of uneducated petty criminals who discover the idea of karma and they spend four wonderful seasons trying to fix their karma by making up for all of the bad things they had done in the past.

This is relevant because I was pretty happy about that pass interference call and Earl Hickey would probably tell me this flag was thrown in the 4th quarter because I celebrated that bad call in the 2nd quarter. Meanwhile, Randy Hickey would probably be somewhere chewing on something inedible and Catalina would be hot regardless of her actions.


Turnovers

The Colts turned the ball over twice and didn’t force any turnovers on the day. Brissett got lucky he only threw one interception. I expect in the coming days Zach Hicks or Brett Mock or someone else will take a look at Brissett’s day getting the ball out late. He was hesitant and was very fortunate more of his throws weren’t jumped.

Perfect example

If he throws this ball before T.Y. Hilton makes his cut, this is probably a completion. Instead he throws it late and it’s going the other way. These types of timing routes proved difficult for Brissett to identify and throw. He isn’t “throwing open” his receivers and it’s absolutely something he needs to improve if he wants to be a long term starting quarterback in the NFL.

Brissett’s fumble

I was so dumbfounded by this play that I forgot to hit record. Seriously, I just messed it up. I’ll do my best to describe it. Brissett dropped back, went to throw and changed his mind at the last second, leading to a pump fake motion but since it wasn’t a true pump fake the ball had too much juice to actually pull back. Brissett pulled the ball back in toward his body (not near his body but his throwing motion was clearly over) before losing his grip and a defender recovered the fumble.

I don’t remember what year it was and I’m not researching it for this description that I’m sure most people aren’t going to read but some time ago the NFL eliminated the infamous “tuck rule” and this is the result. It was clearly a fumble and calling it an incomplete pass would have been wrong given the spirit of the game.


All in all Colts fans should be happy to get a win. Colts players and coaches should realize they have a long way to go to be where they need to be to be a consistently competitive team this season. Had this been against the likes of the New England Patriots or the Kansas City Chiefs, this would have been a very ugly blowout loss.

With all of that said, when thinking about the future, there’s a lot to be happy about considering our franchise quarterback unexpectedly retired just a few weeks ago.