Consistency is not something the Tennessee Titans are familiar with. It’s been that way for years, really. Today was another example of that.
Just one week removed from blowing out the Patriots, the Titans laid an egg in Indianapolis against the Colts. The defense, which has carried this team for most of the year, was nowhere to be found early. To be fair, they didn’t get much help from the offense.
Andrew Luck had his way in the first half, carving up the Titans who failed to get any pressure. Luck blew the game open with a deep bomb to T.Y. Hilton, extending Indianapolis’ lead to 17-0. He was able to put together another drive after that to put the Titans in a 24-0 hole.
Marcus Mariota, on the other hand, looked totally uncomfortable. His offensive line didn’t do him any favors, giving up several quarterback hits in the first half. Mariota was out of rhythm, holding on to the ball for too long and causing a couple of sacks himself.
Eventually, those hits added up. On the final drive before halftime, Mariota was taken down once more, ending up at the bottom of the pile and hurt. Blaine Gabbert came on to finish the drive which ended up resulting in a field goal.
The Colts’ halftime lead was 24-3. Just before that, the Titans announced that defensive coordinator Dean Pees had been taken to a local hospital with a health issue.
Gabbert returned to the field after the halftime break. The Titans called Mariota questionable to return with an elbow injury.
Gabbert immediately made things worse, handing Darius Leonard an interception on a key third down attempt. The Colts instantly turned that into seven more points as Luck found Hilton one more time.
That would pretty much do it for this one. The Titans had a chance to string together a third straight win against a beatable Colts’ group. Instead, they went back to looking clueless on offense. This time, the defense wasn’t able to pick up the slack.
The story of the week will now shift to Mariota’s injury. Will he be able to go in a key game against the Texans after re-injuring his elbow? Now sitting at 5-5, the Titans need to find a way to win next Monday night to have a shot in the division.