Indianapolis Colts Game Recap: Week 12 vs Titans
The Colts yet another lead slip away after several crucial mistakes in the second half as they fall to 3-8 on the season.
The Colts got off to a slow start today punting on their first two possessions. They then stalled out and settled for field goals on 2 promising drives. As the game progressed, many Colts stepped up and made significant plays.
While he wasn’t slated to play much in his 2017 debut, safety Clayton Geathers came up with a sack in the first quarter. It got called back due to holding, but it demonstrated that his recovery appears to have gone according to plan.
Defensive tackle Al Woods also looked strong and was a major part of the Colts’ success defending the run. They held the Titans to 9 rushing yards in the first half, which was a major accomplishment against an offensive line that is so highly regarded. Jabaal Sheard also came to play today, creating a disruptive pass rush for most of the game that kept Marcus Mariota scrambling for most of the game.
Rashaan Melvin also had a big interception that was upheld following a review. While that created opportunity for the Colts’ offense, Melvin went to the locker room where he underwent an x-ray on his right wrist. He was ruled out for the rest of the game shortly after.
After struggling early, the Colts were able to get it going offensively in the second quarter.
Tight end Jack Doyle hauled in a couple crucial first-down receptions to extend drives, and he continued to be a reliable target in the second half.
The biggest play of the first half came from cornerback Nate Hairston. Darius Butler bobbled an errant throw from Mariota, and Hairston was able to corral it and give the Colts the ball back right around the two-minute warning. That takeaway led to Frank Gore’s touchdown right before halftime.
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In the second half, the Colts had to cope with the loss of center Ryan Kelly, who is currently in the concussion protocol. This injury compounded the fact that the offensive line struggled mightily during the first half. While the position players didn’t have perfect outings, the Colts’ stalled drives that ended in field goals can largely be blamed on the offensive line. Brissett was sacked 8 times, which was a combination of poor protection and his propensity to hold onto the ball for too long.
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A game-changing turnover unfolded near the end of the third quarter when Marlon Mack lost the ball near the Colts’ end zone and squandered multiple chances to dive onto the ball. The Titans took over inside the Colts’ 10 yard line and ended up throwing a touchdown to Delanie Walker to make it a 13-16 Colts lead. Mack’s fumble and the Titans’ follow-up touchdown continued this season’s theme of crucial second-half mistakes.
The Colts’ pass defense seemed to unravel in the 4th quarter allowing the Titans to convert several first downs. Additionally, the stellar run defense that existed for most of the game seemed to evaporate near the middle of the fourth quarter as the Titans wore them down. Derrick Henry was featured during the final quarter and had several huge gains that ultimately set up Demarco Murray’s 1-yard touchdown to give the Titans a 20-16 lead.
The Colts were unable to stop the Titans on their next drive and eventually ran out of timeouts before the two-minute warning. Chalk this one up as another afternoon of promising performances and massive miscues.
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The Titans held on to win 20-16, and Chuck Pagano’s seat just got a bit warmer.