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Week 17 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 24, Indianapolis Colts 30
What you need to know
ē Alex Tanney
may be better than Zach Mettenberger
ē David Cobb
got his chance and was good, not great.
ē Dorial Green-Beckham
's inconsistent season finishes on an inconsistent note.
ē Delanie Walker
should have plenty left in 2016.
The Colts managed a surprising amount of offense on Sunday with Josh Freeman
and Ryan Lindley
picked up off the street, although that didnít translate for much fantasy success. We did see, however, strong finishes from Frank Gore
and Coby Fleener
, as well as some promising usage of Phillip Dorsett
. With the Coltsí potential coaching turnover and roster adjustments for next season, however, how much it matters is yet to be seen. Fleener and Dwayne Allen
both are up for new contracts, and both Gore and Andre Johnson
could be potential cap-casualties this offseason. The biggest thing about this Colts offense is how much it misses and effective Andrew Luck
. If that player returns next season, the upsides for the Coltsí skill players will skyrocket back to pre-2015 levels. But outside of T.Y. Hilton
nobody else has established themselves as weekly fantasy threats. Until the Coltsí get quality quarterback play once again, it will remain that way.
|QB Zach Mettenberger, 28 offensive snaps, Pass: 5 - 13 - 38 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 4 - 1|
was his usual inaccurate and sloth-like self in this game before being pulled for Alex Tanney
. Mettenberger was apparently injured, but his play was worthy of being benched either way. He did run for a five-yard touchdown when the Titans caught the Colts off guard. They spread the field close to the goal line and called a designed quarterback run so Mettenberger was able to walk into the endzone untouched. He left the game in the third quarter after being intercepted. His pass was tipped underneath before being caught in the flat, but his slow process gave the defense that opportunity to tip the ball.
|QB Alex Tanney, 30 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 14 - 99 - 1 TD / 0 INT|
It was just one half, actually less than one half, and it was against the Indianapolis Colts, but Alex Tanney
showed off a lot in this game. It was immediately evident that he was more comfortable running the offense than the quarterback he replaced. Tanney showed off a quick process in the pocket with the arm strength to fit the ball into tight windows over the middle of the field. When he threw the ball downfield and/or outside the numbers he wasn't showing off great arm strength but he did rely on touch and ball placement to give his receivers a chance. Tanney didn't panic too much under pressure and generally improved the output of the offense.
|RB David Cobb, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 73 - 1|
This wasn't the best game to measure David Cobb
against his teammates on the Titans roster. The Titans offensive line was able to get consistent push and create running lanes against the Colts front, something it hasn't done all season long for the team's other backs. Cobb did show up well to take advantage of the opportunities he was given though. He comfortably changed direction after recognizing where the space was going to be while also showing off an impressive burst of acceleration to advance onto the second level. Although he wasn't running over defenders he was able to break arm tackles in tight spaces to extend plays downfield.
Sankey was first involved midway through the second quarter. He took the ball off the right side and was stopped at the line of scrimmage but kept moving his feet to gain four yards downfield. The Titans went back to him a few plays later on Second-and-6. He got to the second level cleanly but couldn't extend the play to find further space for a big gain or first down. Sankey's most impressive run came in the fourth quarter when he ran off left tackle and picked his way through bodies to gain five yards. He didn't have enough touches to make any long-term impact on his status with the team though.
After losing time last week for fumbling, Antonio Andrews
didn't get a chance to redeem himself in Week 17. The Titans didn't give him a carry, instead pushing the bulk of the carries onto rookie David Cobb
. He did have two receptions but both were limited to minimal gains.
|WR Harry Douglas, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (2 targets)|
Douglas caught his first target and it even went for a first down. It didn't come until the fourth quarter though. He ran a deep in route and caught an accurate pass with a defender on his back. Later in the game, he caught a quick out route against off coverage for a four yard gain.
It hasn't been a great rookie season for Dorial Green-Beckham
, but there have been enough flashes of ability for Titans fans to be excited. This game was similar to most as he opened the day by dropping his first pass. Mettenberger's throw was slightly off target, but it was a catch that the receiver should have made. His first reception didn't come until the third quarter when he ran a deep out route before shielding the ball with his big body for a first down catch. In the fourth quarter, Beckham caught a five-yard touchdown pass by high-pointing the ball above a defender in man coverage. The Titans purposely threw him a jump ball on a fade route for him to win. He was targeted a couple more times on the day, but neither throw was catchable.
|WR Tre McBride, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)|
The rookie receiver had just two opportunities in this game. The first came on an end-around when he accelerated forward to space for eight yards. The second came when he ran a quick out route against off coverage but couldn't catch an accurate pass with his defender arriving.
|TE Delanie Walker, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 36 - 0, Rec: 9 - 94 - 0 (14 targets)|
No matter who plays quarterback for the Titans, Delanie Walker
is the team's most reliable receiver. It's not surprising because of how impressive a player he is. Walker was constantly open over the middle of the field against the Colts' slower linebackers. He couldn't take advantage of a couple of opportunities in this game, at times his quarterback's service stood out as problematic, but still managed two big plays. The first came on a rare rushing attempt when he took a disguised end around downfield for a 36-yard gain. The second came when he adjusted impressively to a backshoulder throw down the right sideline for a 29-yard gain. Walker had a very impressive season...again.
|QB Josh Freeman, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 28 - 149 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 24 - 0|
Expectations for Josh Freeman
were as low as could be before Sundayís game, after playing in the Fall Experimental Football League earlier this year. But Freeman was surprisingly effective in Sundayís game, at least on a limited basis, but it was mostly on well-designed short passes. Freeman missed open receivers on countless occasions, though he did make a nice throw downfield to an open Coby Fleener
for a 57-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, one that may have been the difference in the game. The rest of his throws resulted in just 3.4 yards per attempt. Freeman was able to convert seven first downs on 16 attempts, a decent conversion percentage which was partially a function of a horrific Tennessee defense and strong short-passing gameplan. Freemanís accuracy and pocket presence could still use some work, but he did show enough poise and mobility to potentially warrant another tryout somewhere next year.
|QB Ryan Lindley, 12 offensive snaps, Pass: 6 - 10 - 58 - 1 TD / 0 INT|
Playing in relief of Josh Freeman
on a limited basis on Sunday, Lindley played reasonably well, leading the Colts on a 58-yard touchdown pass on his first of two drives. Still, he only averaged 5.8 yards per attempt, and his 18-yard touchdown pass was lucky to not be intercepted. Lindley missed several open receivers downfield, and itís unlikely that heíll get another shot at a gig after being signed off the streets. Expect the practice squad for Lindley next fall, but little else.
|RB Frank Gore, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 76 - 0 (4 targets)|
With a disappointing season behind him, Gore ran well against the Titans on Sunday, rushing for over 75 yards for the sixth time this season. Gore finished the year on a strong note, rushing for 161 yards on 4.7 yards per carry. After seven consecutive weeks with under four yards per carry, the strong finish was needed for Gore. Gore looked like his old self, running through tackles for big gains on three of the teamís field goal drives. Now the decision for the Colts is whether or not to retain the veteran running back for 2016. Gore is turning 33 next year, and 2015 resulted in his lowest yards per carry average of his career and first year without 1,000 rushing yards since he missed five games in 2010. Gore was publicly frustrated with the season after Week 17, and Jim Irsay (or the 2016 GM) will need to figure out if the aging vet is still worth $5 million next year.
|WR Phillip Dorsett, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0, Rec: 4 - 28 - 0 (9 targets)|
Though an injury-plagued rookie season was a disappointment for first-round pick Phillip Dorsett
, the rookie had a promising game in Week 17. The Colts used Dorsett mainly as first-down machine in the middle of the field, and he was relatively effective. The team also used him on an end-around in the first half that went for an easy 11 yards with Dorsettís speed. Totaling 39 yards from scrimmage isnít anything to write home about, but it was encouraging to see Dorsett used in a variety of ways Sunday, and it could be a boosting point for his sophomore year, when Andre Johnson
ís potential absence could lead to a much bigger role.
|WR Andre Johnson, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 46 - 1 (6 targets)|
The Coltsí worst veteran signing of 2015 didnít finish the year with any career lows, but thatís only because of a 2011 season in which he missed nine games. Johnsonís 41 catches and 503 total yards in 16 games was the second-worst season of his career, however, even worse than a nine-games season back in 2007. Johnson had 46 total yards on Sunday, his third-highest total of the year, if that gives any context to his season. Sure, Andrew Luck
missing most of the year didnít help, but Johnson was bad with Luck on the field as well, and is a serious candidate to be cut this offseason to save on his $7.5 million cap hit next season.
|WR T.Y. Hilton, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (7 targets)|
The Coltsí leading receiver wasnít able to get much going down the field on Sunday with the accuracy-limited Josh Freeman
and Ryan Lindley
. Hilton failed to gain 50 yards for the sixth time on Sunday, his fourth time in the final seven games. After hitting the 50-yard mark in seven of the first nine games, Hilton never strung together consecutive 50-yard games in the second half of the year. The fourth-year receiver is salivating at the prospect of getting Andrew Luck
back next season, as well as a potentially upgraded offensive line. With his third consecutive 1,000-yard season, Hilton should still be a hot fantasy commodity next season, and could be a potential steal if Luck bounces back.
After nursing a toe injury all week, the Coltsí No. 2 receiver played just 24 snaps on Sunday before a setback forced him to miss the remainder of the game. The injury slowed Moncrief down during the final two weeks of the season, limiting his production severely, as he caught just three passes for 13 yards in those two games. For the season, Moncrief showed relative progress, doubling his receptions from last season and nearly 300 more yards. That, of course, was without Andrew Luck
at quarterback. With Luck back next season, Moncrief has a potential to breakout, especially if Andre Johnson
|TE Coby Fleener, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 88 - 1 (7 targets)|
finished the year on a high note, with a season-high in yards and his third touchdown of the year. Fleenerís best play was a 57-yard touchdown pass in which he beat the Titansí safety in single coverage and out-raced him down the seam. It was a great play, the kind of play the Colts envisioned for Fleener often. Unfortunately, the rest of the day was more like the rest of the 2015 season: six catches for just 31 yards as he was limited to quick passes underneath with little yards after the catch. For the season, Fleener finished 62nd out of 73 tight ends in yards after the catch per reception and 53rd in yards per reception, per Pro Football Focus. The Coltsí decision on whether or not to re-sign Fleener will likely come down to money. The tight end has physical talent, but has never been able to consistently translate that to production, but he and Andrew Luck
For just the second time this season, Dwayne Allen
put up a stat-line full of zeros, although it was his seventh game with less than 10 receiving yards in eight games. The versatile tight endís year has been an abysmal one, as heís been forced to block far more than heíd like and has rarely been featured in the offensive gameplan. In a contract year, Allen really couldnít have come up with a worse scenario, and while heíll be a big target to bounce back in a different offense next year, nothing is certain.