Week 14 Recap: Defense Pushes Colts Past Titans

Many apologies from TheColtsCorgi with this late post. It won’t happen again!

Titans QB Jake Locker hurt the Colts bad in the first quarter. He was 6-for-6 with a TD throw to tight end Jared Cook to give the Titans an early 7-0 lead. But Andrew Luck was able to toss 3 passes for a tidy 50 yards and hit a wide-open Reggie Wayne for a touchdown. This allowed kicker Adam Vinatieri to tie the game with 1:01 left. The first quarter closed Titans 7 – Colts 7.

During the second quarter, Locker was on fire again and marched his offense down the field until the Titans were stalled by the Colts defense. Of course, this only came after Locker launched a doozy 46-yard pass to Kenny Britt, which in turn set up a clean field goal for kicker Rob Bironas. With 12:27 still to play in the second, the Titans were ahead 10-7. Later, as Luck fell trying to escape Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan, he released the ball directly into the arms of Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon, who then ran 40 yards for a touchdown (Titans 17 – Colts 7). Looking at the replay, it is clear that Luck was down before the ball left his hand, which would have resulted in a QB Sack and NOT a pick-six. But it seemed that the officials at this game were struggling with seeing what was actually happening on the field. Many calls that shouldn’t have been made were, and vice versa. I saw it for both teams. Yeah, I like it when things go our way, but I certainly don’t like it when it seems that favoritism is being played and one team is getting screwed royally. But I digress. Let’s get to the end of the second quarter. Locker finished the half as strong as he started, completing 5-of-7 for 75 yards, including yet another 46-yard bomb to Kenny Britt. But once again the drive was stalled and Bironas was called in to put it through the uprights and end the half with that Titans on top, 20-7.

The third quarter opened with Luck leading the Colts 80 yards in 14 plays. He converted two third downs, both to Reggie Wayne, and running back Vick Ballard’s feet were moving the offense to the endzone as well. Delone Carter broke through the Titans defense from the 1-yard line for the touchdown and kicker Adam Vinatieri capped it with the extra point to bring the score to 20-14. With 5:36 left in the third, punter Pat McAfee booted a gorgeous ball down the field that went out at the Titans own 1-yard line. On the first play after the punt, Locker aimed for wide receiver Nate Washington, but the ball never reached him. The Colts’ Cassius Vaughn took a bead on the ball, intercepted it, and ran it in for a defensive touchdown. Vinatieri hit the extra point. The third quarter ended with Colts finally in control over the Titans, 21-20.

At the 10:28 mark of the fourth quarter, the Titans were back in control after Bironas hit another field goal (Titans 23 – Colts 21). Soon after, two defensive penalties against the Colts gave the Titans two third-down conversions and walked them down the field. Kicker Adam Vinatieri revived the Colts after the painful defensive penalties with a heart-stopping 53-yard field goal (we all knew he was going to hit it) to give the Colts the lead once again, 24-23. With 3:48 remaining in the game, the Colts’ Darius Butler intercepted a pass by Locker at the Titan’s 28, setting Vinatieri up for yet another field goal. This one, too, sailed through the uprights and gave the Colts the win, 27-23.

Rookie mistakes by Luck, poor penalty-calling by the officials, and a VERY hungry Titan’s offense made this a hard-fought game for the Colts. They’re looking a little thin at running back. Yeah, I’m sure Luck could play some Wildcat, but do we really want to do that? I don’t. Not at all. And how about next week? Houston is playing the Patriots on MNF…it isn’t pretty for Houston. In fact, it’s looking much uglier than we did against New England. The short week could potentially play in the Colt’s favor. We can only hope that a mental and physical bashing by Tom Brady and the Pats can do a bit of damage to Houston and give us a more favorable chance, at least at being at the top of the division. I hope to never say this again, but…come on Patriots. Ugh…I think I need a drink now.

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