Nov 14, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown (31) rushes against Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Zach Brown (55) during the second half at LP Field. Indianapolis won 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

UNDER REVIEW: Indianapolis Colts defeat Tennessee Titans

The Indianapolis Colts pulled off another improbable comeback win Thursday night. Just a few days after being blown out, the Colts rallied against the Titans to win 30-27.

These slow starts are really getting old.

Each and every week it seems like the Colts are putting themselves in a hole early in the game. Since the bye week, Indy has been outscored 66-9 in the first half of games. They’re 2-1 in those games, but at some point you have to be consistent throughout the game.

Chuck Pagano and his staff have made some excellent adjustments at halftime, but it makes you wonder about the prep work. The offense has consistently come out uninspired and the defense looks flat and unprepared. The team simply isn’t ready to play and these comebacks are not sustainable.

The win gives the Colts a three game lead in the AFC South, a division that is falling apart at an alarming rate. The Texans and Jaguars could be in the running for the first pick in the draft.

Here are our thoughts on the game:

  • Donald Brown is the starting running back. It might just be the way they use him, but whatever it is, Brown has proved that he is better than Trent Richardson. Richardson is gaining just three yards per carry, Brown has nearly double that at 5.9. Its safe to say that the trade is a bust. The Colts could have really used that first round pick to take a wide receiver next year, but oh well, they can sign a top tier WR off the street, no problem.
  • Coby Fleener needs to be a feature of the offense. He set personal highs on Thursday night with eight receptions for 107 yards. At some point this season he was able to find his hands and with all the injuries on offense, it’s baffling that he doesn’t have more plays called his way. It was by far his best game of the season and he was even very effective blocking in the run game.
  • Receiving by committee? Eight different players caught passes for the Colts and nine were targeted. Indy still doesn’t have a reliable target without Reggie Wayne, but they were able to get it done on Thursday.
  • Andrew Luck is a nasty QB. The play of the game had to be his NBA style pump fake and run for a TD. His legs are an underutilized asset for this team. I don’t think they should run the read option or anything, but the coaches shouldn’t chain him to the pocket either. Luck is smart and knows how to get down and avoid contact, so let him run more often.
    • The Colts also need to move him around behind the line of scrimmage more. More designed rollouts would help an iffy offensive line buy time for Luck.
    • Luck has a mean streak in him. After the Colts pushed the lead to 10 in the fourth, Luck looked at Jarrell Freeman and told him to “finish them off.” At least someone on this team wants to step on their opponents throat.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey was a bad pickup. He just doesn’t give the Colts much on the field. Sure he’s big and fast, but his hands are so bad that you don’t want to throw the ball to him when he’s wide open. He is often on the field because the coaches believe he is a good run blocker, but in reality he brings little to the field in that respect. The fact that he can’t reliably catch the ball, which is the first line of his job description, means he needs be benched for more consistent players.
  • Mike McGlynn single handedly brings the line down. He was the only offensive lineman with a negative grade, and his season has been pathetic. The Colts need to take a long hard look at the offensive line and make adjustments going forward. Rookie Khaled Holmes must be truly awful if he can’t get on the field over McGlynn or Samson Satele.
  • Is Antoine Bethea injured? He has been awful the past three weeks. He hasn’t had a great game all season, but had been consistently above average until the bye week. He’s getting burned in coverage, has made some bad decisions, and frankly looks like he’s lost a step.

Side Note: Why would you want Chris Johnson on your team? He got his two touchdowns early, then just quit. He stopped running hard and went down after first contact more often than not. He’s a numbers guy pure and simple. He’s in it for the money and that’s it. If he actually cared or tried, he would be an unbelievable weapon for the Titans. 

The Colts sit at 7-3 and have the third seed in the playoffs right now. If the season ended right now, the Colts would face the Jets in the postseason. Getting a playoff bye with one of the top two seeds is a real possibility. If the Patriots lose a couple games, then the Colts get an extra week off.

Up next the Colts will head west to face Arizona and former offensive coordinator/interim head coach Bruce Arians.

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Tags: Indianapolis Colts

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