Colts vs. Titans: Live Grades and Analysis for Indianapolis

Sean ODonnellContributor IIINovember 15, 2013

Nov 14, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts (7-3) found themselves in a deep hole against the Tennessee Titans (4-6) early in Thursday’s contest. However, after some impressive halftime adjustments, the Colts were able to prevail and maintain a solid cushion atop the AFC South.

This was a much-needed victory after falling to the St. Louis Rams in Week 10, and now the Colts can take advantage of a 10-day break before facing the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12.

Andrew Luck and Co. were able to produce when it counted most, and the Colts’ morale is now at a peak heading into the final stretch of the season.


Indianapolis Colts - 30

Tennessee Titans - 27

Indianapolis Colts' Game Grades
First-Half GradesGame Grades
Pass OffenseC-C+
Run OffenseC+B+
Pass DefenseB-B-
Run DefenseD-B-
Special TeamsCB
vs. Titans Week 11

Final Game Analysis for the Indianapolis Colts

Pass Offense: Andrew Luck did not dazzle through the air against the Titans on Thursday night; however, he played an efficient game from the quarterback position. Luck avoided costly turnovers and used tight end Coby Fleener to open up the passing offense and establish balance just enough to propel the Colts to victory.

Run Offense: Indianapolis’ ground game came to life during the second half. This was partly due to the solid game by Donald Brown, and partly due to the athleticism of Luck. Luck’s third-quarter touchdown run was a masterpiece and put the Colts on top for good.

Pass Defense: Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was still able to play an efficient game over the second half; however, just like the first half, his production was limited due to the Colts defense taking away any kind of throws over the top.

Run Defense: The Colts clamped down hard against the run over the second half of the game. Chris Johnson was not able to find the room that he had during the first half. This adjustment by the Colts helped propel the team to victory on Thursday night.

Special Teams: A heads-up play and recovered muffed kickoff by Indianapolis’ kickoff coverage unit sparked the team and led to a 20-17 lead in the third quarter. Adam Vinatieri remained clutch and nailed a 50-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

Coaching: Halftime adjustments allowed the Colts to hide the deficiencies of the offensive line by relying on the running game and short passing game. Head coach Chuck Pagano and Co. were able to devise a scheme to shut down the Titans running game over the second half, which made Tennessee’s offense stagnant. These adjustments are why Pagano and his staff remain capable of taking the Colts into the realm of the NFL’s elite.

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 14:  Coby Fleener #80 of the Indianapolis Colts tries to break the tackle of  Jason McCourty #30 of the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter at LP Field on November 14, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Im
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Indianapolis Colts

Pass Offense: Andrew Luck started strong, but faltered in the second quarter. The absence of Reggie Wayne and a shaky offensive line still seem to be hindering the performance of the Colts passing offense. Luck was able to drive the Colts down the field through the air to deliver a late field goal that pulled Indianapolis within 11 points before the half.

Run Offense: Donald Brown has received the bulk of the work out of the backfield over the first half. Brown carried four times for 29 yards, giving him an average of 7.3 yards per carry. Still, the Colts have struggled to find a consistent running game and have only gained 38 yards on the ground thus far.

Pass Defense: Jake Locker is out, and in his place is veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Over the first half, he has performed well, completing 10 of 12 attempts for 89 yards and a passer rating of 97.6. Despite his efficiency, the Colts secondary has done a nice job taking away deep throws, which limited yardage through the air over the first two quarters.

Run Defense: The Colts run defense got off to a very shaky start after giving up a 30-yard touchdown run to Chris Johnson early in the first quarter. Johnson rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns over the first half, and the Colts must create a game plan during halftime to contain him. The Titans rushed for 101 yards as a team over the first two quarters of play.

Special Teams: A muffed kickoff return hurt the Colts in the field-position battle during the first half. However, Adam Vinatieri made both of his field-goal attempts, and Pat McAfee had a decent half punting the ball, averaging 41 yards on two attempts.

Coaching: Head coach Chuck Pagano let things get a little out of hand early in the game, as the Titans were able to jump out to a 14-point lead. However, he was able to keep his team’s emotions in check. Crucial halftime adjustments against the run and also to spark the Colts running game will be necessary.


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