Titans clinch #1 pick by losing to Colts, 30-24, after comeback fails

A game I thought would be a dull, desultory affair had more scoring than I expected and was in doubt until after the two minute warning. Then Alex Tanney’s fourth down pass fell incomplete and the Tennessee Titans would fall to 3-13 and clinch the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft once the already-eliminated Indianapolis Colts finished kneeling out their 30-24 victory.

The contest, such as it was, went back and forth in the first half. Colts up 3-0, Titans up 7-3, Colts up 10-7, Titans up 14-10. Indianapolis would go up for good shortly before halftime, as Ryan Lindley replaced starter Josh Freeman for the two-minute drill and finished the drive off with a toss to Andre Johnson for a 20-14 halftime lead. A pick-6 off Zach Mettenberger turned that into 27-14 less than a minute into the second half, and the inimitable Tanney could only lead the Titans to 10 points the rest of the way.

News and notes and whatnot, since there’s not much point in a detailed recap of a game like this one:

  • Remember Zach Mettenberger hype? I don’t miss it. 14 dropbacks (13 attempts (including the grounding call), 1 sack) yielded 14 net yards and the interception, though he did get his first career rushing touchdown on a quarterback draw to open the scoring.
  • Tanney looked better, starting 7-7 for 70 yards and a score on a fade throw to Dorial Green-Beckham. He finished 10-14 and took three sacks, a couple of them ugly ones where he tried to run away from defenders.
  • This ended up a David Cobb game, and he had 19 carries for 73 yards. He looked a bit like David Cobb, getting yards when there were yards and no yards when there weren’t yards. He had a couple decent gainers (>5 yards, with long of 12), but they mostly seemed to come on excellently-blocked plays.
  • The majority of the Titans’ targets today (14 of 27 officially) were thrown Delanie Walker’s way, including all of Mettenberger’s completions. He finished with 9 catches for 94 yards and a 36-yard rush on the Titans’ second touchdown (which Cobb scored on fourth-and-1).
  • Green-Beckham and Harry Douglas each had two catches. But given the extent to which Walker dominated the pass game today, it feels almost pointless to mention them.
  • The Colts were credited with 5 quarterback hits. It sure felt like more, as the offensive line was overwhelmed at times in pass protection. Not a surprise, of course.
  • We saw a decent amount of Jeremiah Poutasi as a 6OL today, a look we haven’t seen from the Titans since Taylor Lewan held down that job early last season.
  • Avery Williamson led the defense with 9 tackles (8 solo). Zach Brown was just one behind him, and had a number of plays where he made an impact, including each of the Titans’ first two defensive stops (good pass rush forcing an errant throw, tackle short of sticks).
  • David Bass had the Titans’ only sack of the game, when the Colts neglected to block him on third down.
  • Pet peeve alert: the Titans had just 2 passes defensed on 38 Colts passing attempts (21 completions). One of those was tipped by Justin Staples at the line of scrimmage, the other Da’Norris Searcy’s interception that set up the Titans’ first score off a screen pass tipped by the back. So, basically, the Titans secondary made absolutely zero plays on balls thrown downfield today.
  • It’s over. It’s over. It’s over. It’s over. It’s over.
  • The Titans are now on the clock.

Snap report Monday morning, as soon as I can get it up, and then it’s breaking news watch for the fate of Ruston Webster, Mike Mularkey, and everybody else in the building.