The Indianapolis Colts have finished three straight seasons with a record of 11-5 following Sunday’s win against the Tennessee Titans. The Colts rolled an inferior opponent, even when they didn’t really have anything to play for.
Their reward will be a rematch with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Colts can throw up another AFC South banner and be happy with yet another sweep of the division. Never discount just how difficult it is to make the playoffs. Yes, there are expectations for this team as there have been for over a decade now but making the playoffs in the NFL is still an accomplishment.
There isn’t much to take away from Sunday’s win. The Titans were truly awful this season and have the second pick in the 2015 Draft as a result.
The Colts played mistake free football, and gave Andrew Luck the second half off.
We did learn a few things on Sunday:
Reggie Wayne doesn’t have a top gear anymore, but he can still make spectacular catches.
Jack Mewhort is not very good at right tackle. Just because he played all over the line at Ohio State doesn’t mean he can in the pros.
The run game simply isn’t there. The Colts had 2.1 yards per carry against one of the worst run defense in the league.
Which is all fine because:
Run defense doesn’t matter nearly as much as pass defense. The Titans 5.2 yards per carry and 142 yards. They managed just 10 points and only passed for 50 yards. The Colts passed for 314 and had only 64 yards on the ground.
Pep Hamilton refuses to burn plays from his playbook. The Colts can’t run wide receiver screens, so stop trying, and Richardson can’t run sweeps or tosses, he’s not fast enough.
Luck is an unbelievable talent and most of the NFL would trade everything to have him (the Texans would even give up J.J. Watt). He’s just the eighth player to throw 40 touchdowns and he’s just in his third season. Only Dan Marino had more touchdowns (98) through three seasons (compared to Luck’s 86).
The Colts still a fragile team with the biggest issue from this game being the injuries suffered. We say A.Q. Shipley and Hugh Thornton both go down, which will further test the depth of the offensive line. It looks like some players will come back this week, but the Colts haven’t had a game lately where a lineman didn’t get injured.
Beating up on the 2-14 Titans does help this team regain some amount of confidence after the beating suffered in Dallas. Or at least it will sooth some fans. It might even encourage people to buy some of the 10,000 tickets still available for a home playoff game.
The Colts host the Bengals this coming Sunday at 1:05 PM EST. We’ll have all kinds of coverage this week to get you ready for that showdown.