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Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines celebrates a touchdown on Thursday Night Football.

NFL: 5 takeaways from the Indianapolis Colts' Week 10 win over the Tennessee Titans

Thursday Night Football featured a pivotal AFC South matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, in which the Colts were able to pull out an important road win by the final score of 34-17.

Both teams are now tied atop the division at 6-3, but the Colts hold the tiebreaker with their head-to-head victory.


These teams will meet again in Week 12, so let’s review some notable takeaways from their first matchup of the season.

5. Can Jacoby Brissett play a change-of-pace role for the Indianapolis Colts?

While Philip Rivers remains the unquestioned starter at quarterback for Indianapolis, coach Frank Reich has interestingly used backup QB Jacoby Brissett in special situations in each of the last two weeks in lieu of Rivers.

Just before halftime in the Colts' Week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, Brissett came into the game to attempt a Hail Mary, because he has a stronger arm than Rivers. Brissett ended up getting sacked on the play to end the half, but it was intriguing that Reich would upstage his starter like that.


On Thursday night, Brissett’s number was again called in a niche situation. With just over 9 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter facing a 3rd-and-1, Brissett came in for a QB sneak, which ultimately ended in him converting the first down and punching the ball into the end zone to essentially ice the game.

While there’s no quarterback controversy brewing, it’s a notable trend to keep an eye on to see if the coaching staff will sprinkle Brissett into additional spots as the season progresses.

4. Taylor brought the power, Hines brought the agility


The Indianapolis Colts’ backfield displayed its versatility against the Titans, with each running back bringing a different skill set to the table. Rookie RB Jonathan Taylor routinely finished his runs with impressive power, often knocking Titans defenders backwards for extra yardage in third- or fourth-and-short situations.

On the other hand, RB Nyheim Hines, on his 24th birthday, made a positive impact with a different style of running. He was often utilized on short screen passes, and displayed a ton of burst and agility. Hines finished with 12 carries for 70 yards on the ground, 5 catches for 45 yards through the air, and a touchdown rushing and receiving.


While this backfield has transformed into a full blown committee (not ideal from a fantasy football standpoint), the Colts have to feel good about the wide array of skills possessed in their running back room.

3. How much longer can Tennessee stick with Stephen Gostkowski?

Stephen Gostkowski’s kicking resume prior to the 2020 season is right up there with the very best the game has ever season, but his shaky campaign with the Titans continued on Thursday night.

Gostkowski missed a field goal early in the fourth quarter which could have narrowed the Colts’ lead to a one-score game, but could not convert on the 44-yard try. After that miss, the Colts marched down the field and scored a touchdown on Brissett’s sneak, which put the game away.

The veteran kicker also missed an attempt that could have forced overtime in Week 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and in a tight division race, the Titans can’t continue to lose out on scoring chances.

2. The Titans' punting operation needs an overhaul

It’s unfortunate that Titans punter Trevor Daniel was thrust into the national spotlight on "Thursday Night Football," because he had a rough evening. Not too far removed from working at Fedex, Daniel’s punting leg did not deliver the type of package Tennessee was looking for.

He shanked a punt in the 3rd quarter when the Titans were deep in their own territory, as the kick traveled a meager 17 yards. The Colts offense was basically in the red zone once they took over possession, and scored a touchdown immediately after Daniel’s miscue.


Later in the game, the Colts’ punt blocking unit came storming through the line, and Daniel never had a chance to get one off. The punt was blocked, and returned for a touchdown by the Colts’ T.J. Carrie.

1. Frank Reich continues to be a gambling man

If there was any question about how much confidence Frank Reich has in his offense, it was answered early and often on Thursday night.

On the Colts’ opening drive of the game, the daring coach decided to go for it on 4th down twice, getting stopped on their second attempt. Luckily for them, Tennessee ended up going three-and-out on their next drive, so that did not put Indianapolis behind the eight ball.

On Indianapolis’ opening drive of the second half, Reich truly outdid himself by leaving the offense on the field for three fourth down tries. They converted the first two attempts, but RB Jordan Wilkins got stuffed in the backfield on a 4th and goal.

Even though this aggressive approach did not pay off on those specific drives, Reich’s willingness to try to keep drives alive on fourth down can alter the way he and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni call plays during the first three downs. Reich has a habit of being involved in making things happen on the ultimate down, dating back to his days as the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles.


Edited by
Amaar Burton
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