TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 8: Indianapolis Colts At Tennessee Titans

Colts
Titans
Cleveland Browns v Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills
Quarterback
Winner Quarterback Andrew Luck has made steady progress with the Colts, although his results may not be quite as spectacular as No. 2 selection Robert Griffin III. Luck hasshown he can read defenses and come up with the appropriate play. He has a magnificent arm and a quick release. However, he has looked troubled when the Colts go on the road.
The Titans have been forced to go with backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and so far the results have been quite palatable for head coach Mike Munchak. The Titans have won back-to-back games with Hasselbeck at quarterback and he has been up to the challenge. While he doesn’t have a great fastball, he is accurate and understands how the defense is attempting to stop him.
Offense
The Colts seem to understand how important it is to give Luck a running game so he doesn’t have to do everything himself. Vick Ballard is coming off an 84-yard effort against the Browns and has done well as a backup. Reggie Wayne is still an outstanding go-to receiver who can take over a game and carry the Colts.Donnie Avery is a decent complementary receiver.
Winner The Titans have had a roller coaster season from running back Chris Johnson. While it’s been mostly a down year from him, he had an explosive 195-yard performance against the Buffalo Bills. Nate Washington is a solid go-to receiver who has good hands. Kenny Britt is an explosive speedster who can make big plays but is not always dependable.
Defense
The Colts play hard on defense. After years of playing a passive, bend but don’t break style, they have decided to go after it with a much more hard-hittingstyle. They make mistakes, but opponents now know they are going to pay a price for going over the middle. Cornerback Jerraud Powers had five tackles against the Browns.
Winner The Titans are not going to stop many opponents on defense, much to Munchak’s consternation. Receivers often run wide open against the Tennessee secondary. Strong safety Jordan Babineaux is a hard-hitting player who had 12 tackles against the Bills, but he can’t make up for the Titans’ deficiencies at the cornerback position.
Special Teams
The Colts are content with Adam Vinatieri handling the placekicking chores. His38-yard field goal against the Browns provided insurance for the Colts in Week Seven. Punter Pat McAfee has a strong leg and can kill the ball inside the 20.
Winner Rod Bironas has a strong leg and has traditionally been one of the best placekickers in the NFL. Brett Kern is a decent punter, but he is not going to flip the field very often for the Titans. The return game has not been a big boost for the Titans.

The Winner Is

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills
Winner Titans
3 out of 4

The Colts have found a way to win at home this season with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck under center, but going on the road has been a different matter. The Titans are coming off back-to-back wins over the Steelers and the Bills, and they should be able to keep it going against an engaged but still immature Colts’ team.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Bringing You The Best in Sports Talk Radio
New Podcast Network
Learn How

Listen Live