Colts vs Titans: Team Grades


After taking apart the Titans Sunday afternoon, the Colts had a quiet Monday. Going over some tape, reveling in the win, and relaxing before next week.

No, wait. That didn’t happen at all. Da’Rick Rogers was arrested and released while LaRon Landry was finally hit for PED use. Read more about it over here.

The Colts played another complete game against an inferior opponent. The offense was sharp, the coaching was dynamic, and the defense benefitted from facing a bad quarterback.

We give a hat tip to Pro Football Focus  who rate every player on a plus/minus system. For reference, a 0.0 game is average.

Offense: A-

By every measure, the Titans have a better defense than the Jaguars. Yet the Colts still took them apart.

Andrew Luck continued his brilliant performance from last week. He’s starting to play at a near MVP level, which is exactly what it will take for this team to make the playoffs. His comfort behind the line is astonishing. When blitzed, Luck was 12-for-16 for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne finally broke out of their shells and have the Colts first 100-plus yard receiving game for a wide receiver this season, in the same game. Rookie Donte Moncrief continues to be effective in limited snaps on the field.

Ahmad Bradshaw is currently the third most valuable running back per play in the NFL (according to Football Outsiders DVOA). He is equally effective running or catching the ball and continues to be a monster in the red zone.

It might have been the worst game by the offensive line overall and it still didn’t have much of an impact on the overall game. It was A.Q. Shipley‘s worst game this season and even after that he’s still the third ranked center by PFF. Only Lance Louis received a positive grade, which is saying something considering he was playing in relief for the injured Hugh Thornton.

The only concerning factor was that the Colts struggled to run the ball against the 30th ranked run defense in the NFL (and the Titans didn’t have their best run stopper either). It seemed like the blocking was simply off while at the same time the Titans loaded up to prevent big runs.

Both Colts tackles and Allen struggled when it came to run blocking Sunday. The pass protection was there all day as Luck wasn’t sacked and only pressured on 10 of his 41 drop backs.

Defense: B

The defense benefitted from getting two gift wrapped turnovers in the first half. They were also facing a very mediocre quarterback in Charlie Whitehurst.

Looking at PFF’s grades is depressing. Safety Mike Adams played very well, as did Cory Redding, but that was about it. Most of the Colts were about average on Sunday, and a few continue to be perpetual disappointments this season.

D’Qwell Jackson has simply been terrible every game. He’s gotten less worse each week, but is simply a one-note linebacker. It doesn’t help that Josh McNary has played terribly against bad competition. The Colts need Jerrell Freeman back in the worst way.

Bjoern Werner continued to disappoint and is now making matters worse on the field. This was easily his worst game and its clear that he is pressing to get a sack (to the point of drawing penalties).

Next we get to Landry, who was very “meh” on Sunday. He looked great last week against the Jaguars, but overall this season has been flat out bad (-2.1 overall). What’s disturbing is that he is the best option at the position and the Colts have to go with a backup for the next four weeks.

Ending on a positive note, Vontae Davis has lived up to his contract so far this season. The Titans went full Sherman and didn’t even attempt one pass Davis’ direction. The Titans receivers haven’t been great, but that level of coverage is outstanding.

Special Teams: A+

No missed field goals, no big punt or kickoff returns, and a beauty of an onside kick from Pat McAfee. Can’t argue with that type of day.

McAfee is the highest rated player on the Colts roster right now with a +16 overall. He’s clearly on his way to a Pro Bowl season.

The oldest man in the NFL, Adam Vinatieri, is still perfect on the season. Can’t argue with that at all.