ReFo: Titans @ Colts, Week 4
Indianapolis beat Tennessee 41-17 in a game that the Colts controlled pretty much from the beginning against the overmatched Titans. A Tennessee fumble on their first possession led to a short touchdown run from Trent Richardson, immediately after which the Colts caught their AFC South rivals off-guard with a perfectly executed onside-kick. The first of Andrew Luck’s four touchdown passes would soon follow and Indy was off and running. Luck finished with 491 yards through the air on 29-of-41 passing, and the running game also made an impact with Ahmad Bradshaw and Richardson both making contributions.
Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, starting for the injured Jake Locker, was down 14-0 before he even had a chance to catch his breath, and spent much of the afternoon on the run. The Titans were able to get within 10 points just before halftime after a Luck interception, but they never got closer, and the Colts took control of the game for good with two long touchdown drives after halftime. Let’s take a look at some of the notable performances from the game.
Tennessee Titans – Three Performances of Note
Jurell Casey, DT: +1.4
Breakdown: After an unusually poor outing against the Bengals last week, Casey reverted back to top form against the Colts on Sunday, especially in the pass rush department. Despite being double-teamed often, he still managed to make his impact felt on the game, managing five total pressures to go with two stops.
Signature Play: Q1, 14:55 remaining – On the very first play from scrimmage, he goes right around tackle Gosder Cherilus for the big hit on Luck.
Charlie Whitehurst, QB: +1.8
Breakdown: Taking over for Locker, Whitehurst was put in a difficult situation in his first start, facing almost constant pressure from the Colts pass rush. When he did have time to throw, he acquitted himself reasonably well, and also had a couple of nifty scrambles for first downs. He will likely get more chances going forward, as it remains very unclear whether Locker is the answer at QB for the Titans.
Signature Play: Q3, 0:50 remaining – Here Whitehurst stands in against the rush and fits the ball perfectly in between two defenders to Kendall Wright (all while taking a blow to the head), setting up the Titans second touchdown.
Derrick Morgan, OLB: -4.7
Breakdown: After an amazing opening week performance in Kansas City (+8.3), Morgan had his second straight abysmal game. He managed to record just a single assist (and a missed tackle) in 62 snaps and was as equally poor against the run as he was rushing the passer.
Signature Stat: Morgan has now gone two straight games without a single QB pressure.
Indianapolis Colts – Three Performances of Note
Andrew Luck, QB: +4.1
Breakdown: Luck managed to follow up last week’s brilliant performance with another terrific effort. He spread the ball around to nine different receivers, and was at his best against the blitz, going 12-of-16 for 179 yards and two touchdowns when the Titans rushed more than four men.
Signature Play: Q3, 8:21 remaining – Here Luck and Reggie Wayne hook up on a perfectly executed back shoulder-go route that cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson is helpless to stop.
Reggie Wayne, WR: +3.4
Breakdown: Wayne looked to be in vintage form against the Titans, catching 7-of-8 targets for 119 yards and his first touchdown of the year.
Signature Play: Q2, 12:09 remaining – Wayne makes a terrific catch on a high pass from Luck, snagging the ball out of the air with one hand.
Bjorn Werner, DE: -2.5
Breakdown: After a disappointing rookie campaign from last year’s first round pick, the Colts are still hoping for Werner to step up and become their next dominant pass rusher in the mold of Mathis or Freeney. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to do that, and was all but invisible on the field again on Sunday, managing just one tackle and one hurry in 36 snaps.
Signature Stat: Werner has a Pass Rushing Productivity of just 4.7 so far this year.
PFF Game Ball
It was another outstanding performance from Luck, but for old-time’s sake our game ball goes to Reggie Wayne.
Follow Roland on Twitter: @PFF_RolandB