By Karen Christensen // @ksc47
Tennessee Titans 36-22 Indianapolis Colts
October 2011 was the last time that the Titans beat their AFC South division rivals, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts had beaten the Titans eleven times in a row; quite a shameful statistic. It was looking like the winning streak was going to continue on Monday Night Football in Nashville, with the first half of the game being a bit of a snooze fest courtesy of the Titans offense. Sportscaster Jon Gruden had this to say about the Titans action in the first half:
“play selection and execution is just not good enough”.
The offense was predictable, the defense was not stopping runs, Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett had plenty of time to throw the ball, and the Titans’ pass rush was almost non-existent. The only scoring for the Titans were three field goals by placekicker Ryan Succop, who set an NFL record for the most consecutive field goals under 50 yards (#47 was the record setter, and four more goals added to make the record 51 consecutive field goals).
When quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a pick six to the Colts linebacker John Simon at the start of the second half, the fact that our star QB was not healed from a hamstring injury suffered two weeks ago during the Texans game was fully evident. I thought the game was over for sure. Mariota was not his usual mobile self. As Jon Gruden said, he was “a man playing with a flat tire”, but he rallied the team in the fourth quarter to score 21 points.
Running back DeMarco Murray got the first Titans’ TD from three yards out after an 87-yard drive.
Rookie wide receiver Taywan Taylor got the next TD after a beautiful 53-yard throw; it was Taylor’s first NFL touchdown. The score was then 29-22 with less than 10 minutes left to play. And then for the big finale, Henry had a 72 yard run for another touchdown, sealing the victory with an exclamation point. This was the longest run of his career and the first time that he hit 100 yards.
The Titans are now 3-3; it is a 3-way tie for the top of the AFC South division between the Titans, Texans, and Jaguars.
The Titans will travel to Cleveland, Ohio this Sunday to take on the Browns. Head coach Mike Mularkey has already stated that safety Johnathan Cyprien and wide receiver Corey Davis will not be playing, as they are still out with hamstring injuries. This will be a short week for the Titans to get prepared for the Browns, and traveling is a factor.
The Browns are 0-6 this season, and they are surely hungry to get their first win now; the Titans need to not be that first team to lose to Cleveland this season. My hope is that the Titans will score during the first half of the game since these second-half rallies are nerve-wracking!
This short prep week is an added worry. Marcus Mariota was only sacked once against the Colts, and he stuck with the game plan of staying in the pocket; he should be able to play against the Browns on Sunday. The Titans’ bye week is coming up after this game so hopefully, Mariota, Davis, and Cyprien will be rejuvenated and healthy for the rest of the football season.
Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter // @ksc47