TEN-IND: T.Y. Hilton boosts offense in Colts victory
Indianapolis Colts 24, Tennessee Titans 17
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Colts’ victory over the Titans.
Quarterback Grade: Andrew Luck, 66.5
Luck survives siege to sneak win
The Colts’ inability to protect their star asset persists, despite significant investment in the offensive line. Under pressure on 20 of 35 dropbacks, Luck was forced to use his creativity on a number of plays. He responded with nine completions from 16 attempts for 129 yards, two touchdowns and one pick — impressive numbers given the circumstances. However, Luck could easily have seen his touchdown to interception ratio flipped. Facing fourth and one in the redzone, the Colts’ signal-caller could only connect with Perrish Cox, only for TY Hilton to rip the ball from the defensive back. I guess it really is better to be Luck than good. He has played better previously, but another divisional win could be huge for the Colts come the post-season reckoning.
Highest graded offensive players
WR T.Y. Hilton, 79.1
C Ryan Kelly, 74.9
WR Donte Moncrief, 73.0
RG Denzelle Good, 69.9
QB Andrew Luck, 66.5
Hilton shines, while O-line turmoil familiar for Colts
As a unit, Indianapolis struggled to move the ball down the field incrementally. Their most effective strategy involves feeding the ball to T.Y. Hilton. That is both an indictment of his supporting cast and a hat tip to his quality. Hilton ripped off a couple other big plays to go with his stolen touchdown, proving a nightmare on vertical routes in particular. The Colts desperately needed their star playmaker with the offensive line in disarray. Ryan Kelly topped the group with a 66.2 pass protection grade. None of his teammates managed to break the 50 mark. Joe Haeg has found adjusting to the level of competition from the FCS especially difficult. Sustainability remains a key concern with Luck taking so many hits.
Highest graded defensive players
S Clayton Geathers, 82.5
LB D’Qwell Jackson, 81.6
S Mike C. Adams, 80.5
CB Darius Butler, 72.7
ED Erik Walden, 66.5
Second-year safety with standout performance
Clayton Geathers had a really nice game, especially in run defense, in what has been a pretty good showing of a second season for the former fourth-round pick. Geathers was second on the team with nine tackles on Sunday and three of those were stops (a stop is a solo tackle that constitutes as a loss for the offense, given the situation) in run defense. Geathers now has 21 stops on the season, which ranks sixth among all safeties. D’Qwell Jackson had a nice rounded performance, tallying a sack on seven pass rush attempts to go with some solid run defense (78.5 run defense grade) and a pass breakup in coverage.
Quarterback grade: Marcus Mariota, 81.7
Mariota’s stretch of great play continues in Week 11 loss
After a rough first four weeks to open up the season, the Titans’ franchise QB has really turned things around, and that trend continued this weekend in Indianapolis. Mariota completed 22 of 33 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown to go with a 102.0 QB Rating when given a clean pocket; and when Indianapolis decided to bring an extra pass-rusher the former Oregon star absolutely shredded them, completing 9 of 11 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns to go with a 155.9 QB Rating. Mariota also made some key plays with his feet, picking up 29 yards on the ground, with 18 of those coming on two QB scrambles.
Highest-graded offensive players
T Jack Conklin, 82.9
QB Marcus Matiota, 81.7
G Quinton Spain, 79.9
T Taylor Lewan 76.4
C Ben Jones, 74.0
Offensive line continues to lead offense
The Titans offensive line was responsible for just eight total pressures on 45 total drop-backs for QB Marcus Mariota and for the season now they’re allowing pressure on just 28.2 percent of Mariota’s drop-backs, which ranks as the eighth-lowest rate among qualified quarterbacks. Once again, rookie RT Jack Conklin had a standout performance, despite allowing his first ever career sack – it took 388 pass blocking snaps. Conklin is now our sixth-highest rated tackle for the season – one spot behind Titans’ left tackle, Taylor Lewan — with an 87.2 overall grade following today’s game. In the passing game, WRs Rishard Matthews (69.9 overall) and Tajae Sharpe (70.0) combined to haul in 13 of 20 targets for 190 yards and a touchdown between them, Mariota had a 112.5 QB Rating when targeting them.
Highest graded defensive players
CB Brice McCain, 87.4
OLB Derrick Morgan, 86.3
DE Karl Klug, 82.0
ILB Avery Williamson, 80.7
OLB Brian Orakpo, 77.3
Titans’ front seven flourishes
Tennessee dipped deep into their roster to find some key contributors this afternoon. Although the starters on the defensive line enjoyed only mixed performances, the backups and role players made a significant impact for the Titans. Karl Klug generated five hurries from only 14 rushes. In partnership with Austin Johnson, who generated a sack and a hurry of his own (ten rushes), the Titans’ backups wreaked havoc. On the edge, Derrick Morgan was the standout, ably assisted by Brian Orakpo. Morgan managed nine combined pressures (five hurries, two hits and two hurries) from his 32 passing snaps. Working opposite him, Orakpo was slightly less active, but still managed four pressures and a batted pass from 23 opportunities. Overall, the Titans’ front can be satisfied with their day’s work.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: T.Y. Hilton
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