Colts vs. Titans, Week 8: Tennessee's overtime loss hard to stomach given strong performances

Tom Szczerbowski

Big games from the Titans' key offensive performers, including Chris Johnson and Matt Hasselbeck, proved too little against the game Colts squad.

With productive days from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, running back Chris Johnson and a defense that held up its end of the deal, Tennessee Titans fans understandably would have expected a victory on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

But, as Music City Miracles dissected — and Titans fans experienced — the Colts were able to pull out a victory despite the solid production from all of the Titans' cogs, a disappointing result.

How much of a head-scratcher was today's loss? Consider: Hasselbeck ends the game with a 110.7 passer rating, Chris Johnson gets 99 yards at a 4.7 YPC clip, we win the turnover battle...

Some blame was handed to the officials working the game, but even with the referees going against the Titans on Sunday, the production across the board seemed to be enough for it to not impact the game when it ended.

Granted, we were victimized by a few particularly awful calls (most notably the absurd fumble-erasing debacle that should have given Bironas a chip shot FG attempt for the win), but this offense should have been productive enough to beat all 11 defenders and the zebras handily.

Blame at Music City Miracles understandably fell to both the offense and defense for not converting every opportunity the units could, but if was especially the late performance of the Titans' defense that had the bloggers worried and disappointed with the performance.

... The defense couldn't get out of its own way when it really counted. Despite limiting the damage in the red zone for most of the day, Gray's unit got gashed for 171 yards on the ground, and it's not like the Colts are running Arian Foster and Ben Tate out there. The struggles to defend the run hit their zenith in overtime, when the Colts marched the length of the field without having to throw the ball more than twice and facing only one third down.

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