PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus
QB Peyton Manning completed 27 of 41 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 100.1 passer rating for the game. Manning was only sacked once and was pressured three times. WR Reggie Wayne had nine catches for 68 yards and a TD while WR Pierre Garcon added seven receptions for 78 yards and a TD. TE Jacob Tamme (seven for 67 yards) and rookie WR Blair White (four for 51) also made big contributions. But there were far too many dropped passes to make the grade much higher. The pass offense sputtered at times throughout the day and had problems getting a rhythm going.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus
Individually, the three Colts running backs had respectable days — 48 yards in 11 rushes for Dominic Rhodes, 44 yards in 11 carries for Joseph Addai and nine yard in three attempt by Donald Brown. They combined to get 101 yards in 25 total rushing attempts, just enough to keep the Titans' defense guessing.
PASS DEFENSE: C-plus
When the outcome of the game was on the line, DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis certainly made themselves known. But for much of the first three quarters, Tennessee QB Kerry Collins wasn't under much pressure. Collins hurt the Colts with his third-down passes that kept drives alive. The Titans hit on six passing plays that garnered 10 or more yards and five that picked up 15 or more yards.
RUSH DEFENSE: A-plus
Flawless. The Colts' run defense has been on fire the last month of the season. And that strong play continued against the Titans. Indianapolis limited Tennessee to just 51 yards in 24 carries, a 2.1 yard average per carry. And Chris Johnson, who is one of the NFL's top rushers, had 39 yards in 20 carries. Can they keep it up in the postseason? That remains to be seen.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus
In reality, PK Adam Vinatieri's performance pushes the grade up a lot higher than it would otherwise be. Vinatieri had three long field goals, hitting from 48, 44 and the game-winner from 43 yards out. P Pat McAfee was inconsistent with his kicks, averaging 36.8 yards on five punts. He did have one touchback on a kickoff. RB Dominic Rhodes averaged 19.5 yards on four kickoff returns. Tennessee WR Marc Mariani averaged 29.8 yards on four kickoff returns, including one of 47 yards.
What with all the injury issues that the Colts have faced this year, Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff have done a pretty good job at keeping everybody focused and prepared. Winning four games over the past month with their playoff aspirations on the line shows a lot. There was a bit of step back in the win over the Tennessee in terms of overall play, but the Colts stepped up when they needed to and secured the victory.
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