Kravitz Dopey Report Card: Colts vs. Titans (Nov. 26, 2017)

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano looks down during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Indianapolis. Tennessee won 20-16. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Bob Kravitz

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Every week, Bob Kravitz offers his Dopey Report Card on the Indianapolis Colts' performance. This week, he breaks down the Colts' loss to the Tennessee Titans.


Well, enjoy Frank Gore for five more games as he works his way up the all-time rushing charts and continues to establish his Hall of Fame credentials. Of all the Colts’ players, I feel the worst for Gore, who continues to be this team’s workhorse. He came here to be one of the last missing pieces to get the Colts over the hump after the AFC Championship Game appearance, and all he’s experienced here is team mediocrity and worse – two 8-8 seasons and the current monstrosity. The guy never misses games, never takes a play off, never does anything except do the right thing by his teammates. Hopefully, he plays one more year next year with a contender and gets to go out the right way.


In the first half, the Titans ran 11 times for nine yards. Johnathan Hankins was everywhere. Al Woods was everywhere. Derrick Henry and Demarco Murray got stuffed every time they touched the ball. Margus Hunt played well. Jon Bostic had 11 tackles and continued a string of strong performances. And then it happened, just the way it always happens, the Indy defense getting fatigued (or something) after the offense stagnated. Check this out: Tennessee ran for 86 of its 92-yard total in the last two Titans’ drives. The defense was so good for so long, and then got gashed late. But these are the 2017 Colts. It happens. Happens every week, it seems. Still, this group played well enough to win. The whole defense did.

Jacoby Brissett
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is tackled by the Tennessee Titans defense during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Jacoby Brissett isn’t getting much help from his offensive line or his receiving corps (except for Jack Doyle), but he seems to be regressing. He’s never looked quite this uncomfortable in the pocket all season. According to Pro Football Focus, he had his second-worst graded start, and when he was under pressure – which was 53 percent of the time – he went 4-for-12 for 27 yards and was sacked eight times. Sometimes, the sacks were the responsibility of the offensive line; sometimes – I’ll guess three or four times – the sack fell squarely on Brissett. Meanwhile, T.Y. Hilton had another quiet game and Donte Moncrief, well, he just doesn’t seem as committed to catching the football as he should be. Colts wide receivers caught a total of six passes Sunday. Six. As for the red-zone issues, it’s clear the Colts need to find a big, rangy wide receiver who can help them in the red zone. Moncrief was supposed to be that guy, but…he’s not.


Not only did the Colts have two interceptions – the Rashaan Melvin pick early was a beauty – but they limited Marcus Mariota to a very pedestrian day, 17-of-25 for 184 yards and a touchdown. It would have been nice to see second-round pick Quincy Wilson active to replace Melvin after the starter hurt his hand, but clearly, the Colts are not at all happy with what they are seeing in practice. D’Joun Smith, anybody? The Colts’ back end deserves an A or A-, but the pass rush was nonexistent. No sacks, no quarterback hits, nothing. It was a clean jersey day for Mariota. Clearly, a dominant pass rusher must be on Chris Ballard’s Christmas wish list. But, then, everybody wants a dominant pass rusher. Hard to find.


Adam Vinatieri’s age can only be confirmed by carbon dating, but the man is having one of the best seasons of his career. He is 21-of-22 on field goals this year, a 95.5 accuracy rate that is the second-best of his career. If the Colts don’t bring him back next year – he’s a free agent – there ought to be an investigation. Another very strong game from punter Rigoberto Sanchez, who might be the player who is most deserving of a Pro Bowl spot on the entire team.

Chuck Pagano
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano watches before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Whenever the Colts lose, everybody wants to pound Chuck Pagano and the coaching staff. Look, I’m not telling you he’s a Grade A coach or that this staff is terribly strong, but when I think about Sunday’s game, I’m hard pressed to come up with an example of lousy coaching. Should they be better than 3-8? Undeniably. Should they be MUCH better? Not really. Pagano is like almost every other coach in the NFL; if he has a very good quarterback, he wins i.e. three 11-win seasons in a row. When his quarterbacks are hurt, he’s ordinary. Should he have gone for it on fourth-and-3 at his own 32-yard line with 4:12 left? He thought about it, but I agree, the punt was the right play there. It just didn’t work out.


The Colts are 0-1 with the roof open this year. That’s my intangible. So, um, when’s the Draft Combine?

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