The Colts outplayed the Titans and won a meaningless game to close the 2008 regular season. Indianapolis held the ball for 38:20, and Tennessee’s offense only converted 3 of 10 third-down plays.
Vince Young saw significant action in this game. Most importantly, the Titans escaped the game with no major injuries to key contributors.
Story of the Game: Titans lay an egg
Due to the Titans inability to convert third downs, and the Colts’ decision to try an onside kick late in the first quarter, Tennessee did not have much time to do anything on offense.
Rob Bironas missed the only opportunity for the Titans to score — a 48-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter.
The only minor concern I have about Tennessee’s performance is that the defense struggled to cover Indianapolis’ screen passes. Peyton Manning threw a screen pass to Joseph Addai on the first drive of the game, and Addai easily split defenders and outran Cortland Finnegan to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown. Later, Colts backup quarterback Jim Sorgi completed a screen pass to Dallas Clark for 23 yards early in the second quarter.
The Other Story of the Game: How did Vince Young play?
Vince Young completed 9 of 13 passes for 55 yards, and rushed for 25 yards on seven carries.
Young committed no turnovers, although he recovered his own fumble in the third quarter.
What’s ahead for the Titans?
In two weeks, Tennessee will face either the Baltimore Ravens or the San Diego Chargers.
The Titans defeated the Ravens earlier this year, but rookie quarterback Joe Flacco has gained more experience and poses a real threat to the Titans defense. Baltimore’s defense is always solid.
The Chargers have closed the season strong after struggling most of the season. San Diego only has an 8-8 record, but Philip Rivers had a great year and the offense is a threat with playmakers LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates and Chris Chambers.
All playoff opponents are tough, but I’d rather the Titans play the Ravens instead of the Chargers in the divisional playoff round. I think the Titans coaches can devise a game plan to contain Baltimore’s offense and pressure rookie Joe Flacco. San Diego’s offense is explosive and its 3-4 defense is a challenge to overcome, with or without Shawne Merriman.
Watch highlights of the Titans-Colts at NFL.com.