The Colts have been one of the surprise teams of the 2012 season. With a rookie quarterback and a roster in transition, not many people expected them to be challenging for a playoff spot. But they’ve played better than expected and we knew we would have our hands full, especially after the battle we had with them the first go around in Nashville.
We started strong out of the gate with Jake Locker leading us on a 9-play, 80-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown strike to Jared Cook. Will Witherspoon’s 40-yard interception return for a touchdown and a pair of Rob Bironas field goals helped us jump out to a 20-7 halftime lead.
Locker was exceptionally sharp in the first half, completing 15 of 20 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown, good for a 125.6 passer rating. He also ripped off a 32-yard run for a first down. Five of his passes in the first half went to Kenny Britt for 127 yards (25.4 avg.).
But we struggled to maintain that momentum in the second half. The Colts scored back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 21-20 lead. We countered with a Rob Bironas field goal early in the fourth quarter to go back on top 23-21. But Adam Vinatieri booted a 53-yarder with 6:23 remaining and we couldn’t convert down the stretch as the Colts completed the season sweep.
Once again, we were not able to overcome some costly turnovers and missed opportunities. We never really could get Chris Johnson going as he finished with 44 yards on 19 attempts (2.3 avg). While Britt had a strong first half, he had only three catches for 16 yards in the second half, while Locker cooled off with a pair of interceptions.
I felt overall that our defense had a solid day as we were able to hold the Colts to only 98 yards rushing and limit Andrew Luck to 196 yards passing. We kept the heat on Luck throughout the game, sacking him four times and pressuring him into two interceptions.
The only thing we can do at this point is continue to work. We have a prime-time matchup this week on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets at LP Field. I know everyone on this team will be up for a nationally-televised game and will prepare hard this week to win the game. It’s another chance to play better and turn things back into a positive direction.
The one thing I know for certain is that this team will not quit no matter what our record shows.
Titans defensive end Leger Douzable will offer his perspective on the previous game and upcoming opponent all season long in his exclusive blog on Titans Online!
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