Week 6 Grade: Indianapolis Colts Defense at Titans
Outside of a couple big plays by new free agent signing John Simon, the Colts’ defense was unable to slow down the Titans’ dynamic offense on Monday night.
Let’s begin with a positive spin on the defensive performance.
John Simon was our MVP of Monday night’s game as he was constantly putting pressure on Marcus Mariota, sacked him once, and picked off a pass returning it into the end zone.
Outside of a couple of nice pass breakups from Rashaan Melvin and Malik Hooker, the defense was disappointing in primetime.
As we mentioned in the game recap, the secondary consistently gave up big plays in the passing game as Tennessee averaged a whopping 9.2 yards per pass attempt.
However, the run defense was very good outside of Derrick Henry‘s long run in the final seconds of the game.
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The upgrades on the interior of the defensive line really payed off against one of the league’s best power run games. Johnathan Hankins and Al Woods were consistently getting a strong push, and the Colts’ defensive backs did a great job of tackling Tennessee’s two enormous halfbacks.
Mariota was still clearly hampered by his hamstring injury in this game, and the Colts’ defense should’ve done a better job of exploiting that on Monday night. His lack of mobility really limited their passing game, but the Titans’ receivers were still able to get open relatively easily all game long.
The Colts have some great pieces on this defense, but they’re still learning to execute well together with a lot of new faces.