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Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts

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INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.

The Colts have already won their 2nd divisional game of 2023, after not reaching that number last year.

What was the good and bad from the Colts (3-2) beating the Titans (2-3), 23-16?

1. Hits: Zack Moss

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

Zack Moss: Of course, in the return of Jonathan Taylor it was Zack Moss having a career-afternoon. The 56-yard touchdown run was blocked beautifully up the middle, but credit Moss for seeing it well and hitting the hole for the uncharacteristic big play from him. In normal Moss fashion, he routinely bounced off contact for a consistent day on the ground (Moss had 22 carries for 109 yards even if you take out his big run), and had a timely 3rd-down catch on the 7-minute clock-eating drive in the 4th.

2. Hits: Offensive Line

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

Offensive Line: This might be more of a ‘hat tip for the year so far,’ although the OL group had a very nice outing on Sunday. Facing the league’s top run-defense, the Colts had big runs, and methodical gains sprinkled in, to the tune of 193 rushing yards and 5.7 yards per carry. And the OL did a nice job of protecting Anthony Richardson and Gardner Minshew with just one sack and two quarterback hits allowed in 26 pass attempts .

3. Hits: Josh Downs

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

Josh Downs: It was a 6-catch, 6-target, 97-yard day from rookie Josh Downs. Those numbers should speak for themselves, but the variety of impact from the rookie needs noting as well. You had Downs make a tremendous 38-yard grab on a 3rd-and-16 early on, climbing the ladder a bit as a 5-10 wideout. You also had catch and run moments from Downs out of the slot. When the Colts drafted Downs, he figured to be poised for early impact and that’s definitely been the case, and needed with a quiet start to the year from Alec Pierce.

4. Hits: Steichen Handling Two

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

Steichen Handling Two: For the 2nd time this season, Shane Steichen had to have a game plan for one quarterback, only to have to call on Gardner Minshew for more than a half of work. Steichen has handled that very well. Minshew entered the game in Houston, and now against Tennessee, and been efficient, while providing a clean sheet. And that’s about all you can ask for from your backup thrust into duty like that, especially one playing a very different style from the starter, in Anthony Richardson. Steichen’s history with Minshew certainly helps here, but still, it’s a credit for these two handling the sudden change very well on game days.

5. Misses: Defense Dictating

Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

Defense Dictating: The Colts defense certainly stood tall in the red zone on Sunday. But the Colts allowed a few too many Titans drives penetrate into Indy territory. You had 4 of the Titans 7 “real drives” span at least 9 plays and 50 yards, and this is not some impressive offense, especially when playing away from home. The Colts pass rush got a tad too quiet in the 2nd half, after some nice disruption early on.

6. Misses: Safety Play

Los Angeles Rams v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

Safety Play: Yes, Julian Blackmon had the game-sealing interception on Sunday, but doesn’t it feel like the playmaking has been lacking from him and Rodney Thomas II? Sure, the Colts have done a nice job of keeping big plays in front of them. However, you’d like to see your safeties around the ball a tad more. This is more of a secondary thing, but too many times the Colts lost DeAndre Hopkins and it nearly cost them. Top wideouts have feasted against the Colts this season. You would like to see a little more ‘around’ the ball from the Blackmon/Thomas duo.

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