Same Ole Titans Fall Flat Against the Colts

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Recap: Titans lose to the Luck-less Colts, 19-17

The Tennessee Titans gained national attention by throttling the new-look Cleveland Browns on opening weekend, 43-13. This week, the Titans returned home as the favorites to play the division rival Indianapolis Colts. It was more as the same for the Titans–falling flat after a big win. The team’s 2019 motto is “good to great.” When will this team ever turn the corner and get consistent winning football? Great teams do not lose games like this one. The frustration continues.

The Colts Curse Continues

It’s no secret that former Colts QB Andrew Luck owned the Titans. He retired this year having never lost in his career to a team he played twice every year. That is the definition of domination. Titans fans rejoiced when Luck retired. The fans felt like the curse had been lifted. “Not so fast my friend!” The Luck-less Colts come to Nashville and beat the TItans in a hard fought game. This isn’t the same Colts team that was terrible without Andrew Luck.

The Colts have a good defense and solid running game. Don’t forget the speedy weapons on the outside like WR TY Hilton. The Colts will be a solid team this season. Titans fans learned a hard lesson today: you can’t take any team for granted in the NFL (except maybe the 2019 Miami Dolphins). There are professional football players on both sides of the field. Titans fans, players, and coaches need to take every game seriously. With this result, the AFC South is now wide open with the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts all sitting at 1-1.  

The Offense and Quarterback Struggled

Looking at the box score doesn’t tell the entire story of this game but it does today for TItans QB Marcus Mariota. Mariota had 68% completions for 154 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, and 32 rushing yards. He was sacked 4 times and at least half of those were from holding the ball too long. Mariota has to learn to get rid of the ball when nothing is there. He needs to make quicker decisions. Scramble or throw it away, do not take a sack. One of the sacks may have caused new kicker, Cairo Santos, to miss a field goal which would’ve perhaps sealed the victory for the Titans.

Mysteriously, RB Derrick Henry was taken out of the game when he seemed to be gaining momentum. It’s unusual to see a RB getting over 5-yards per carry suddenly disappear in a close game in the 4th quarter. Henry needs to be more involved when you have a lead late in the game. 

WR Corey Davis disappears again. In two games this season, Davis has just 30 yards receiving. For a third year 1st-round pick, this is unacceptable. He is struggling to get open. It seems as if Mariota does not trust his #1 WR option. On the game’s final play, Mariota threw a slant to rookie WR AJ Brown instead of Davis. This is telling.

Coaching Mistakes

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The offense was subpar but the coaching may have been worse. Bad time management will cause you to lose games more than anything else. The TItans seemingly had all the momentum early in the 4th quarter with Derrick Henry. Then the Titans decide to start throwing the ball.

While trailing by a point late in the game, the Titans left the offense on the field on 4th and 1 from deep in their own end of the field. This ran 40 valuable seconds off the clock inside of 4:00 in the game before punting. These valuable seconds would’ve given the Titans the ball back with 2:00 left instead of 1:20. This changed the options the Titans had on the final drive. 

Finally, on the final drive, the Titans spiked the ball at midfield on 3rd & 2 with 17 left. You have to run a play there! This caused an all-or-nothing 4th & 2 final play which was missed. The Titans needed 20 yards and had: 30 to get it. They completed an 8-yard pass on 2nd down and then spiked the ball. 

Titans have a chance to erase this bad taste out of their mouth on Thursday Night Football against another AFC South rival in the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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