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Winners and Losers from Colts 19, Titans 17

What a disaster.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans blew a chance to gain control of the AFC South and now they’re tied for first with the Colts and Texans. Here are my winners and losers from Colts 19, Titans 17.

Logan Ryan: Winner

Logan Ryan continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for Titans fans. He picked off Jacoby Brissett with his second interception in as many games and continues to be a consistently productive member of the Titans secondary. He deserved better today.

Marcus Mariota: Loser

I’ve been on team “give him time” for a while now, but I’m losing patience. Mariota got a great effort out of his defense today, but managed to go just 19 of 28 for 154 yards and a touchdown today. Beyond the stat line, Mariota did little to inspire confidence, taking four sacks and generally failed to attack downfield.

I’ve been relatively down the middle on Mariota so far, but I’m leaning towards moving on from him now. Through two games, I’ve yet to see him make a play that an ordinary NFL quarterback couldn’t make and that’s alarming. Through four years and change he simply looks like a quarterback that gets what’s given to him and nothing more. He was outdueled by Jacoby Brissett today.

The cherry on top came when Mariota chose to spike the ball on 3rd and 2 before following it up with a high throw that ended the game. It’s hard to win a game with a game high pass of 15 yards.

Derrick Henry: Winner

There has been little consistent about this offense outside of Henry. The big back continues to be a bright spot among an otherwise pedestrian group. It’s hard to see the Titans offense becoming much of anything without the big fella. When you rush 15 times for 81 yards and a touchdown you’ve done your job.

A.J. Brown: Loser

I love the young receiver as much as anyone, but his dropped pass with the game on the line has to land him here. The throw was high, but Brown got his hands on it and could have made a play. He also failed to haul in another contested catch opportunity during the game which cost the Titans an opportunity to score points.

Adoree’ Jackson: Loser

Jackson wasn’t terrible throughout the day, but he gave up a big pass interference call to Deon Cain on the first drive which led to a Colts touchdown. Jackson not only got beat deep, but he failed to look back for the ball while it was in the air and allowed an underthrown pass to be rewarded with a long gain.

3rd Down Efficiency: Loser

The Titans offense went to 1 for 10 on third downs today, combining with their 2 for 10 effort in Cleveland to make Tennessee just 3 for 20 on their first 20 third downs of the season. It’s hard to win many games like that.

Mike Vrabel: Loser

The Titans coach seemed to be off his game today. He passed on two opportunities to force fourth down during an early scoring drive when he didn’t challenge a weak pass interference call on Malcolm Butler and then failed to challenge a third down conversion from Jacoby Brissett that appeared well short of the line to gain. The Colts would wind up scoring a touchdown on that drive.

Later the Titans would butcher their late game clock management. The most egregious error coming when quarterback Marcus Mariota chose to spike the ball on 3rd and 2 rather than running a play.

Vrabel also failed to be aggressive with multiple fourth and short calls during the game, eventually leading to the loss. Vrabel looked like he was playing “not to lose” far too often in this game.

Harold Landry: Winner

Landry got home with a sack and recovered a fumble as well. He was around Brissett often throughout the game.

The Odds of Mariota getting re-signed: Loser

Look, if you want to look at his season stats to this point they aren’t that bad, but anyone watching the Titans-Colts game has to know that the quarterback play was holding back Tennessee today. There were too many missed throws, and worse, Mariota spent too much time sitting in the pocket, leading to unnecessary sacks. It was a disappointing performance for the Titans offense at home against a mediocre Colts defense and Mariota’s struggle was at the center of that disappointment.

When your team gets a +2 turnover differential, you’re supposed to win the game. When you don’t, that’s a direct indictment of the offense. I’m not quite saying that I’m done with Mariota at this point, but I am going to be watching some college quarterbacks with a little more interest than usual for the next couple weeks.

The Titans Playoff Hopes: Loser

The season isn’t over by any means, but the Titans missed a major opportunity to grab hold of the AFC South in Week 2. They could have put Indianapolis and Jacksonville in an 0-2 hole while maintaining and one game lead over the Texans. Now the Titans face a critical early season game with the Jaguars that feels borderline must win. Going to 0-2 in the AFC South would be a big hole to climb out of early in the season.