NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (7-4) won at Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time in franchise history with a 20-16 divisional victory over the Indianapolis Colts (3-8) Sunday.
Coach Mike Mularkey held his weekly press conference Monday to close the book on Indianapolis and move on to their next AFC South skirmish. Tennessee hosts the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium on December 3rd.
- King Of The Castle…For Now
- After dropping an ugly loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) 11 days ago, the Titans swept the Colts for the first time since 2002 and are off to their best start since 2008. Tennessee has not been to the playoffs since then and were 10-1 through 11 games that year.
- Shortly after, the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) concluded their afternoon game in Arizona against the Cardinals (5-6). Jacksonville fell 27-24 and, by way of tiebreakers, fell behind the Titans for first place in the AFC South.
- “Look, we’ve got a lot of football to go,” Mularkey responded when asked about the Jags loss and his team’s position. “We just gotta win one of these (games) at a time. I’ll say this and I’ve said it to our team a number of times: can’t be concerned about what anybody else in this league does. If we win, everything will take care of itself. Can’t worry about what anybody else is doing and that’s a fact.”
- Missing Matthews
- Receiver Rishard Matthews was inactive against Indianapolis after sustaining a hamstring injury he suffered in practice on Thanksgiving; veteran Eric Decker started in his place.
- When asked if not having Matthews, the team’s leader in receiving yards (626), touchdown catches (3) and yards after the catch (214), made it easier for the Colts defenders to try and thwart tight end Delanie Walker, Coach Mularkey shared his thought:
- “I think that was their plan going in because they had no idea if Rishard was going to play or not; we didn’t either up until an hour and a half before the game. So, I don’t know if they could have made any adjustments prior to the game. I don’t think that was a big factor. Delanie’s been a go-to guy for us for years and he’s just a guy they gotta take away. It was no big secret they were going to try and do that.”
- Walker led the team in receiving yards (63) and targets (5) against Indianapolis and finished the game with his first touchdown catch of the season that sparked Tennessee’s eventual comeback down 16-6.
— Buck Reising (@BuckReising) November 27, 2017
- DeMarco Worry
- Running back DeMarco Murray punched the game-winning score in from one-yard out Sunday but finished the day with only nine yards on 12 carries. The former Dallas Cowboy and Philadelphia Eagle also caught three passes for 33 yards.
- The Titans offense languished until that fourth-quarter drive to complete the comeback, hindered by the ability, for most of the game, to generate any progress on the ground. Murray, quarterback Marcus Marriota and Derrick Henry mustered only nine yards rushing in the first half. Offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie’s unit stalled at the end of the first quarter and sputtered through the second and most of the third with only one first down during that 30-minute span.
- “I think (Murray) is 100%,” Mularkey said when asked about the health of his lead back. “Some of those plays we needed on third down where he made some big plays, especially that last one to continue that drive and allow us to get the game over…the way we started the game yesterday, in that first half, I’m not sure anybody in this room could have made a yard the way we blocked up front.”
- Tennessee finished the game with 92 yards on 28 carries.
- Rookie Growing Pains
- Wide receiver Corey Davis, the fifth-overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft, has Titans fans salivating with the promise he’s shown in his short time on the football field this year. The rookie missed most of training camp dealing with a hamstring injury that also forced him to sit for five games in the first half of the season. There have been a few speed bumps, though nothing too unexpected.
- “I never send any hidden messages through the media to the players,” Mularkey said when asked about Davis’s blocking. “We’ve already had a talk…he has to do a better job blocking, not just on screens, but in our run game. (There were) some plays (on Sunday) if he would’ve blocked we would’ve had bigger plays. He has to do a better job.”
- Matthews (hamstring) will be listed as day-to-day this week after missing Sunday’s game as well as safety Da’Norris Searcy (ankle) who was injured in the second half.
Up Next: Tennessee hosts another divisional opponent at Nissan Stadium Sunday , December 3rd when the Houston Texans travel to Nashville.