Costly defensive penalties mirrored bonehead mistakes made in Cleveland. The Titans just cannot avoid committing pass interference (PI) during critical moments. Lookin’ is free but it’s the touchin’ that’ll cost ya. Kristian Fulton needs to learn this lesson. A massive pass interference in the third quarter led to a Colts’ go-ahead touchdown. Then, once again in the fourth, on 3rd and 12 with an opportunity to get the ball back and win the game, Fulton committed another atrocity. This turned the lights out for good in Indianapolis.
The young defensive back has had issues with being guilty of PI consistently in the first quarter of the season; and yet he doesn’t seem to get it. “I feel I was very [technically] sound today,” he told a postgame reporter when asked about recent struggles. The film will tell another story as those two penalties were mightily consequential in the game's result. He was an absolute liability Sunday, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Ryan Gosling played as CB Alan Bosley in Remember the Titans.
Big Jeff Simmons battled a shoulder injury throughout the afternoon. Even with his return to the game, Tennessee could not stop a nosebleed on the ground. Backup RB Zack Moss torched the Titans for 165 yards and scored both of Indy’s TDs. Another baffling performance by a department that normally is a bedrock of consistency has the Nashville faithful on edge.
The Titans have proven what they are now. This team appears worthy of nothing more than the 1st overall pick on the road, but looks the part of Super Bowl contenders at home. Following yesterday’s 23-16 loss at Lucas Oil, the Titans have been bested by 32 points on the road (66-34) in their three contests away from Nissan Stadium, but have taken care of business in their two home games by outscoring opponents 54-27 - this is madness!
Offensively, the signs of life were few and far between. After 10 full quarters of play on the road, Tennessee finally scored a touchdown. Rookie Tyjae Spears found space for a 19-yard dash to start the second half and grab a 13-10 lead. This, however, was the longest run of the day for anyone in a visitor's white jersey. The offensive line couldn’t create the run game as it had in previous years versus the bitter rival, Colts. A massive 4th and 1 failure in the fourth was a dagger. When your 260 lbs. all-world running back cannot find any room in a clutch moment, your ground attack is truly in dire straits.
DHop had himself a day. It was without question, the best game he has put together as a Titan. Yet, this was the only major highlight of the afternoon. 140 yards on eight catches was not enough to save the day, as Tannehill goes into Week 6 scavenging for his first TD pass away from home.
The Titans now fly across the pond to face the Ravens in London, who are also coming off an embarrassing loss. This game will play a pivotal roll in what type of season the two-toned blue ultimately has the rest of the way. Can Tennessee bounce back a continent away, or will they continue to crumble away from Nissan?
AFC South Standings