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What We Learned: Colts vs. Titans

What did we learn after Indianapolis’ Week 4 loss to the Tennessee Titans?

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Sunday’s performance against the Tennessee Titans again revealed several issues the Indianapolis Colts are having a tough time figuring out four weeks into the 2022 season.

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

  • Colts’ offense can’t get out of its own way:

For yet another week, Indianapolis’ offense found ways to get in its own way on multiple drives. Far too often Sunday did Matt Ryan and Co. find themselves within striking distance only to — literally — fumble away drives that had shown promise.

The Colts’ offense practically gift-wrapped seven points to Tennessee to start the game after quarterback Matt Ryan fumbled yet again, allowing the Titans to capitalize on such a crucial error and take an early lead.

Despite picking up the pace and finding more success offensively in the second half and scoring 14 unanswered points, fumbles from Ryan and running back Jonathan Taylor late in the fourth quarter would stall two promising drives. This ultimately sealed the victory for Tennessee and put an end to any sort of hopes the Colts had at another late-game comeback.

  • Big day for Colts’ pass-catchers:

Indianapolis’ pass-catchers showed up on Sunday. Between the tight ends and wide receivers, the entire group put together perhaps the most complete performance we’ve seen this season.

Tight ends Mo-Alie Cox (6 receptions, 85 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Kylen Granson (4 receptions, for a career-high 62 yards) were highly productive. Rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce (4 receptions, 80 yards) continues to impress and showcase the kind of role he can have within the Colts’ offense.

That being said, the Colts’ offense isn’t where it needs to be from a production standpoint. The poor offensive line play and fumbling problems are more concerning at this point. In order to get the most out of their young weapons, the rest of the offense needs to quickly correct the mistakes.

  • Defense continues to show signs of improvement:

Indianapolis’ defense has continued to improve over the last two weeks. It’s fair to note that while the defense did surrender 24 points to Tennessee in the first half of Sunday’s game, the Colts’ offense didn’t exactly do the defense any favors by turning the ball over and gifting Tennessee great starting field position on several drives.

Keeping that in mind, let’s give credit where it’s due to Indy’s defense for making key adjustments going into the second half, which played a crucial role in the unit pitching a shutout against the Titans and allowing a total of three first downs. Defensive ends Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo impressed, too, as both second-year rushers had sacks that led to three-and-outs for Tennessee.

There’s no question that Indianapolis’ defense did its part in getting multiple stops and giving their offense a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but they’ll have to continue to clean up errors in coverage and create a more consistent pass rush to reach the level they want to get to in 2022.