The Colts got their first win of the season in what was a hard-fought battle against the division rivals Titans, in Nashville. The Colts managed to return home with a W mainly because they won all of the battles mentioned by Carter before.
Titans O-Line vs. Colts D-Line
The Colts once again managed 4 sacks and the pass-rush looks like is finally coming together. Unlike against the Chargers, this time there was plenty of pressure generated from the inside of the line, highlighted by DT Denico Autry racking up 2 sacks. The Colts also had 6.5 tackles for loss and hit Mariota 5 times.
The Colts did struggle stopping the run, as Derrick Henry averaged 5.4 YPC and the Titans running game got over 120 yards on 23 attempts and made it into the end zone once. If the Colts defense wants to repeat their success from last season, the D-Line must do better against the run.
Colts win this match-up.
Run Game vs. Run Game
With Jacoby Brissett playing quarterback as a game manager early this season, the Colts offense relies heavily on the running game in order to get yardage. This is quite similar to the Titans offense, as both lack an elite quarterback that can push the ball downfield. (I still think Brissett has the tools to be at least an above-average quarterback and will continue to progress as the season moves on)
Entering the game, it was clear that the success of the run game would determine the winner of this match-up. If you take out quarterback scrambles, it is clear that the Colts had an overall solid game on the ground against a talented defense, while the Titans were not as impressive. The Colts running backs got 142 yards on 27 carries (5.25 YPC) while the Titans’ backs got 90 yards and a score on 18 carries (5 YPC). The Titans running game, and offense as a whole, was rather inconsistent, as they had less than 15 yards on 6 of their 11 drives in the game.
Even though this one is a little bit closer, Colts still win.
Reich vs. Taking Deep Shots
After a deep shot in the first drive of the game generated a 46 yard PI call on Adoree Jackson, I expected the Colts to take more chances along the game, but this did not happen, as the Colts passing game relied on short and intermediate routes once again. The Titans defense has a very talented secondary, so perhaps forcing your new starting quarterback to force the ball downfield in his second start with this roster was not the right call, so for now I’ll give Reich the benefit of the doubt, but against tougher opponents like the Chiefs or the Texans, Reich will have to open up the playbook more.