ReFo: Colts @ Titans, Week 17
The Indianapolis Colts where already locked into the fourth seed and had nothing to gain in the last game of the season, they played their starters for the first half and started to pull them out in the second, yet they still beat the Tennessee Titans who ended the season with 10 straight loses, leaving them with the No. 2 pick in the draft.
The Titans go into this offseason unsure who is their quarterback of the future and also with numerous veterans who have underplayed there contracts — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them enter next season with a big roster turnover.
Some performances that stood out in this game:
Indianapolis Colts – Performances of Note
Jonathan Newsome, OLB: +5.3
Breakdown: With Bjoern Werner inactive and Erik Walden rested for most of the game, it gave the fifth-round rookie from Ball State a chance to step up. Newsome generated consistent pressure, recording two sacks and five hurries and was also effective against the run, recording four stops.
Signature Stat: Newsome led 3-4 outside linebackers in Week 17 in both Run Stop Percentage (20.0% stop rate) and in Pass Rushing Productivity at 24.0.
Vontae Davis, CB: +3.5
Breakdown: Vontae Davis played the majority of the game for the Colts and provided a sack where he beat Jamon Meredith with speed to the outside. Davis was able to effectively shut down his side of the field as Titans quarterbacks only completed two out of six passes to their left, four of which, where targeted at Davis where he allowed one catch for 9 yards. The Colts’ playoff defense will be relying on Davis to keep it up.
Signature Play: 4Q 14:43. Davis rips the ball out of Bishop Sankey’s hands and recovers the fumble.
Arthur Jones, DE: -5.1
Breakdown: Jones has been battling an ankle injury since Week 2 and even though he is playing it appears he is not back to the player the Colts signed in the 2013 offseason. The Titans’ interior had no problem with him in the run game, regularly sealing him from the point of attack. Hopefully, for the Colts’ sake, Jones will start to shift back to the player he was pre-injury in the playoffs.
Signature Stat: Since Week 12 Jones has earned the worst grade for any 3-4 defensive end at -10.0, second is Jarvis Jenkins at -9.5.
Tennessee Titans – Performances of Note
Chance Warmack, RG: +3.5
Breakdown: One of the few bright spots for the Titans this season has been the vast improvement in Chance Warmack over the second half. Over the first nine weeks of the season it was looking that Warmack was never going to match expectations from his draft selection, however, since Week 11 that has turned around. He has allowed only five hurries in that time compared to 24 in the first nine games of the season.
Signature Stat: Since Week 11 Warmack is the third-highest-graded guard at +15.8.
Charlie Whitehurst, QB: -3.4
Breakdown: Last week Whitehurst had his best game of his career and maybe looking like he at least deserved a shot of the starting quarterback next season, but reality hit this week. Inconsistent at the best of times, everything seemed difficult, even the short routes he struggled to connect on. Whitehurst especially fought with his accuracy on passes over 10 yards, not hitting on any of the five he tried.
Signature Stat: Against the Colts, Whitehurst struggled under pressure completing only 30% of his passes, however, over the course of the season Whitehurst has completed 66.7%, which is the fifth-highest percentage in the league under pressure.
Jamon Meredith, LT: -3.6
Breakdown: It should come to no surprise that Jamon Meredith has struggled since being forced to start for the Titans after being signed a few days before Week 15. Over that span Meredith is the lowest-graded tackle and has the third-worst Pass Blocking Efficiency at 90.7. Against the Colts, Meredith was beaten consistently to the outside.
Signature Play: 3Q 5.00. Jamon Meredith is lined up at left tackle and blocks inside thanks to a miscommunication in dealing with the blitz by LaRon Landry. While the rest of the line fans left Meredith blocks inside, which leaves Jonathan Newsome free to get the strip sack.
PFF Game Ball
After entering this game as only a rotation player, Jonathan Newsome raised some eyebrows with the consistent pressure and should get a long look to see if he can step up again.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @PFF_MikeM