What We Learned: Titans at Colts

ColtPower.com analyst Greg Talmage shares what we learned from watching the Tennessee Titans defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 16-10 in the final regular-season game in the RCA Dome Sunday.

1. The Colts lack a capable, NFL-ready backup quarterback.

Not many front offices are better at evaluating talent than the Indianapolis Colts. So what they see in Jim Sorgi? The guy hasn't looked like someone who should be one snap away from starting an NFL game. While Sorgi was in the game, a friend called and said, "it's good to see the [RCA] Dome going out the way it came in — with bad regular season offensive football."

Sorgi has showed next to nothing in the past two weeks. If something should ever happen to Peyton Manning, what would happen? Sorgi would have Manning's weapons, but he's still Jim Sorgi. Maybe the Colts could coax Vinny out of another retirement? Can Bob Sanders play quarterback?

2. The Colts have the deepest defense in the NFL:

While the Sorgi-to-Thorpe or Sorgi-to-Aromashodu combination was not doing much to establish confidence in the offense, the backup defense was putting together a very solid effort. Even after the starters had been pulled, the Colts defense was still flying around, hitting hard, causing turnovers, and keeping Tennessee out of the end zone.

While the valiant effort by the defense in the second half come up a little short, players like Melvin Bullitt, Michael Coe, Brandon Archer, Clint Session, and Ramon Guzman showed something.

Those players wanted to prove to the world they could play in this league and did. Although the game meant little to Indianapolis, the Colts matched the Titans' physicality and intensity. The special teams hit by Darrell Reid on Chris Henry may have been one of the hardest hits the Dome has seen in its 24-year history.

Marvin Harrison battling Champ Bailey
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

3. We still don't know if Marvin Harrison will return this season:

Remember when the Colts receivers always aligned this way: Harrison to the right, Reggie Wayne to the left, Dallas Clark or a third WR in the slot and another TE on the right side of the line?

With Harrison out and even his backup, Anthony Gonzalez, missing some time, things aren't as predictable in the receiver corps sets. Wayne has seen plenty of snaps now on the right side too, even played some slot. Gonzalez has done the same.

That's one thing to watch closely for when Harrison returns — if he does. Will the Colts just return to their normal receiver formation, or continue to mix things up?

Bill Polian told NBC that Harrison will absolutely play in the playoffs. Fans can only hope that's true.

The positive is even without Harrison or Gonzalez last night, the first string offense didn't seem to miss much of a beat at all and had no trouble moving the ball.

4. Spotting opponents six points is a troublesome trend:

For the second consecutive week an opponent has marched right down the field on the Colts and scored a touchdown on the opening drive.

Tennessee, just like Houston the week before, made it look fairly easy on that first drive. They did that by pounding the Colts with some nice 10-plus yard runs, hitting the short and immediate passes, and getting a blocker out on Bob Sanders.

But, like last week, Indianapolis recovered, made adjustments and the starting defense did not allow the Titans to score again.

While the Colts have an offense that can quickly recover from an early deficit, it's still never a good idea to get down early. That will ring especially true in the playoffs.

5. The Chargers, Steelers or Jaguars will be at the Dome at 1 p.m. Eastern January 13th:

Who should the Colts want to play? Does it matter? One thing's for sure: it's time for some playoff football.

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