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Quick Reaction: Colts beat Titans 19 - 17, take early lead in AFC South

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Hey, a win is a win, right? Nothing about the Colts victory on Sunday was pretty. For much of the game the offense looked uninspired. Jacoby Brissett versus press man coverage and versus zone coverage is an entirely different quarterback. The defense had numerous opportunities to secure a turnover in the game and failed to make it happen.

For Colts fans who were wanting to have a glimmer of hope, take the victory and the early AFC South division lead. However, no matter how much it frustrates Titans fans who visit this site, beating that team is nothing to get excited about. They were an absolute mess on offense, Marcus Mariota is horribly inaccurate with his passes, and there isn’t enough of a ground game to make up for it.

As with last week, this is a quick reaction. Rest assured, we’ll be taking a much closer look at the game and bringing it all to you throughout the week.


Look, I hate to admit it. I love Adam Vinatieri. He is the greatest kicker of all time. His storied career will land him in Canton one day — something that rarely happens for kickers. But the writing is on the wall here.

Father time is undefeated. Every athlete loses that fight. Unfortunately, more often than not, when age is a primary reason for a fall off — the drop tends to happen abruptly. When my wife and I traveled to Kansas City to watch the Colts face off against the Chiefs in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, we saw something different from Vinatieri. We were stunned.

When Vinatieri started this season, MONTHS from that game on a frozen field following a blizzard, in the same fashion, I was immediately concerned. Today, I’m convinced.

I don’t trust Vinatieri moving forward. He needs to either be placed on IR and figure out his issues to perhaps return later this season or retire as the greatest kick of all time before he tarnishes the incredible career he has put together.

The Colts lost a game against the Chargers they should have won because Adam Vinatieri couldn’t do his job. They almost lost this game for the same reason. Wins are hard to come by in the NFL and no one gets a free ride.


I have expressed my concern numerous times that expecting to simply move on from a quarterback like Andrew Luck is unrealistic. Elite quarterbacks are very difficult to find. The fact that the Colts had two of them in a twenty year period is extremely rare. San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers rare.

It is silly to honestly expect that Brissett is going to slide right in and have the Colts offense humming. The reality is, he isn’t as good of a quarterback as Andrew Luck and it is very likely that he never will be. Can he lead the team to wins?

Well, if you asked me a week ago I would have said yes. Nothing in the loss to the Chargers could be fairly placed on his shoulders. This week, he was clearly indecisive trying to throw receivers open against man coverage. He is obviously far more comfortable reading a zone and making decisions.

He needs to be decisive. The Colts need to get the tight ends more involved in the passing game. The ball needs to come out quicker, as it did in Los Angeles. When Brissett faces pressure in the pocket and miraculously stays on his feet, he needs to simply run the ball, get yards, and get down.

This is a work in progress folks. It’s best to admit now. The Colts are not nearly as good with Brissett as the starting quarterback as they would be with a broken version of Andrew Luck. He may not be the long-term answer here. If he is, there are some habits that he showed today that were the same as he did in 2017 and he needs to get rid of them. After three years, including two years in the same system, the odds don’t look great.


There is no player on the Colts defensive line right now who is more dominant and disruptive than Denico Autry. He is tailor made for the Matt Eberflus/Mike Phair defensive line philosophy. Barring injury, he is going to have a career year. During a period of uncertainty, he should be a bright spot.


One of the Jabaal Sheard’s greatest strengths is his ability to disrupt the running game. He does a nice job of keeping plays inside and keeping his hands free to make plays on running backs. Justin Houston is great at getting penetration but not particularly gifted at being disciplined on the edges against the run. The Colts need Sheard to return quickly. When he does, the defensive line will be a different animal.


A week ago, the backfield was almost all Marlon Mack’s responsibility. This week, Jordan Wilkins finally returned to the field after recovering from a nagging ankle/foot injury. I saw it last year and I will say it again, Wilkins is not a game breaking talent as it relates to a ton of moves and making defenders miss. However, he is a very efficient runner who seems to get the most out of every opportunity. One has to wonder whether the team needs to carry four running backs — no offense to Jonathan Williams.