62 degrees – 9mph wind
- Considering QB Jacoby Brissett joined the team about a month ago, the Colts staff managed this game pretty well; well enough to give themselves a chance to win as the game was tied with 7:32 left in the 4th quarter.
- The Colts, however, needs to improve their play clock management on offense. On too many occasions they broke the huddle with 12-13 seconds left on the play clock, which resulted in them burning two quick timeouts in the first half (they had only 1 timeout left at 12:28 in the 2nd quarter). Getting out of the huddle too slowly also may have cost them a 3rd down conversion on the first drive of the 2nd half when it appeared they were a bit out of sync. The play clock management problem is understandable, however, as Brissett just joined the team recently and still is calling most plays off a wristband.
- Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano also unwisely challenged a ball spot call with 2:19 left in the game, down seven, and possessing three timeouts. It’s difficult to win ball spot challenges to begin with, and this one didn’t appear to have much of a chance. With 3 timeouts and the two-minute warning, Pagano actually was in good shape to get the ball back with some time left on the clock if his defense could hold, but burning a timeout on the challenge cost him 40 seconds.
- One key decision for Pagano was at 2:32 in the 4th quarter. The Colts trailed 29-22, and had a 4th and 1 at the Titans 12-yard line. Pagano had three timeouts left. One school of thought is to possibly kick the FG and kick off and play defense and use the three timeouts and two-minute warning and play for a winning TD drive, but we feel he made the right decision in going for the 4th down. To that point, Brissett was executing a nice drive in an effort to tie the game. Once he made the decision to go for it, it was up to Pagano and his staff to dial up a successful 1 yard play call. The call they chose was a naked boot to the open side of the formation, which the Titans stuffed.
- Playing injured QB Marcus Mariota, Head Coach Mike Mularkey and his staff did a very good job with the majority of their play calls, particularly since they could not use much of their playbook because of Mariota’s limited mobility.
- The Titans still struggled in the redzone, however, as they had a tendency to rely a bit much on TE Delanie Walker and gadget plays designed for him. If they are going to improve in the redzone, the Titans are going to have to find another option.
- Mularkey shows a clear tendency almost every game to sometimes get too cute with his play calls. In this game, Mariota was struggling a bit early throwing the ball. On the Titans’ second drive of the game, however, he connected with WR Eric Decker finally on a nice completion down the field. Mularkey then immediately pulled Mariota from the game and on a 1st and 10 ran a wildcat play- which was stuffed. When your QB finally seems to find a rhythm, pulling him from the game doesn’t seem necessary. On top of that, Mariota already is dealing with a leg injury, and to make him run to the sideline and then run back onto the field, doesn’t seem wise.
- Mularkey also had his issues with clock management, unnecessarily burning a timeout after a player injury timeout at 4:27 in the 2nd quarter.