The matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans kicked off last night with the Titans still as one-point favorites in this highly anticipated mid-week NFL game played in the cold at Nashville.
The Colts and the Titans have been going in different directions recently, as Indy has won three of their last four games and Tennessee has now lost three of its last four NFL games following a surprising 34-17 upset win by the Colts in Thursday Night Football.
The Colts Overwhelm The Titans
In a contest that was not without a few bizarre twists, Phillip Rivers and the Colts (6-3) handed the Titans (6-3) their third consecutive loss at home to gain a share of the lead in the AFC South thanks to an inspired second half performance by the 38-year-old former quarterback for the San Diego Chargers.
Rivers showed the TNF audience that he still has what it takes to win football games by completing 29 of 39 passes for 308 total yards and one touchdown through the air. The Colts defense held Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill to just 15 of 27 passes, for a lackluster 147 total passing yards and one touchdown.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee’s bulldozer of a running back, was held without a touchdown all evening and managed to post only 103 rushing yards in the game, a considerable drop-off from his regular performance.
Special teams play, usually a strong point for the Titans, cost them precious points as their punter and long snapper could not get on the same page more than once during the game. Tennessee has had only punters since 1998. In the last three games, they have gone through three punters and two long snappers, and they still do not seem to have found a solution to the problem.
Titans Kickers Have A Rough Night
Their latest punter audition from young Trevor Daniel started off with a dud as he only managed to punt the ball 17 yards down the field. On his second attempt, the kick was blocked by the Colts D and returned for a touchdown.
Then, to add insult to injury, the Titans’ field goal kicker, no less than four-time Pro Bowl kicker Stephen Gostkowski, missed a 44-yard field goal attempt wide right while trying to break in a new holder. All in all, it was a grim evening for Tennessee kickers.
The Titans, who were trying to win their division for the first time since 2008, are now tied with the Colts for first place and still reeling from their third straight loss. They went into the Thursday night contest as favorites, but fell to Indianapolis by a final score of 34-17, which made over bettors into winners as the over and under was set at just 48.5 for the game.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel told sports reporters in his after game interview that the team was going to take a couple of days off to heal up and figure out what’s going wrong on special teams. He then added, “We’ve got to play complementary football in all three phases, and that doesn’t happen for 60 minutes right now.”
Refs Can’t Tell Time
Even the refs were not without their woes as the first quarter came to an end without a whistle when time had expired. This caused Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill to run another play, only to have everyone on the field pointing fingers at the refs in protest. Strange as it seems, none of the officials had noticed that the quarter had ended.
The going won’t be getting any easier for the Titans, as, in Week 11, they will be paying a visit to the Baltimore Ravens as 6.5 point underdogs while the Colts will host the Green Bay Packers as 1.5-point dogs.