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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

3 Takeaways from Titans’ Week 10 Loss

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    The Tennessee Titans were competitive with the Indianapolis Colts for a half on Thursday night. 

    Once the second half began, the Colts took over in the AFC South showdown to earn first place off the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

    Some subpar special teams play and the inability to pick out the team’s top playmakers cost the Titans in their scoreless second half. 

    Mike Vrabel’s team has 10 days to figure out the second-half issues before its meeting with the Baltimore Ravens, which takes place one week prior to its Week 12 rematch with the Colts. 

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    Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

    The momentum swung in Indianapolis’ favor after a pair of poor special teams plays in the third quarter.

    Punter Trevor Daniel shanked a 17-yard punt from his own end zone to give the Colts the ball at the Tennessee 27. 

    Four plays later, Nyheim Hines was in the end zone celebrating a four-yard touchdown run that placed the Colts ahead by three points. 

    The Titans offense did not get anything going on the ensuing drive, which forced Daniel and the punt team to go back out on the field. 

    On that attempt, E.J. Speed broke through the punt protection and blocked the kick. T.J. Carrie recovered the loose ball in the end zone to give the Colts a 10-point advantage.

    Tennessee’s offense deserves credit for its response as it moved the ball down the field, but that drive ended in a missed field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. The Colts’ following drive finished in the end zone. 

    The poor kicks by Daniel and Gostkowski, as well as the blocked punt, placed the Titans in a hole they could not get out of in the second half. 

    If the two punting sequences went off as planned and Gostkowski knocked down a second-half kick or two, the Titans may have left the field with a win.

    Instead, they have to work on punt protection and put themselves in better position to avoid those mistakes moving forward. 

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    A.J. Brown recorded season lows in targets, receptions and receiving yards on Thursday. He caught one of the four balls sent in his direction for 21 yards. 

    Brown’s night may have gone differently had he hauled in a deep pass from Ryan Tannehill on the team’s second drive of the game. 

    The game flipped a bit after that drop since the Titans were forced to punt, and the Colts went down the field and earned three points off the following drive.

    Brown’s lone catch of the game occurred on Tennessee’s second offensive play of the game. The 21-yard catch helped the Titans march toward the end zone to score off a five-yard pass from Tannehill to D’Onta Foreman. 

    After that reception and the early drop, Brown was not heard from much, which is exactly what the Titans do not want from their No. 1 receiver. 

    Entering Thursday, Brown had at least four receptions in every start and a five-game touchdown streak. 

    Brown will not have to wait long to produce a different type of performance against the Colts when the two sides meet in Week 12. If he rebounds in that contest, the Titans could put themselves in a better position to win the AFC South.

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    When the Titans marched down the field on the opening drive, it appeared that Tannehill and his teammates would be in for a successful night. 

    The opposite happened, as the Tennessee quarterback struggled to get into a rhythm in the pocket. 

    Most of Tannehill’s shortcomings happened in the second half when the Titans had to chase the game because of the special teams errors. 

    Tannehill had two incomplete passes on the drive that led to Gostkowski’s miss at the start of the fourth quarter.

    On the next drive, Tannehill failed to execute on three straight passing plays to stall the series out at the Indianapolis 12-yard-line. 

    Tannehill finished 15-of-27 with 147 passing yards and the one touchdown pass from the opening drive. 

    He was able to spread the ball around to nine different receivers, but only one of them produced more than two receptions. Corey Davis had five catches for 67 yards.

    Tannehill has proved in the last two seasons that he can win games with passing yard totals under 200 yards, like he did in Week 9 against Chicago, but he was just too inefficient when it mattered most on Thursday to lead a comeback.

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

    Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference

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