The Colts’ defense allowed 20 points in Sunday’s loss to the Titans. Though Indianapolis lost the game, the defense played admirably in defeat.
DEFENSIVE GRADE: C+
This was a tough game for the Indianapolis defense. They did not record a sack during the 20-16 loss to the Titans, though Indianapolis did force two turnovers and held Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota to less than 200 total yards.
Al Woods set the tone early for the Colts’ front line. He recorded two big tackles on Titans running back DeMarco Murray stopping him for no gain one one run and a tackle for loss on another. Murray would finish the game with a paltry 9 yards on 12 rushes.
Rashaan Melvin made a phenomenal interception diving in front of the intended receiver Harry Douglas, and picking off the Mariota pass. Unfortunately for Melvin, he injured his hand on that play and did not return for the remainder of the game. Kenny Moore did a solid job filling in after Melvin’s departure.
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The Colts snagged another interception in the first-half when Darius Butler tipped a pass that ended up in the hands of rookie cornerback Nate Hairston. The Colts scored 10 points off turnovers during Sunday’s contest.
The Indianapolis defense was put in a very difficult situation late in the 3rd quarter when Marlon Mack’s fumble was recovered by the Titans at the Colts’ 4-yard line. Mariota tossed a touchdown to Delanie Walker on the Titan’s first play of that drive.
After the 42-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri early in the 3rd quarter, the Colts would go on to run just 14 plays for the remainder of the game. The Titans were on the field for 29 plays during that span, including two 9-play drives. Those 15 extra plays took a toll on the Indianapolis defense who looked gassed in the 4th quarter.
Indianapolis won the turnover battle, but the lack of consistent pressure on Mariota combined with long, sustained drives in the second half by Tennessee allowed the Titans to emerge victorious.