It was the 12th week of the season and the Colts were coming off their bye-week. Good news was in the air for the defense as both linebacker John Simon and safety Clayton Geathers were coming off of the IR and returning to active duty. For Geathers it would be his first appearance of the year suited up due to his recovery from off-season neck surgery. Jacoby Brissett had been taken off concussion protocol. So the personnel situation was about as good as it could get for the Horseshoe. Lucas Oil Stadium had the roof and window open so it was like an outdoor game.
The Tennessee Titans were 6-4 and making a run for the playoffs. They have had their ups and downs but with their quarterback Marcus Mariotta they are a threat in any game. As the first half progressed the Colts defense played as well as it had all season and harassed Mariotta repeatedly. The Titans offense seemed scared by this and Mariotta threw two interceptions which led to Colt scores. Offensively the Colts were moving the ball and the old warhorse Frank Gore was hitting the middle with some effectiveness. He scored his third touchdown of the season and the 77th rushing TD of his career. At the end of the first half, the Colts led 13 to 6. This is not the first time this season that the Colts had a halftime lead. As the half time continued, I found myself wondering how the Colts would blow it.
As the 3rd quarter progressed the Colts added another field goal to take a 16-6 lead. I did notice that poor Jacoby Brissett was starting to get that shell-shocked look. He had already been tackled for losses five times and hit five more. The Colts offensive line was starting to get overrun and the running lanes were closing. Late in the 3rd quarter the Colts had the ball on their own 15. Brissett called a pitch to the left. Running back Marlon Mack fumbled and the Titans recovered and Mariotta threw a 1 yard scoring pass to tie things up. That was it. The Horseshoe momentum was lost. The Titans also put in their inside power running back Derrick Henry and the former Heisman Trophy winner pounded the Colts defense for 77 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. The Titan defense continued to abuse Brissett and the Colts chalked up their 8th loss of the season.
At the press conference, Coach Chuck Pagano finally had his Jim Mora meltdown moment. You remember, “Playoffs?…You’re talkin’ playoffs?” A reporter asked if the Colts were in some kind of “Groundhog Day” mode with these continual second half implodes. He responded with a poetic monologue referring to hurricanes, dudes and dudettes and jumping off roofs. The poor fellow knows he is not going to be around as Colts head man much longer and it has got to be grating on him.
On a positive note, Jack Doyle once again proved to be the team’s most productive and dependable player. He caught 7 passes for 94 yards, bringing his total to 59 catches which leads the team for 544 yards. He has two touchdown catches. We travel to Jacksonville next week to meet the Jaguars. Brissett must be having nightmares about the scary Jag defense. Look out below!
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