INDIANAPOLIS – It was a disastrous Sunday for the Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The result – a 38-10 loss the Colts – was ugly. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck continued to have his way against the Titans, who didn’t have an answer on either side of the football.
“All the credit goes to Frank (Reich) and his team – they were ready to go,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of the Colts. “They played much better than we did, and they coached much better than we did.”
Players were disgusted with the performance.
“We got our ass kicked,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said. “I can’t count too many things we did well today. … They beat our tails. It is not surprising – if you play like this, this is going to happen.”
Heading into Sunday’s game, the Titans had won back-to-back games vs. the Cowboys and Patriots.
“Obviously I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated,” Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan said. “But this is part of football, man, and you can’t get too high with the wins and you can’t get too low with the losses, it doesn’t matter if you lose by 30, or you lose by three. Obviously we have to play better.”
But there was also concern from a health standpoint for Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Pees left Sunday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium with a “medical issue.” The Titans released a statement in the first half after Pees left the stadium in a wheelchair.
Vrabel said the plan is for Pees to remain in an Indianapolis hospital overnight for tests, but he sounded encouraged about his prognosis.
“I would say Dean is doing OK,” Vrabel said. “They took him to the hospital, they evaluated him, and they are going to keep him overnight for some tests. But everything that I heard as of now has been very positive, that he should make a full recovery and be fine with whatever he had going on upstairs.”
There was some uncertainty surrounding Mariota.
Mariota left the contest late in the first half with an elbow injury, and was replaced by back-up Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert finished the game for the Titans, while Mariota watched from the sideline in a baseball cap.
Mariota was injured after being hit by Colts defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis. Mariota remained on the field while trainers tended to him. He eventually headed to the locker room before halftime, and did not return to the game. It’s believed to be the same injury that forced Mariota to miss time earlier this season.
“I’ll address the injuries tomorrow when I have some more information,” Vrabel said when asked about Mariota. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get some news with where he’s at.”
Mariota completed 10-of-13 passes in the first half, for 85 yards. He was sacked four times.
Gabbert completed 11-of-16 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown and interception after taking over for Mariota.
“It’s a bummer,” Gabbert said of Mariota’s injury. “Any time you get dinged in this game, it is never fun, the amount of time you put into preparing your mind and body and getting ready to roll. It is hard to have to leave the game. It’s just an unfortunate deal."
The Titans (5-5) were never really in this one, and their winning streak was snapped at two games.
The Colts took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Marlon Mack, which was set up by a long punt return. The Colts extended the lead to 10-0 on a 22-yard field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri.
The Colts stretched the lead to 24-0 on two second quarter touchdowns – a 68-yard touchdown pass from Luck to receiver T.Y. Hilton, and then an 18-yard run by Jordan Wilkins. Hilton got behind Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson for the score.
The Titans got on the board with a 42-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop on the final play of the first half, which made it 24-3. But the Colts stretched the lead to 31-3 on another Luck-to-Hilton touchdown, this one from 14 yards out.
A seven-yard touchdown pass from Luck to Dontrelle Inman made it 38-3 in the fourth quarter. Luck was replaced by Jacoby Brissett in the fourth quarter after throwing for 297 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans.
The Titans got a late touchdown on a one-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to receiver Tajae Sharpe.
The Titans return to action a week from Monday on Monday Night Football against the Texans, in Houston.
“I hate losing, whether you get blown out, or you lose by one point,” Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. “It still stings, because when you lose it makes you want to look yourself in the mirror harder. We have to be honest with ourselves.
“We have to come back to practice this week and be ready to go. We have six games left this season, and we definitely didn’t want to be 5 and 5. But we have to fix what we messed up today and attack the week and do our best to be great.”
The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
The Tennessee Titans get set to take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)