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Battle of the backups: Colts defeat Titans 23-0

In their anti-climactic preseason regular season finale, the Tennessee Titans were shutout by the Indianapolis Colts in a 23-0 snooze-fest.

The “battle” resembled a preseason matchup as both teams rested their starters for the majority of the game. The Colts dominated the time of possession and even resorted to an onside-kick with a 10-0 lead in their quest to give players such as Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark the opportunity to set single-season/career marks.

As for the Titans, Kerry Collins and the majority of the Titans’ starters were on the bench after the team’s first series or two.

More thoughts on the Tennessee Titans’ final regular season game, after the jump.

Game balls

It’s difficult awarding a game ball on a day when the offense only accounts for 125 yards. However, since it’s a weekly custom, I’ll give one out nonetheless.

Quinton Ganther averaged over six yards per carry on his four rushing attempts. In addition to rushing for a team-high 27 yards, he also caught three passes out of the backfield.

Ganther was a great story during the preseason so it was nice to see him take advantage of his limited opportunities today.

On defense, I’m going to go with former practice squadder Amon Gordon. On the afternoon, Amon accounted for six tackles (4 solo, 2 assists) and a forced fumble. He also showed some nice athleticism for a big guy on his deflection of a Jim Sorgi screen pass.

Chris Carr had a fifty-yard scamper on his only kickoff return of the game. In addition to his special teams’ exploits, the versatile Carr also chipped in with 8 tackles and two passes defensed.

So-so day for Vince

In his most extensive amount of playing time since Week 1, Young completed 9 of his 13 pass attempts for 55 yards. As expected, Vince was also a factor in the running game, as he gained 25 yards on 5 rushing attempts.

Young’s completions came mostly on check-downs to running backs and tight ends. On one play in particular, he did a great job of tossing a first down strike to Brandon Jones in the teeth of the Colts’ pass rush.

An exhausting day for the defense

As a result of the Colts dominating the time of possession in the first half, the Titans’ defense had to be yearning for the oxygen masks. 

With 10:15 remaining in the 2nd quarter, the Colts had held the ball on offense for 18:07 of the game’s first 20 minutes. At the half, the Colts had a dominating 25:40- 4:15 edge in time of possession.

Nice effort from Jacob Ford

Ford finished the game with a four tackles and his 7th sack of the season. Not bad for a guy coming off of a serious Achilles injury.

Final thoughts

-Leading 10-0, the Colts executed a surprise onside-kick in their efforts to enable Dallas Clark and Marvin Harrison the opportunity to achieve single season/career records.

Jeff Fisher wasn’t impressed, as indicated by the lack of a smile on his face as the cameras panned towards him.

-In limited playing time, I was pretty impressed by the arm strength of Chris Simms. I’d love to see what he could do with a full training camp under his belt.

-Former Titan Mookie Johnson had a couple of tackles for the Colts. Too bad he plays for the bad guys now.

-Welcome to the NFL, Paul Williams! He caught his first career NFL pass today: a seven yarder from Chris Simms in the 4th quarter.

-Prior to today, the Titans hadn’t been shut out in a regular season game since their 17-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins in 1999. If I’m not mistaken, 99 was also the last time the Titans made a trip to the Super Bowl.

Hopefully, as the case with the shutout, history will repeat itself with a Tennessee Titans’ Super Bowl appearance in 2008.  

What are your thoughts on today’s meaningless Titan loss?