PASSING OFFENSE: A
The only things that kept the grade from getting a plus was one interception (that same when QB Peyton Manning was bumped by a Titans defensive end as he made the throw) and a dropped pass in the end zone late in the game by WR Reggie Wayne. Other than that, the Colts' passing game was picture perfect. Manning completed 36-of-44 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns. He was not sacked all night. He threw the ball to seven different receivers. He ended the game with a 109.2 passer rating. Rookie WR Austin Collie had career highs for catches (eight), yards (97) and touchdowns (two). RB Joseph Addai added a game-high 10 catches for 53 yards.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B
Indianapolis' running game remains very much a work in progress. Still, the Colts are doing just enough to keep opposing defenses in check. RB Joseph Addai rushed 14 times for 27 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run. RB Donald Brown added 22 yards in six carries. As a team, Indianapolis ran for 58 yards in 23 rushing attempts.
PASS DEFENSE: B-plus
The Colts did a good job against Tennessee QB Kerry Collins, who completed 19-of-32 passes for 164 yards and did not have a touchdown pass. He was sacked once and came out of the game with a passer rating of 59.9. Indianapolis started two rookie cornerbacks, draft pick Jerraud Powers and undrafted free agent Jacob Lacey, due to injuries to starters Kelvin Hayden Hayden (hamstring) and Marlin Jackson (knee). They more than held their own against the Titans' receivers.
RUSH DEFENSE: A-plus
For as much grief that Indianapolis' rush defense got after allowing 239 yards in a win over the Miami Dolphins in the second week of the season, the Colts have been that good in the three games since. Tennessee had 90 yards in 21 carries as a team. The league's leading rusher, Chris Johnson had 34 yards in nine carries. The longest run allowed by the Colts was 11 yards and that was by LenDale White.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus
With the exception of some miscommunication, which resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Tennessee, the Colts special teams were just that — special. PK Adam Vinatieri connected on his only field goal attempt, hitting from 23 yards out. P Pat McAfee averaged 49.3 yards (40.5 yards net) on four punts. He also did a nice job on kickoffs. The punt and kickoff coverage units were exceptional against the Titans, allowing 7.5 yards on two punt returns and 18.3 yards on four kickoff returns.
To have a team go through the kind of schedule that the Colts have faced to begin the season — three nationally-televised night games, two of those games against defending division champions on back-to-back weekends on cross-country trips — and then play a major rival from their own division in a nationally televised road game (with that rival desperate to snap a four-game losing streak). To be successful doing that while missing several key players on both sides of the ball means that Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff are definitely doing something right.
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