1st Quarter (Momentum Colts)
Although the Colt offense only managed two first quarter possessions, they certainly made them count. Peyton Manning managed 21 plays, 103 yards, and Javarris James muscled in a 1-yard TD thanks to a Titan penalty that gave the Colts an extra set of downs inside the 5-yard line. The Colt defense seemed up to the task early, forcing a 3-and-out and a turnover.
The Titan offense started right where it left off from in the last 2 weeks. Awful. After a (penalty) and back-to-back Chris Johnson carries the offense promptly left the field only to return down 7 points. The Titan defense cannot grind opposing offenses to a stop around midfield and be rewarded with a 3 minute break and picking up right where they left off. Ridiculous.
2nd Quarter (Momentum Titans)
It was nice to have Kenny Britt back, unfortunately his rust showed in an awful and unlucky sideline fumble, that Manning and the gang converted into another TD. Then, the Titans made perhaps their second largest special teams gaff of the year. Ken Amato, a 10-year special team veteran, snapped the ball over Brett Kern’s head, resulting in another fumble.
Manning and the no-name Colts quickly capitalized and the game seemed destined for another route at the Titan’s expense. (Insert Jim Caldwell lack of coaching ability) Up 21 points against an inept offense, the playoff desperate Colts settled into a seemingly prevent defensive scheme that allowed Kerry Collins the time, and CJ the room to do some quick damage.
3rd Quarter (Momentum Titans)
The Titans marched the opening drive of the second half down the field and scored, resembling the Titan squad that started the year 5-2. The Titan offense would only touch the ball one more time in another Colt time-of-possession dominated quarter. Kudos to the Titan defense for holding two sustained Colt drives to measly Adam Vinatieri field goals (21 and 28 yards).
The Colts offense mercilessly pounded away at a tired and worn down Titan defense that desperately lacks a leader. Impressively, despite 32 rushes the Colts could only muster 87 rushing yards (2.7 yards per carry) against a Titan defense that harassed and hurried Manning to check down constantly. Still, the Colts had the lead and the ball to start the 4th.
4th Quarter (Match Colts)
After scoring on another impressive drive and forcing a quick 3-and-out (the first and only of the game for the Colts), the Titans were within striking distance for the first time all night, setting up the Jeff Fisher Sequence of the Week.
Because Jeff Fisher likes to keep games close, Titan fans of the last 17 years know that every game will come down to a series of plays, or what I like to call the “Fisher Sequence.”
First, I would like to say great job to Mike Heimerdinger and Jeff Fisher for putting the ball in CJ’s hands on all 3 plays of this critical drive. This was absolutely the right decision and lacked only one ingredient. One more try. Chris Johnson should have been given the chance to try and gain the last yard or at least become a decoy on a fake toss wide.
The Titans were 5-7, playoff chances were already slim, and Peyton Manning was standing on the other sideline waiting to get the ball. The Titan defense had already done it’s job, to call on them again after such a short break demanding a repeat performance was less likely than Dinger drawing up a one-yard play that would prolong the drive.
Unfortunately, Fisher does not have the benefit of several days and articles of evaluation to make his decision. Instead, he sent out the punting unit and the Titans defense put up little fight in allowing another Vinatieri field goal (47 yards) that iced this game and the Titan’s 2010 season. Match Colts.
FINAL: Titans 28 – Colts 30
In the grand scheme of things, this game is encouraging. Britt, CJ2K, and the core of young defenders on the Titan defense will keep this team competitive regardless of what happens in the final 3 games of the season. Unfortunately, it also reveals that Fisher and his coaching staff may be losing their touch. Worse, the Titans have a serious hole at the quarterback position.
Whether Titan fans like it or not, Vince Young might be the answer to the quarterback problem in Nashville. Only time will tell whether Titan owner Bud Adams will make a regime change and salvage one more year with VY or give Jeff Fisher the benefit of the doubt one more time. Either way, this is the second 6-game losing streak for a Fisher-led Titan squad in 2 years.