The Indianapolis Colts lost a heartbreaking contest to the Tennessee Titans by a final score of 34-31 in overtime. Frustratingly the Colts had many chances to win the game and failed to do so. The Titans played well and took advantage of the Colts many self inflicted mistakes. Put simply the Titans have more experience playing and winning together and when the chips were on the table, that experience made the difference today.
If you’re interested in such things, I’ve been pretty decent of late picking the final scores.
Feel like this is a 31-28 type of game. Flip a coin to pick your winner.— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 30, 2021
So you know, if you’re the kind of person who might want have a financial interest in the total number of points two teams score during a single game, I’ve picked the past few over-under’s correct.
If you don’t gamble, sorry for the aside, I just needed a win (for myself) today.
Things were so very promising early on in this game.
It felt like everything was going our way. Like nothing bad would ever happen.
One drive, one touchdown, “what a great day” - I thought.
I had visions of fortune and glory. Day dreams of triumph bounced around in my mind’s eye.
It was at this moment I left my body and had a spiritual experience unlike any other while watching a football game.
At this point I had reached enlightenment. I started preparing my notes for all of the things I was going to teach the Dalai Lama.
I felt myself ascending.
I was THIS close to reaching Valhalla.
I'm seeing a lot people killing EJ Speed (Okereke bit hard too).— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 31, 2021
Fact is, how do you expect backers not to bite hard on play action to Derrick Henry on 3rd and 2 on the 5?
Not making an excuse, it was the LB's play to make but it was a good play design from the Titans. https://t.co/sQGVg5aozR
I was firmly back in my body on Earth at this point. A lot of fans and media members alike killed the linebackers on this play but had they not bit up and Derrick Henry had gotten the hand off he would have scored and they would have been blamed for poor run defense. The Titans offense put the Colts linebackers in a no win situation which means, this was a really well designed, well timed and well run play by the Titans. Sometimes, the other team just has your number on a play and that’s what happened on this one.
The magic was completely gone
I Tweeted this out and something interesting happened
Someone please tell Mark Glowinski to start reading my articles, he's obviously been sleeping through team meetings.— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 31, 2021
This isn't even all of the examples I gave, I just got tired of clipping screen shots from the article. #ForTheShoe#Colts#Titans#TENvsIND pic.twitter.com/FVvQ2knazW
Mark Glowinski’s dad liked the Tweet
Maybe he uses his son’s mean Tweets for motivation to build rocking horses the same way Darius Leonard does? Eh, either way maybe he’ll start reading my articles. Can’t hurt his pass protection either way.
Tyquan Lewis had a great day
But a day that was far too short.
Tyquon Lewis with the Interception but injured his knee on the return and fumbled as a result. Ruled Titans ball.— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 31, 2021
But is he giving himself up while going down?#ForTheShoe#Colts#Titans#TENvsIND
via CBS pic.twitter.com/AgIF319mfF
They brought the cart out for Lewis and he was immediately ruled out with a knee injury. I won’t speculate on what the injury might be but it’s safe to assume he suffered a serious injury.
The Titans recovered the fumble and did this with their next play
My day wasn’t yet ruined but the temperature in Lucas Oil Stadium sure seemed to change at this point.
Obligatory bad call clip
Chris Reed’s hands land wide on this block, yes, but his hips stay between the defender and the ball carrier. His hand placement in no way impacted his block on this play. The defender wasn’t pulling away, Reed had great positioning and this was a terrible call.
Michael Badgely has been solid for the Colts since taking over for Rodrigo Blankenship. Here he gave the Colts a three point lead heading into the second half.
Okereke got picked by the tight end. This was a good play design by the Titans offense. pic.twitter.com/ma289868Nw— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 31, 2021
A lot of people are going to blame Rock Ya-Sin for this touchdown pass but he was supposed to have help on the inside of the field. Instead Bobby Okereke was picked by a tight end and despite Ya-Sin’s good position on this play, he wasn’t able to make what would have been an insanely good play.
Like the play above, sometimes a good offense will draw up a good play and will run it well. It sucks but that’s what happened on both of these Titans touchdowns. Just great design and execution.
Two weeks in a row Colts opponents have thrown stupid challenge flags
Colts get a big stop on 3rd down.— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 31, 2021
Second angle looks like he catches the ball.
Vrabel challenges this play for some dumb reason. Even if overturned it's 4th down.
via CBS pic.twitter.com/rw5GadBqlo
Vrabel did punt this one away, so Vrabe’s what was the point here?
The officials were bad both ways
This wasn’t PI and Zach Pascal should have made this catch. This call went the Colts way, but again I just wish there weren’t any discussions over officiating but this crew is terrible.
Jack Doyle was efficient today
Two receptions, 12 yards, one touchdown on the day for Doyle who still has one of the best spikes in all of football.
Kenny Moore played really well all day long
For the second week in a row Moore has sent a ball carrier flipping through the air, I for one hope this trend continues.
This was amazing
You’re not going to see this play on very many highlight reels but the fact that Jonathan Taylor, somehow, made this cut while running through contact, recognizing the best path to take and getting positive yards out of it is nothing short of amazing.
You probably don’t need me to tell you this but Jonathan Taylor is a special back. I wish he would have gotten more opportunities in this one.
Kemoko Turay comes through
Kemoko Turay seems to produce when he’s healthy and on the field. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been healthy and on the field very often. Hopefully that changes moving forward.
I cannot describe to you how disappointing this play was
Wentz needed to just throw this one at Mo Alie-Cox’s feet. Instead he... does this... I have no doubt in my mind had this not happened, this team is driving down the field and is winning this ball game.
The score could have been tied when this happened
Instead they needed this play just to have a chance.
Spray and Pray Offense in full effect
This was pass interference, it was the right call. I love the deep ball so no complaints from me.
The next play
Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines running a read option? Sounds good to me.
For the second week in a row DeForrest Buckner ends the fourth quarter with a sack.
Again, I hate that this is even in this article. Bad calls did go both ways but it’s impossible to overstate how much this missed call hurt the Colts.
The fat lady was warming up her voice after this one
He wanted Michael Pittman Jr the whole way on this one. He didn’t even look at anyone else. On one hand, I get it. Pittman has been the guy for Wentz to go to when he’s needed a play. On the other hand, it was first down and there was plenty of time left.
This was a terrible decision.
Final Thoughts For The Week
You’re going to hear all week about how terrible Carson Wentz is. Wentz is everyone’s favorite punching bag for a lot of reasons. Some of them I understand, some of them I don’t. Wentz played poorly today, no way around that. But it’s important that we don’t overreact to one game.
There is good news in Wentz’s poor play. It’s not much of a consolation prize and this isn’t even close to being a “moral victory” but the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts played a terrible half of football. He threw a pick-six because he made one of the worst decisions any fulltime starting quarterback has ever made, that turnover put them behind by a touchdown with less than a minute and a half to play.
Every long Jonathan Taylor run on the day was immediately called back due to bad officiating. Frank Reich didn’t use Jonathan Taylor enough in the second half and overtime.
The defense gave up 27 points.
Despite that, Wentz, the play calling, the officiating, the points allowed, despite all of it, the Indianapolis Colts took the team that’s going to win the division, the same team that blew out the Kansas City Chiefs and beat the Buffalo Bills, the Colts took that team to overtime and if they had made the most of the opportunities they had, they would have... no they should have won that game.
And yeah that makes it suck more, I get it, but on the other side of that it means that our Colts can play with and beat anyone in the NFL. They need to continue to improve on offense, the defense played well enough to win today but they need to get healthy and get production from young guys, but the future isn’t as grim as it probably feels if you share the same perspective as most Colts fans reacting to the game.
The Colts next two opponents are the Jets and the Jaguars at home. This team should be .500 heading into week 11. They have six very winnable games left season and tough matchups against the Bills, Buccaneers and Cardinals. If this team can clean up just some of the mistakes they made today and they get a couple of balls to bounce their way, it’s not crazy to think this team can still win 10 games. I’m not sure if that gets them into the playoffs this season, but double digit wins is never a bad thing.
Admittedly that’s the best case scenario but it is realistic and it’s just not time to give up on this team yet.