Following an 0-4 start, the Titans were facing perhaps their last sliver of hope as they hosted the unbeaten Colts on Sunday Night Football. For the fifth time this season, though, the Colts ended a game with a victory, while the Titans ended the game with a loss, in this case by the final tally of 31-9. For a detailed description of the game as it happened, check out the liveblog I did.
The game actually started fairly promisingly for the Titans, as an interception by Keith Bulluck and a punt muff helped the Titans be down 7-6 at the end of the first quarter. Following another exchange of scores TD and FG, the Colts jumped out to a 12 point lead in the last minute of the first half on a 93 yard drive aided by a couple personal foul penalties against Titans defensive ends. Whatever slim hops the Titans had after that were extinguished after Collins was intercepted the first possession of the second half, a pick converted into a TD to make it 28-9.
Offensively, there weren’t many standouts for the Titans. Chris Johnson had 9 rushes for 34 yards, while LenDale White had 8 for 33 (plus 2 for 18 on the last 2 plays of the game). Neither back found consistent success, nor was either back able to get a big play, as Johnson’s longest run went for a mere 8 yards.
When it came to passing the ball, Collins was 19 of 32 for 164 yards and an interception. The pick wasn’t that awful on his part, I don’t think, but instead was partially caused by Nate Washington getting beat to the ball. Still, the low yards per completion and low yards per attempt numbers were indicative of a passing offense that was having trouble finding plays down the field. In that, Collins wasn’t helped by pressure allowed by the OL. The Colts were only credited with one sack, but that doesn’t accurately reflected how much pressure Collins was feeling.
Since it’s not important to how the game ended up, I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Vince Young came in for Collins after the competitive part of the game. He attempted three passes, completing none, and rushed for a third down conversion. I didn’t expect him to play, but he did.
Bo Scaife had 4 catches for 45 yards, all in the first half, to lead the Titans in both categories. Nice to see Bo where I expected him to be. Washington, Cook, and Crumpler each had 3 catches. Kenny Britt had 2 and what I remember as a couple drops.
Defensively,. the situation was basically the same-the Colts struggled to run the ball effectively, as Joseph Addai averaged under 2 yards per carry on 14 carries, while Peyton completed 36 of 44 for 309 yards and 3 TDs. The Titans were able to take advantage of Colts backup LT Tony Ugoh to help limit big plays down the field, though they weren’t able to sack Manning or, worse, prevent him from consistently moving the Colts down the field in smaller chunks.
I thought about handing out game balls in this post. It’s tough to come up with a guy that really deserves one though, other than Rob Bironas, who kicked three field goals, all from beyond 40 yards. Special teams were otherwise unremarkable, which isn’t great but still represented an upgrade from the Jags game.
On to New England next week. The Patriots will be smarting from this weekend’s loss to the Broncos, so the Titans will face another tough task if they don’t want to go into the bye week at 0-6.