TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 14: Tennessee Titans At Indianapolis Colts

Titans
Colts
Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks
Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback
Jake Locker struggles to hit open receivers. His biggest issue is a lack of accuracy. He was intercepted three times in the 24-10 Week 13 loss to the Houston Texans and he has been picked off five times in the last two games. Locker has size, strength and a big arm, but he seems to lose his concentration when he is under pressure.
Winner Of all the qualities that Andrew Luck has, the best may be his competitiveness and ability to make plays at the end of the game. The Colts appeared to have little chance in the late stages of their Week 13 game against the Lions, but he rallied them with a pair of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to give Indianapolis another improbable win.
Offense
Running back Chris Johnson is clearly having a very good year after suffering through an awful start. He has run for 993 yards and he is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He has seven runs of 20 yards or greater. Wide receiver Nate Washington is probably Locker’s best receiver. He is averaging 16.7 yards per catch and has 12 plays of 20 yards or more.
Winner The Colts have a credible ground game. Neither Vick Ballard nor Donald Brown are stars, but both have exceeded 400 yards rushing and that takes pressure off of Luck. Reggie Wayne has had a brilliant season and has caught 88 passes for 1,156 yards. Donnie Avery is also a frequent target who can complement Wayne.
Defense
The Titans have been awful this season, giving up huge chunks of yardage on the ground and through the air. The Titans don’t always show a willingness to tackle and that’s a big reason opponents can move the ball so easily on them. Linebacker Akeem Ayers has 83 tackles and 4.0 sacks this year and he has given a consistent effort.
Winner The Colts are not a forceful defensive team, but they hustle and make up their mistakes with speed and quickness. Defensive end Robert Mathis can still come around the corner and put pressure on an opposing quarterback. He has 7.0 sacks this year. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman is a good tackler with a team-leading 107 stops.
Special Teams
The Titans have struggled with their coverage teams, but Darius Reynaud has speed and explosiveness as a return specialist. Rob Bironas is one of the best kickers in the game, but he has struggled a bit this year. While he has made 21-of-25 FG attempts, he is just 3-of-7 on attempts from 40-to-49 yards.
Winner Adam Vinatieri is no longer the sure thing he once was earlier in his career. Vinatieri has made 21-of-28 FG attempts this year and he has only made 3-of-6 attempts between 30 and 39 yards. Pat McAfee is averaging 48.4 yards per punt.

The Winner Is

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers
Winner Colts
4 out of 4

The Colts have found a way to finish off games and come away with victories when little was expected. Andrew Luck is a gutsy, riverboat gambler who will not take the easy completion. Instead, he will throw the ball downfield and go for the big play. That makes him a future star. The Titans have no identity and have been quite inconsistent.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

New Podcast Network
Learn How
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live