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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting notes from the Indianapolis Colts’ last game

The final score says the Colts handled the Titans, but a closer look tells a much different story. We break down their game against the Titans to give you an idea of what to expect Sunday.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Philip Rivers played extremely well vs. the Titans and his accuracy was the difference in the game.
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Every week, we’ll break down the Green Bay Packers’ next opponent based on their last game. What did they do well? Where do they struggle? Who is playing well? Who can’t win their matchups? We watched the All-22 to bring you a full scouting report.

Colts Offense

  • 18th in offensive DVOA; 20th passing, 18th rushing
  • 4th in variance (they’re very consistent)
  • 23rd in adjusted line yards
  • 23rd in TDs per drive
  • 3rd in three-and-outs per drive
  • They move the ball well
  • They’re already running stuff for Michael Pittman Jr.
  • Everything from the gun for Philip Rivers
  • Rivers pretty conservative in this offense
    - 27th in average intended air yards
  • Titans were able to get some initial penetration in the run game
    - Stopped them on 4th-and-1 when Clowney won early and got a TFL
  • Nyheim Hines is clearly the most explosive back right now
    - He’s playing fast, tough, and dynamic football
    - Killed the Titans in the passing game
  • This is not the T.Y. Hilton role we’re used to
    - A lot more underneath stuff with Rivers wanting to get the ball out
  • Rivers is hitting his backfoot and getting the ball out
    - 8th in adjusted sack rate
  • Going to be more about coverage and tackling than pressure
  • Offense bogs down in the red zone
    - 28th in points per red zone trip
  • Will go empty and target LBs on Hines
  • When they take shots, it’s off play-action and they create problems for zone defenders
  • They have an array of ways to get the ball to their RBs in the passing game through swings and screens
  • Taylor is not running with the juice we saw at Wisconsin
  • Rivers played on rhythm and with accuracy vs. TEN
  • Their WRs don’t separate consistently vs. man coverage
    - Even TY Hilton, who clearly has a diminished version of his old athleticism
  • Titans offense outplayed the Colts offense in the first half (pretty comfortably)
  • Rivers is going to throw 1 or 2 WTF balls
    - Nearly threw a pick on a YOLO 50/50 ball
  • Really good situational playcalling
    - That’s Frank Reich and Phil Rivers
  • DaQuan Jones made some plays behind the LOS
  • Titans got a stop on fourth-and-goal
  • Splash run with Michael Pittman on an end around
  • Pittman is so Allen Lazard-y
  • They brought in Brissett to run a sneak at the goal line (lol)

Colts Defense

  • 4th in defensive DVOA; 4th in passing, 4th in rushing
  • 25th in variance
  • 7th in adjusted line yards
  • 15th in adjusted sack rate
  • 1st in LOS/drive
  • Great special teams
  • 4th in TDs per drive
  • 2nd in punts/drive
  • Not afraid to play big and load the box to stop the run
  • Opening drive, Titans got them twice on play-action boots to RB
  • Titans marched down the field on the opening drive
  • Julian Blackmon flies around the field
    - Impressive rookie
  • A.J. Brown dropped a would-be TD on a go-route vs. Rhodes
  • They’re well schooled pre-snap to make adjustments to alignments and assignments
  • They ate up some of the Titans play-action shot plays
  • Titans had success with Derrick Henry early, particularly on some runs to the edge
    - Finished with 103 yards on 19 carries
    - TEN averaged almost 5 yards per rush
  • Matt LaFleur talked about their speed and man do they play fast
  • You better block their DBs on the edge if you’re going to run those WRs screens
  • Even their big ole DL will chase down screens and pursue
  • Titans made it too easy to stay disciplined
  • Have to play with their eyes pre-snap with motion and get them thinking
  • When Colts when small, Titans were happy to give Henry the ball
  • Staying patient and taking your advantages is key
  • Rock Ya-Sin can’t run with MVS (probably not Lazard either)
  • Titans couldn’t block NT Grover Stewart
  • Jonnu Smith scored on a Y Jet at the goal line
    - Use the jet motion!
  • Shanked punt off the goal line stop was huge
  • Tannehill did not play well at all in the second half
    - Play-action is such a difference maker for him
  • Punt-block TD
  • Titans stayed with the run game even down 10 and they kept finding lanes
  • Colts locked down the dropback passing game
    - 9/17 for 78 yards
  • Titans moved the ball decently well then bogged down in the red zone
    - Missed a FG and a 4th down