INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Well on Sunday afternoon in a cold Lucas Oil Stadium with the roof open, the Colts fell again in the fourth quarter after a promising start and a negative finish to an overall dubious day.
Surprisingly, the Titans rumbled on their first two drives threatening to score, and the Colts defense stopped Tennessee both times. What also was surprising was that the Colts would score on three of their next drives, with two field goals and the first touchdown on the day coming from a beautiful Frank Gore 14-yard run right through Titans defenders for six. Indianapolis would even score on their next possession late into the third quarter with a field goal extending their lead to 10. Then came the trouble, in the fourth quarter, the Titans took the ball from their own 23-yard line and drove all the way down the field to score and ultimately take the game.
Jacoby Brissett who probably was not fully healthy finished 17-for-29 for 196 yards and no touchdowns nor interceptions. Brissett did fumble twice and lost one. It was only the second time this season he failed to reach 200 yards in a start for Brissett. The performance was nothing to be concerned about from the beat up Brissett who was sacked 8 times with a new face at center. The game was just peculiar in many ways, with Brissett just being the secondary player.
Brissett’s favorite target on Sunday against Tennessee once again was Jack Doyle. Doyle posted 7 receptions and 94 yards with 13.4 yards per catch average. He hauled in almost all his eight targets, with seven on another nice day against the Titans. Earlier in the season, Doyle scored a touchdown on 7 catches and 50 yards against Tennessee on the road. You can check out a quick 25-second highlight of a great catch Doyle we caught on camera:
Frank Gore once again displayed his skillset, rushing 17 times for 62 yards and 1 touchdown. Gore before the game said that his mindset is to “make the playoffs.” That probably is not going to happen, but you must love the leadership and enthusiasm of the veteran. I’m sure the Colts would love to sign Gore back, and honestly, he deserves to play for a team ready for the postseason. This offseason could be tricky for the Colts and Gore, who is not clear about parting ways just yet.
“The thing is it’s the little things. We’ve got the guys in here to compete, but then again, we lost.” Gore said. “I’m still going to play my behind off for my teammates and try to finish these last five (games). I think as a group, me and all the guys in here are going to do the same and that’s what it is.”
Despite allowing the game-winning touchdown from the Titans, the defense including the secondary played extraordinarily well down to the end. They held Marcus Mariota to only 184 yards and one touchdown in probably one of his worst starts from the beginning to the end. Not only did they slow him down, Nate Hariston and Rashaan Melvin each picked him off one time apiece. Safety Darius Butler who’s a great leader in the locker room did not seem pleased with the outcome.
“There’s about 60 plays that go back and forth, and five or six plays that determine winning or losing that game,” Butler said. “And more times than not this season the ball just bounced the wrong way for us.”
It’s going to be hard to predict the rest of the season for the Colts. They may win one or two, or possibly lose out to secure a good draft pick. I would go with route two and draft someone who can shape the bright future of this new young and improved team. Despite eight losses, the Colts have shown more brilliance at 3-8 than they did in 2016 at 8-8.
The Colts will travel to Jacksonville to take on the AFC South-leading Jaguars next Sunday at 1:00 PM Eastern. In their last meeting, the Jags shutout the Colts 27-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium.