PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus
It all depends on which passing offense you might want to look at. Since the Colts played just about everybody on their roster against Tennessee, the grade should be split.
When the first-team unit was in the game, the grade would be an A-plus. QB Peyton Manning played about a quarter-and-a-half, completing 14 of 16 passes for 95 yards. WR Reggie Wayne caught a career- and season-high 12 passes for 87 yards, all in the first half.
When the starters went to the sideline, so did the passing game. Backup QB Jim Sorgi hit on 11 of 24 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked twice. Backup WR Craphonso Thorpe hauled in a career-best six passes for 23 yards and a touchdown, his first in the NFL.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B
Much like the passing game, when the first unit was on the field, the running game appeared to be pretty good. RB Joseph Addai saw limited work but picked up 27 yards on four carries, averaging 6.8 yards per carry.
When Addai left the game, RBs Kenton Keith and Cliff Dawson combined for 20 yards on five carries. Of course, when Keith and Dawson were in the game, they were playing behind a makeshift offensive line.
PASS DEFENSE: B-minus
Indianapolis did not allow a passing touchdown, but also didn't get much pressure on either quarterback. In fact, the lone sack was recorded by S Bob Sanders. That was one of the highlights of the night, along with the hit delivered by S Matt Giordano on Tennessee TE Bo Scaife.
RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus
After a spotty start, which allowed the Titans to score a touchdown on their first possession of the game (on an eight-yard run), Indianapolis' run defense did a nice job. Even with backups in the game for most of the night, Tennessee ran for only 98 yards on 39 carries, averaging 2.5 yards per rush.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Maybe the best performance of the season. The Colts were hitting all night and delivered some ferocious hits on Tennessee kick returners. The Titans averaged 17.3 yards on kickoff returns and just 7.5 yards on punt returns.
Indianapolis, meanwhile, averaged 25 yards on four kickoff returns and had two punt returns for a total of 18 yards. PK Adam Vinatieri was good on his only attempt of the game, hitting from 37 yards out.
P Hunter Smith averaged 45.6 yards net and 51.6 yards overall on five punts, with four being downed inside the Titans' 20-yard line.
It remains to be seen whether the special teams improvement will be carried on throughout the postseason, but assistant coach Russ Purnell deserves a pat on the back for sticking with it and putting together a respectable unit despite a spate of injuries that have been a problem team-wide.
When the first-team offense was in the game, the Colts appeared to be on top of their game. Defensive line coach John Teerlinck has done a nice job with a group of rookie defensive linemen and having them ready on a game-by-game basis.