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2020 NFL Week 12: Titans vs. Colts second half open thread: Colts trail 35-14

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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FIRST HALF THOUGHTS

The Colts locker room should be embarrassed to get completely dominated in the first half at home, with the AFC South Championship potentially on the line. This is a team that desperately wants to return to the playoffs and one that has established a reputation with a stingy defense that creates turnovers and an offense that utilizes seemingly every weapon to get things done.

Look, there is no doubt that coming into this game anyone favoring the Colts were either uneducated or homers. The biggest threat the Titans pose to everyone is a freak running back who can eat up opponents who are not ready to stop the run. When people make comparisons between DeForest Buckner and Aaron Donald, there is almost always a big line of separate that gives Donald the crown as best interior defensive lineman in the NFL. He is definitely the most disruptive and a terrorizing force for quarterbacks. However, Buckner is so incredible because he tallies numerous QB hits and pressure, will pick up some sacks, and changes everything in the running game.

For those wondering how good Buckner is - use this game as exhibit A. Colts defense with Buckner had a respectable game against of the the league’s top offenses and held Henry to just over 100 yards for the entire game. Colts defense without is getting mutilated.

Losing Anthony Castonzo will be a game changer. Danny Pinter has done a reasonable job in relief of Ryan Kelly but it’s only a matter of time until the Titans abuse Le’Raven Clark on the edge.

While it should go without saying, the Colts bear the responsibility for this deficit and a deplorable first half performance. Defense has to find a way to step up and not get gashed on the ground. Offense must find a way to not disappear and give the Titans the ball back in a two minute drive with incredible field position and a chance to extend their lead.

It should go without saying the Rock Ya-Sin ought to be embarassed and benched indefinitely after the nonsense he’s shown today. Huge penalties have given the Titans points and extended drive. Matthew Adams isn’t relevant enough on this team to throw a punch that also was likely responsible for an easy Tennessee touchdown.

With all of that said, the officiating in this game has been an absolute train wreck. Defensive holding called on Grover Stewart? No replay on that one. How often is that called all season — holding on a defensive lineman? Ya-Sin gets called for hands to the face to Kenny Vacarro puts his hands to the face of Nyheim Hines and runs him over and Hines is called for ahold. Tannehill threw a big pass in the first half and on replay it was clear that Quesenberry had his hands in the face of Al Quadin-Muhammed. After a horrible experience with numerous holding penalties late last week against the Packers, it’s frustrating to watch a replay of the third down trick package late in the first half where Jonnu Smith has his hands outside of Khari Willis’ shoulder pads as the run goes inside.

It was going to be a battle and likely too tall a task to begin with. COVID is screwing Indianapolis today. They are beating themselves too. The last thing they need is to overcome absolutely dog trash officiating for a second consecutive week.