Oct. 04, 2016
Colts Sustain Momentum but Pay a Price
INDIANAPOLIS- Winning consecutive games had been a challenge for the Colts throughout the first half of the season until they were able to defeat the Titans 24-17 last weekend. Leave it to Tennessee, a team the Colts have beaten 11 consecutive times, to get them on a winning streak.
But this contest was no walk in the park. The Titans arrived in Indianapolis a very confident team.
Coming into Lucas Oil, the Titans had won two of their last three games and Marcus Mariota had completed 70.3 % of his passes since the first meeting with the Colts. Tennessee ranked 6th in the NFL in yards per game (386.1), 3rd in third down conversions (48.12 %) and 1st in red zone scoring percentage (93.7). They were 3rd in rushing yards per game (146.0) and DeMarco Murray was 2nd in the league in rushing yards (930).
Mariota was also named Week 10’s AFC Player of the Week after throwing for 295 yards and four touchdowns against a decimated Green Bay Packers’ secondary.
In order to win, the Colts had to get off to a fast start, stop the run, and contain Mariota. They did just that, but not without paying a hefty price.
The Colts scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. The defense held DeMarco Murray to just 10 first half rushing yards (70 total in the game) and wA able to withstand a Titans second half push. Clayton Geathers came up with a huge stop on fourth-and-one in the red zone and the offense took over and converted a third down to put the game away.
The celebrations didn’t last very long. Not that they typically do in the NFL...
Coach Pagano addressed the media on Monday and reported Andrew Luck and Clayton Geathers did not feel like themselves after post game procedures and are both going through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
“Andrew (Luck) and Clayton Geathers, pretty much well after we were all done with media and the locker room and things like that, both guys didn’t feel right. Both guys went in the training room and saw our docs and both were evaluated for concussions. Both are in the protocol and it’s up to the docs and trainers to monitor that situation so that’s where that’s at.”
Just when the Colts started to string together momentum with the Steelers coming to town on a short week, these injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time.
I expect Scott Tolzien to get the nod at quarterback and T.J. Green to start at safety for the Colts on Thanksgiving night.
When asked about his confidence in Tolzien’s ability to step in for Luck, Coach Pagano stayed true to his ‘next man up’ philosophy and displayed confidence in his backup quarterback.
“We’ve got a guy that comes to work every single day and prepares like a starter ever since he’s been in this building. He understands and knows this offense and if that’s the case, he’ll go out and play winning football.”
Coming off two consecutive wins, Scott Tolzien will try to keep fans on their feet and the Colts winning streak alive.