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What We Learned: Colts vs. Titans

What did we learn from the Indianapolis Colts’ 19-10 loss against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7?

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

Sunday’s 19-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans told only confirmed what we know about the Indianapolis Colts through seven games. They’re a 3-3-1, average football team whose playoff hopes are quickly diminishing due to playing far too inconsistently on a weekly basis.

Here’s what stood out most from the Colts’ loss to the Titans Sunday.

  • Different game, same self-inflicted turnovers and offensive struggles

Just one week after putting up a season-high 34 points and 434 yards of offense, the Colts resorted back to the same offensive struggles that had been hindering them since the start of the season. Inside Titans’ territory, quarterback Matt Ryan had two untimely interceptions that ended promising drives.

For much of this season, the Colts' offense has taken one step forward and what feels like twenty steps back because of their inability to move the ball consistently and a veteran quarterback who leads the league with 12 total turnovers, including nine interceptions and 11 fumbles (three lost).

Currently, Indy’s offense is ranked 29th in points per game with 16.1. That’s with All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor, and wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, and Parris Campbell, among others. The cupboard is far from bare. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers (15.3) and Denver Broncos (14.3) rank lower in points per game.

  • Strong defensive effort deserves recognition

The Colts’ defense put together another strong performance Sunday, holding Tennessee to 254 total yards of offense and no touchdowns. For perspective, Tennessee had one of the NFL’s top-ranked red zone offenses and was held to field goals on each of four trips.

Titans’ Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was also sacked twice, had only 132 passing yards (his second-lowest total this season), and threw no touchdowns. Tight end Austin Hooper was Tennessee’s leading receiver on the afternoon with three receptions for 56 yards.

Defensive tackle Grover Stewart, who’s been playing at a Pro Bowl level for the entire season, led the Colts in tackles with 12, which is absurd. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner helped apply pressure on Tannehill for much of the afternoon. Ngakoue had a sack and tackle for loss.

For most of the season, the defense has performed at a high level and helped keep the Colts in games, and the unit showed up again Sunday and deserves credit for their performance.