Indianapolis 30, Tennessee 27
|Position Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Colts Week 11
Game Analysis for Tennessee
Pass Offense: While starting the backup always seems like a negative proposition, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played very much like the seasoned veteran that he is.
Fitzpatrick was poised, decisive and didn’t make any major mistakes. While Tennessee didn’t walk away with a victory, Fitzpatrick played well enough to win, which must be comforting for the Titans moving forward.
Fitzpatrick finished the game 22-of-28 for 22 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers.
Run Offense: Running back Chris Johnson put together one of the better performances of the season. Unfortunately, most of his production came in the first half.
As the Titans jumped out to a 17-6 halftime lead, Johnson led the way with 80 yards and two touchdowns.
He only added six yards in the second half.
Pass Defense: The Titans did an excellent job in limiting Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the first half. Things didn’t go as well in the second.
Luck consistently found holes in the Tennessee secondary in the second half and helped overcome a two-score deficit when he needed to.
Luck finished the game 23-of-36 for 232 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, though he did rush for a score.
Run Defense: Tennessee’s run defense was red hot initially, but cooled off over the course of the game.
Running back Trent Richardson rushed just once in the first half for one yard. He finished with 22 yards on eight carries.
However, the story of the night was Donald Brown, who rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns and helped lead Indianapolis to victory.
Special Teams: Devon Wylie’s fumble on a third-quarter kick return caused a major momentum shift. Indianapolis scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession and took its first lead of the game.
The Colts never relinquished the lead, which is why Wylie’s mistake hurts an otherwise average performance from the Titans special teams unit.
Coaching: Steady and precise was the mantra in the first half for Tennessee. Head coach Mike Munchak and coordinator Dowell Loggains leaned on a balanced offensive attack in the first two quarters, which worked well.
The game plan might have worked for all four quarters, had the Titans been able to stop the Colts defensively.
Aside from a couple of miscues, the biggest killer for Tennessee was its inability to stop Colts tight end Coby Fleener. While tight ends have become an increasingly important part of NFL offenses, the fact that the Titans couldn’t game plan for Luck’s collegiate teammate has to reflect on defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.
First-Half Analysis for Tennessee
Pass Offense: With starter Jake Locker out for the season, the Titans are forced to rely on veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fortunately, Fitzpatrick has looked every bit the starter through two quarters. He was both composed and effective in the first half and made no major mistakes.
Fitzpatrick finished the half 10-of-12 with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Run Offense: The Titans set their game plan in motion when Chris Johnson scored on a 30-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive.
Johnson ran behind a motivated offensive line with a burst that has appeared to be missing for most of the season. He finished the half with 80 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries, while Shonn Greene chipped in 10 yards on three rushing attempts.
Pass Defense: Trying to limit the production of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is rarely an easy task.
However, the Titans did an excellent job of it for the majority of the first half with adequate pressure and tight play in the secondary.
Luck finished the first half just 12-of-21 for 108 yards. More importantly, Tennessee did not allow him to find the end zone.
Run Defense: While the Colts' rushing attack has been mostly inconsistent this season, the Titans did a solid job of ensuring it stayed that way through the first half.
Colts running back Trent Richardson continues to look like a disappointment as a rusher, though he did only run once for one yard. Donald Brown fared better in limited action, carrying the ball four times for 29 yards.
Special Teams: There was a bit of good and a bit of bad from the Titans special teams unit in the first half.
Indianapolis averaged a mere 14 yards on kickoff returns. However, punter Brett Kern’s lone attempt went for just 25 yards.
Coaching: From the opening kickoff on, it appeared that Mike Munchak’s game plan was to ensure balance on offense and to defensively prevent the Colts from making big plays.
His plan worked to near perfection in the first half. Even with a backup quarterback, the Titans have been rolling on offense, while Luck and Co. have accomplished little on their end.