Indianapolis Colts Week 6 report card, roundup: Colts fail to finish again

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 17, 2017 at 8:40 PM
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Call it frustration. But the Indianapolis Colts - coaches, players, fans and outside observers - are trying to figure out what is going on with the team's inability to finish out games.

The same issue that has hurt the Colts this season raised its head in the 36-22 loss against AFC South rival Tennessee Monday night.

Indianapolis led 19-9 early in the third quarter. But from that point on, it was all Titans.

The loss put the Colts all alone in last place in the division with a 2-4 record. The fact that the other three teams in the AFC South are 3-3 overall gives Indianapolis some hope that things can be turned around.

Jacksonville will visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Colts need to find a way to dig themselves out of the hole that they've placed themselves in.

"Disappointing, to say the least," a perplexed head coach Chuck Pagano said after the game. "Gotta play 60 minutes. It's a recurring thing, I know."

How bad has it been for Indianapolis? The Colts have been outscored 126-45 in the second half this season.

"We've got to figure out obviously a way to finish games, a way to put together a 60-minute ball game," the Indianapolis head coach said. "We have to figure it out. We're 2-4. We know what our record is. We know what our circumstances are."

Once again, mental and physical errors remain a major reason why the Colts haven't been able to close out games throughout the 2017 season.

"Our margin for error is minute," Pagano stressed. "We've got 10 games to go. We have a short week and a home division game coming up. We've got to figure it out in a hurry. We'll keep working."

REPORT CARD VS. TITANS

--PASSING OFFENSE: C-plus -- QB Jacoby Brissett started out strong, but struggled in the second half. Brissett ended up completing 21-of-37 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. WR Donte Moncrief hauled in five passes for 67 yards, but dropped a TD pass in the first half. TE Jack Doyle added seven receptions for 50 yards and a TD but he also fumbled twice and dropped several other throws his way. WR T.Y. Hilton was limited to just one catch for 19 yards.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- There were flashes of a good running game against the Titans. Frank Gore and rookie Marlon Mack broke loose for runs of 12 and 22 yards. And Robert Turbin was as dependable as always in his short-yardage duties. But Turbin left the game in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury and did not return. Mack had few touches in the second half.

--PASS DEFENSE: D -- Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota was limited physically due to an ongoing hamstring issue that sidelined him against Miami last week. Still, with no consistent pass rush to bother him, Mariota managed to throw for 306 yards and a TD while completing 23-of-32 passes. The Colts were able to intercept one throw and return it for a touchdown, thanks to OLB John Simon. But for a guy who was couldn't move around well, Indianapolis wasn't able to take advantage.

--RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Rookie RB Derrick Henry was held in check for about 2 1/2 quarters. Then the former Alabama running back took the game over and wound up with 131 yards on 19 carries. That included a 71-yard game-clinching touchdown run in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Colts did a nice job early in the game and it appeared as if they would be able to handle the Tennessee running attack. Then things fell apart late in the game.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- The lone bright spots for Indianapolis. K Adam Vinatieri was 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts, including a 52-yarder. Vinatieri did miss an extra point but it looked like the snap was a bit off target and rookie P Rigoberto Sanchez did what he could to get the ball in place before Vinatieri's kick. Sanchez averaged 48.3 yards on three punts and did a nice job on kickoffs. KR Quan Bray had a 60-yard kickoff return while averaging 31 yards on five attempts. Indianapolis settled down and did an overall good job on kickoff and punt coverage.

--COACHING: C-minus -- Why can't Indianapolis finish games? Why do halftime adjustments, or lack thereof, continue to be an issue for the Colts? And then there's the issue of ill-timed plays, both in terms of when they are called and the execution of the plays. Chuck Pagano is a well-liked head coach, as are his assistant coaches. That said, why does Indianapolis keep making the same mistakes week after week? That's the biggest question of all.

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