Titans vs. Colts: Final Player Grades, Analysis for Indianapolis
Colts: 27, Titans: 23
The Titans only managed three points in the second half, as the Colts defense forced two turnovers and didn't allow the Titans to get into any kind of rhythm. On offense the Colts got some success on the ground to set themselves up for a few great field goals from Adam Vinatieri.
Keep this slideshow open as it will be updated with final player grades and analysis within the hour.
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Andrew Luck: B
It was the second week in a row that Luck had to bounce back from a poor start to the game, as he looked shaken by pass rush early on, leading to a pick-six and poor offensive execution. However, for the second week in a row, he bounced back and directed the team to a fourth quarter comeback. A couple of long third down conversions led to the touchdown that initiated the second half surge, and his connection with Dwayne Allen sealed the game. The Colts should be concerned with the beating he's taking behind that offensive line, but he's bouncing back from adversity very well.
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Vick Ballard: A
Ballard had his most impressive game of the season, gaining 97 yards on just 19 carries. After a slow start in which he made several poor reads, he had a monstrous second half with good reads, quick cuts, and tough running. For the second game in a row, his runs to start the second half led to a touchdown, except this week they went back to him, and he helped seal the game with a 13-yard run for a first down with under three minutes left.
Delone Carter: C+
Carter got stuffed in the backfield for a loss of three in the first half, then came out and fumbled after a 13-yard catch (fortunately recovered by Reggie Wayne). But, he did get the sole offensive touchdown of the second half, getting them within one score.
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Reggie Wayne: A-
Outside of one pass that he should have caught, Wayne was back to his old tricks today, catching six passes for 64 yards and passing Andre Reed foe 10th on the all-time catch list. Wayne caught Luck's sole touchdown pass of the day, and also connected with him twice on 3rd-and-long.
Donnie Avery: C-
Avery had a couple of big catches, such as an 18-yard completion on 2nd-and-15 in the fourth quarter. However, he also had a few big drops, none bigger than his drop in the endzone on third down in the fourth quarter on what would have been a 36-yard touchdown.
T.Y. Hilton: C+
Hilton simply couldn't get involved in the offense, only pulling down two catches on the game. But, he took one 36-yards, showcasing his speed and shiftiness as he beat several defenders to the edge after a short pass up the middle.
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Overall Grade: C
Both tight ends couldn't get involved in the offense much today, pulling down just two catches for 20 yards between them. Fleener was open on two plays in the first half that Luck simply missed him on, but he also had a horrendous block to allow a three-yard loss on a screen pass in the half.
Fleener would leave the game with an injury, but came back in the second half. We need to see more integration with these two into the offense. The Luck-to-Allen connection sealed the game in the fourth quarter with a first down with two minutes left, showing the potential these big targets have.
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Anthony Castonzo: C+
Castonzo was the only lineman that was even passable today, getting a few key blocks in the run game and not getting completely overwhelmed in pass protection. He did give up a few hits and hurries, but overall was not nearly as bad as he was the last time these two teams faced.
Seth Olsen: D-
Olsen nearly single-handedly blew this game for the Colts struggling in both run blocking and pass protection in the first half. He got destroyed in short yardage situations, allowed the pocket to collapse nearly every play, and was simply dominated by Karl Klug.
Samson Satele: D+
Not as bad as Olsen, Satele was a major part of the unstable pocket in the first half, and his replacement A.Q. Shipley seemed to help the line's performance in the second half. I'd give a B to Shipley, and still advocate for him to replace Satele in the starting lineup.
Mike McGlynn: C-
I'm not sure if McGlynn directly allowed any sacks, but his side of the line continues to breakdown and make Luck leave the pocket, especially if left one-on-one with a defensive tackle. The right side of the line also fails to get a push in the run game consistently.
Winston Justice: D+
Justice allowed multiple sacks and hits in the first half, including the hit that led to Andrew Luck's pick-six. After a good start to the season, Justice has really regressed in recent weeks.
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Cory Redding: B+
Outside of a poor holding call to allow a third down conversion, Redding was pretty good on Sunday. He got a great stop on a draw play in the first half, and finished with two tackles, a QB hit, and a tipped pass.
Antonio Johnson: B-
Johnson has had a decent run the last few weeks, helping the defensive line to shut down the opposing running back. This week, Chris Johnson managed less than three yards per carry as Johnson held down the line.
Lawrence Guy/Ricardo Mathews: B
The duo manned the other defensive end spot, and once again did a good job holding the line and letting the linebackers shut down the run game. Guy also had at least one run stop.
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Dwight Freeney/Robert Mathis: B
Both outside linebackers managed to meet at the quarterback a few times, but could not register a sack and only managed one QB hit. But they made Locker uncomfortable in the second half, despite the lack of stats they finished with.
Jerrell Freeman: B+
Freeman was very active to start the game, racking up five tackles through a quarter and a half. He would finish with eight most of which were stops and effective plays, as he continues to make a bid for a surprise spot in the Pro Bowl.
Kavell Conner/Pat Angerer: B
They split the other ILB spot on Sunday, with Moise Fokou getting a few snaps as well (not playing as well, in my opinon). Both linebackers got a few run stops before Conner left with an injury, and if Angerer is fully healthy, the Colts look to have great depth at the position.
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Cassius Vaughn: B+
Vaughn was downright awful in the first half, getting shredded by Jake Locker and Kenny Britt as the Titans seemed to move the ball at will. But his play in the second half was the story as he made solid tackles, had three PDs, and took an interception into the endzone for a touchdown.
Vontae Davis: B+
Davis did allow a big pass to Britt down the sideline near the end of the first half, but was solid in coverage outside of that, and made some huge tackles, including all three of the Colts' tackles for a loss, and their sole sack.
Antoine Bethea: A-
Bethea came free on a blitz in the second quarter to get a QB hit and force an intentional grounding, and his play in run support kept Chris Johnson in check all day. He continues to be the stabilizing force in the secondary for this young unit.
Joe Lefeged: B
Lefeged wasn't perfect, but his support on cut backs from the running backs were exactly what the Colts need from the position. I don't know if he's a better option than Zbikowski, but if there is a drop off it's not showing up.
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Pat McAfee: A+
McAfee averaged 53.3 yards per punt on the day, and over 49 net yards. He pinned two of his four punts inside the 20, including a perfect coffin-corner punt that set up Vaughn's pick-six. He also nailed every kickoff into the back of the endzone, a perfect six for six on touchbacks.
Adam Vinatieri: A+
Vinatieri hasn't been asked to do much these past few weeks, but he came through with a huge 53-yard kick (could have made it from 60+) and a 40-yarder to seal the game.
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Bruce Arians: B
Arians had a poor challenging philosophy in the first half, challenging an unessential 8-yard pass and failing to challenge a clear fumble by Chris Johnson. He also kept calling long, slow-developing pass plays in a first half despite poor blocking, getting Andrew Luck beaten up. However, he came in the second half with a renewed philosophy, as shorter routes and draw plays allowed the Colts to move the ball well.
Greg Manusky: B+
Like Arians, his genius came in the second half, when his defense shut down the Tennessee offense, and his cornerbacks came up with huge plays to get two turnovers. The turn around of Cassius Vaughn may have won the game for the Colts