Colts defeat Titans, but miss the playoffs
The Indianapolis Colts managed to take down the Tennessee Titans, but it was all for naught as the Colts were eliminated from playoff contention.
The Colts did their part by beating the Titans 30-24, but needed eight other games to break their way in order to make the playoffs. Chief among those games was the Texans hosting the Jaguars. Houston controlled their own destiny, and won the AFC South with a lopsided win against Jacksonville.
Quarterback Josh Freeman got the start for the Colts after being with the team for just five days. For someone with so little familarity of the playbook he played quite well, leading the team on four scoring drives. Freeman finished Sunday completing 15-of-28 attempts for 149 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
The Colts ended up using two quarterbacks this afternoon and it had nothing to do with injuries. Freeman may have started the game, but Ryan Lindley came in for a two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Lindly led a touchdown drive for the Colts, throwing a dart to Andre Johnson who managed to sneak the ball across the line.
Lindley was 6-for-8 for 58 yards and the touchdown on that drive.
Frank Gore entered the game needing 109 yards to reach 1,000 on the season. He came up short, but still had a solid afternoon with 76 yards on 19 carries, good for a 4.0 yards per attempt.
Coby Fleener and Andre Johnson led the Colts in receiving. Fleener had seven receptions for 88 yard, gaining 57 of those yards on a deep seam route touchdown. Johnson four receptions for 46 yards and an impressive body control touchdown to end the first half.
Jerrell Freeman put in a monster performance on defense. He returned a tipped pass for a touchdown, recorded two sacks, and led the team with eight tackles. Freeman’s final sack set up a fourth-and-long for the Titans who were trying to complete a game winning drive. The following play Greg Toler would break up the pass to seal the Colts win.
Adam Vinatieri connected on all three of his field goal attempts, including a 52 yarder. Vinatieri extended his streak of 100-point seasons to 18 today.
It only took 16 games, but the Colts finally fund their aggressive streak on both sides of the ball. The play-calling was far more creative and dynamic than we’ve seen all season. Had they coached like this all season, Pagano and company would likely be headed to the playoffs.
The Colts season comes to a close, but they will surely be making news in the coming weeks.