TEN-IND grades: Fleener, Colts hang on to drop Titans
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Colts’ 30-24 win over the Titans:
– Delanie Walker continued his strong play, and at one point late in the third quarter, he had seven of the Titans’ eight catches. He ended the day with nine of the team’s 15. At +3.3 on the afternoon, he capped off an excellent season that saw him lead all tight ends with 94 catches. He was the only consistent threat against the Colts, and it’s a shame he doesn’t get more praise. But, with the state of the Titans’ passing game recently it’s hardly surprising.
– Brian Orakpo ended the day as the highest- graded Titans defender, and his work in Indianapolis caps a fine (and healthy) season for the free agent acquisition. He was the most productive pass rusher with a hit and five hurries, but things weren’t great on the other side, where David Bass couldn’t hold up against the run and was nearly invisible as a pass rusher, generating just two quarterback disruptions (one sack), both when the Colts’ offensive line chose not to block him.
– While the mediocre quarterback play across the line of scrimmage may have saved Coty Sensabaugh on the stat sheet (allowed 4/10 for 33 yards), it didn’t do the slot corner any favors with our grading. He was beaten multiple times only to have either Josh Freeman or Ryan Lindley misfire and he was even saved a first down catch by a mistimed jump from T.Y. Hilton. It’s been boom-or-bust for Sensabaugh this season, who’s graded above +1.0 five times and below -1.0 eight times, but it was bust on Sunday against the Colts.
TE Delanie Walker (+3.3)
OLB Brian Orakpo (+3.0)
TE Craig Stevens (+2.9)
DE DaQuan Jones (+2.6)
S Da’Norris Searcy (+2.3)
– With a patchwork offensive line in place, it was Joe Reitz who struggled most before leaving with an injury in the third quarter. He was fine in pass protection, allowing one hurry, but the utility lineman got beat up in the run game, particularly by second-year player DaQuan Jones, en route to a -3.4 run blocking grade. He’d likely appreciate some stability in which position he plays, as his start to the season at right tackle (+10.3 through Week 11) was somewhat overshadowed by finishing the season splitting time at both tackle positions and right guard (-7.3 since Week 12).
– In a game with some highly questionable signal callers in play, Coby Fleener (+2.8) miraculously caught all seven passes thrown his way, hauling in over 40 percent of the team’s receiving yards. He added some solid push in the run game, and one has to wonder if he’s done enough in his contract year to warrant an extension with the Colts. Prior to 2014, it appeared that Dwayne Allen may be the better tight end, but recent injuries and ineffectiveness could see Allen hit the free agent market instead.
– Jerrell Freeman (+2.2) continued his stellar 2015 with his most productive pass rushing display this year–notching a couple of sacks and a hurry–landing at +2.2 on the afternoon. Freeman was all over the stat sheet, drawing a holding penalty against Byron Bell only to pick off a batted pass and score on the very next play. He’s another player like Walker who doesn’t get his due because of the unit he’s on and the position he plays, but Freeman has quietly put forth a Pro Bowl caliber season for the Colts with his eighth consecutive positively graded game.
TE Coby Fleener (+2.8)
TE Jack Doyle (+3.4)
ILB Jerrell Freeman (+2.2)
OLB Robert Mathis (+2.1)
RT Denzelle Good (+1.7)