Battle of the backups: Colts defeat Titans 23-0

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In their anti-climactic preseason regular season finale, the Tennessee Titans were shutout by the Indianapolis Colts in a 23-0 snooze-fest.

The “battle” resembled a preseason matchup as both teams rested their starters for the majority of the game. The Colts dominated the time of possession and even resorted to an onside-kick with a 10-0 lead in their quest to give players such as Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark the opportunity to set single-season/career marks.

As for the Titans, Kerry Collins and the majority of the Titans’ starters were on the bench after the team’s first series or two.

More thoughts on the Tennessee Titans’ final regular season game, after the jump.

Game balls

It’s difficult awarding a game ball on a day when the offense only accounts for 125 yards. However, since it’s a weekly custom, I’ll give one out nonetheless.

Quinton Ganther averaged over six yards per carry on his four rushing attempts. In addition to rushing for a team-high 27 yards, he also caught three passes out of the backfield.

Ganther was a great story during the preseason so it was nice to see him take advantage of his limited opportunities today.

On defense, I’m going to go with former practice squadder Amon Gordon. On the afternoon, Amon accounted for six tackles (4 solo, 2 assists) and a forced fumble. He also showed some nice athleticism for a big guy on his deflection of a Jim Sorgi screen pass.

Chris Carr had a fifty-yard scamper on his only kickoff return of the game. In addition to his special teams’ exploits, the versatile Carr also chipped in with 8 tackles and two passes defensed.

So-so day for Vince

In his most extensive amount of playing time since Week 1, Young completed 9 of his 13 pass attempts for 55 yards. As expected, Vince was also a factor in the running game, as he gained 25 yards on 5 rushing attempts.

Young’s completions came mostly on check-downs to running backs and tight ends. On one play in particular, he did a great job of tossing a first down strike to Brandon Jones in the teeth of the Colts’ pass rush.

An exhausting day for the defense

As a result of the Colts dominating the time of possession in the first half, the Titans’ defense had to be yearning for the oxygen masks. 

With 10:15 remaining in the 2nd quarter, the Colts had held the ball on offense for 18:07 of the game’s first 20 minutes. At the half, the Colts had a dominating 25:40- 4:15 edge in time of possession.

Nice effort from Jacob Ford

Ford finished the game with a four tackles and his 7th sack of the season. Not bad for a guy coming off of a serious Achilles injury.

Final thoughts

-Leading 10-0, the Colts executed a surprise onside-kick in their efforts to enable Dallas Clark and Marvin Harrison the opportunity to achieve single season/career records.

Jeff Fisher wasn’t impressed, as indicated by the lack of a smile on his face as the cameras panned towards him.

-In limited playing time, I was pretty impressed by the arm strength of Chris Simms. I’d love to see what he could do with a full training camp under his belt.

-Former Titan Mookie Johnson had a couple of tackles for the Colts. Too bad he plays for the bad guys now.

-Welcome to the NFL, Paul Williams! He caught his first career NFL pass today: a seven yarder from Chris Simms in the 4th quarter.

-Prior to today, the Titans hadn’t been shut out in a regular season game since their 17-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins in 1999. If I’m not mistaken, 99 was also the last time the Titans made a trip to the Super Bowl.

Hopefully, as the case with the shutout, history will repeat itself with a Tennessee Titans’ Super Bowl appearance in 2008.  

What are your thoughts on today’s meaningless Titan loss? 

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5 Responses to “Battle of the backups: Colts defeat Titans 23-0”

  1. Otho Says:

    This game is important because it shows us that the Colts have a deep bench, and the Titans don’t. Sorgi played like a man with a mission. VY played like a rookie.
    VY needs to develop his game and become a little more sophisticated if he hopes to have a future with this team.

  2. Billy Joe Says:

    Just a small side note – The only thing concerning me about the game is the fact that Vince Young still makes me nervous. He was still looking exactly at the receiver he was going to throw to as soon as the ball was snapped (which happened to be Scaife most of the time) and still had some fundamentally bad technique (eg. that sidearm throw – which got blocked at least once today). Chris Simms was pretty exciting. I would have liked to have seen more of him.
    I’m fired up about the playoffs.

  3. Junas Says:

    Same ol, same ol, with VY. It is exactly why he stays on the bench. I don’t think he recognizes anything the defense is doing. It would take a superior athlete to survive at the most mental position in the game without a clue what is happening….and I think that is what we are seeing from VY, mere survival. He needs to be in a Green Bay system like they first used with Farvre to have any chance, and I doubt that would be monumental. Simms did look good.

  4. Markus Says:

    VY just doesn’t get it….check down, check down, check down. 3rd and 6, check down for 3, punt..poor throws most of the time. He hasn’t learned a thing. I’ll bet KC takes a 1-yr. deal for okay $$$, competes w/ Simms for the starting QB job in ’10, VY sits again, the gets traded or released after the ’10 season. Anyway, bring on the playoffs!
    PS-Game ball…agreed…Ganther…

  5. Drexel Perry Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, guys.
    Collins is definitely the guy at QB. In addition to his solid play, he has emerged as a leader on this team.
    It wasn’t mentioned a whole lot, but Kerry’s decision to buy his offensive linemen four-wheelers for doing a great job of protecting his backside is a firm indicator of the veteran’s place in the locker room.
    http://tennessean.com/article/20081227/SPORTS01/812270322/1002/SPORTS
    Becoming comfortable in the offense is important, but emerging as a leader may be a more arduous task for Vince.
    As for Simms, he’s the wildcard in all of this. I’d love to see the team bring him back so he can have a full offseason/training camp to show his stuff.
    Gonna be a very interesting offseason at the QB position but as Markus suggested, the focus right now is the playoffs!

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