What We Saw: Week 8

It's backup QB SZN

TitansColts

Final Score: Titans 34, Colts 31 (OT)

Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)

 

The Tennessee Titans came into Indy this week looking to strengthen their hold on the AFC South and were able to do so in a thrilling overtime victory. The main injury in this game was Julio Jones. Going into this week, both teams had caught fire and were looking to get that all-important divisional win, and luckily, the game lived up to the hype. Plus, it gave us an extra quarter to settle this rivalry. In the end, Carson Wentz proved to be his own downfall and his costly turnovers helped the Titans sweep the division series, with a final score of Tennessee Titans 34, Indianapolis Colts 31.

 

Tennessee Titans

 

Quarterback

 

Ryan Tannehill: 23/33, 265 yards, 3 TD | 2 carries, 26 yards

 

This was a tale of two Tannehill’s, and we need the real Ryan Tannehill to please stand up. The game started off with a boneheaded mistake; Tannehill threw a ball intended for Marcus Johnson into a sea of Colts who picked him off. After this, he led a TD drive, then threw his second pick of the day to Tyquan Lewis. This INT was bad because instead of throwing it away in the face of pressure, he forced it to Anthony Firkser and the ball fell short of the target. Tannehill ended the first half with another TD thanks in part to a little extra effort from AJ Brown on a 57 yard TD.

Tannehill started the second half feeding Brown 4 receptions for 41 yards while running for 11 yards and finishing the drive with a 5 yard TD to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Scoring wasn’t in the Titans’ favor in the second half as they would only score a field goal more before going to overtime. In overtime, Tannehill and the Titans got an interception and some more help from WR1 AJB. The Titans would put the final nail in the coffin of this game by scoring the game-winning field goal. Overall, Tannehill was alright, but with Henry neutralized and Julio Jones out, Tannehill had to rely heavily on Brown to get this win. Going forward, I can’t say that Tannehill will be anything more than a QB2, as he just doesn’t stand out as a star quarterback. He’s very good and efficient, but overall nothing special.

 

 

 

Running Back

 

Derrick Henry: 28 carries, 68 yards

 

Derrick Henry once again was the backfield for the Titans and often struggled to get anything going in this game. I credit the front seven of the Colts and nickel corner Kenny Moore. For the entire game, they kept Henry from going supernova. Henry’s longest run was for 9 yards and his average yards per carry was just 2.4, as the Colts were meeting him at the line and clogging up holes. I give Moore a shoutout because on more than one occasion he made a big tackle at the line of scrimmage on Henry. This game was a wash for King Henry, who should have no issue bouncing back. A tip for fantasy managers going forward: the Colts have only allowed 2 TDs to opposing RBs, so they’re maybe not the matchup you want to exploit.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

AJ Brown: 11 targets, 10 receptions, 155 yards, TD

Jeremy McNichols: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards

Geoff Swaim: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 23 yards, TD

MyCole Pruitt: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards, TD

Marcus Johnson: 5 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

Chester Rogers: 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

 

 

No Julio Jones, no problem! AJ Brown has you covered after being soundly asleep for the first five weeks of the season. Since then, Brown has seen 29 targets, 25 receptions, 379 yards, and 2 TDs. In this game he started out hot, catching a short route and taking it 57 yards for the Titans’ second score of the night. This set the tone for the rest of Brown’s game, as he went for 98 yards on 9 catches for the rest of the game. He was doing it mostly in the short and intermediate distances and still put on a memorable game in the absence of Jones. Overall, Brown looks like he’s arrived and is going to be a force going forward.

Now for the other receivers: Geoff Swaim had a receiving TD and was prominent on the Titans’ first scoring drive. On the drive, he caught all three of his targets for 16 yards and the TD. Jeremy McNichols got back into the mix this week catching all of his targets for 33 yards. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was on the receiving end of a 5 yard TD but only had one other reception. I’m not trying to acquire any of these players going forward in the 2021 fantasy season.

 

 

Indianapolis Colts

 

Quarterback

 

Carson Wentz: 27/51, 231 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT | 3 carries, 11 yards

 

Carson Wentz started the game off looking like the guy we’ve seen in the past two games: decisive and efficient. The Colts’ first two drives ended in TD receptions for Michael Pittman. Wentz’s first two drives stat-line was 7/11 passes, for 66 yards and 2 TDs. The Colts’ next three drives ended in a turnover in downs, a punt, and a field goal.

Wentz tried too hard to play hero ball in this game, which was the reason for his second-half undoing. He was seeking the deep ball too much in the game, and honestly, the Colts got away from the run game and forced Wentz to be the hero. The third quarter started out promising with Wentz connecting with Jack Doyle for a 5 yard TD. It then went downhill, with Wentz throwing an unnecessary pass in his own endzone that was picked off and returned for a TD by Elijah Molden. Wentz would lead a comeback, throwing a 38-yard pass to Pittman, setting up a game-tying TD, and sending the game into overtime.

Overtime is where Wentz became his own worst enemy. After a drive that went nowhere, Wentz started to get into a rhythm, getting a first down on a 4-yard run. In the very next play, he tried to go deep for Pittman and ran into double coverage, getting picked off in Colts territory. This set up the field goal that won it for the Titans. Overall, Wentz needs to stick with what he’s been doing recently, and that’s taking care of the ball. He can’t revert back to the 2020 season, where he chose to throw a hail mary instead of dumping the ball off to the RB for a minimal gaing. I think he’ll be fine, but it’s something to watch going forward.

 

 

Running Back

 

Jonathan Taylor: 16 carries, 70 yards, TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 52 yards

Nyheim Hines: 1 carry, 2 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 22 yards

 

Jonathan Taylor looked good right out of the gate, catching a pass that went for 37 yards. Taylor also had a few good chunk runs of 20 and 11 yards. He also missed out on a 32-yard run that would’ve put him at 154 total scrimmage yards. The cherry on top for Taylor was a game-tying 1-yard TD to force overtime. Taylor had a good game and is looking like a legit top-5 running back this season. Nyheim Hines returned to his advertised role as the receiving back in this offense, getting targeted five times. If Wentz looks Hines’ way more in the coming weeks, then he’ll be a good PPR stash.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Michael Pittman: 15 targets, 10 receptions, 86 yards, 2 TD

Zach Pascal: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 43 yards

TY Hilton: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Jack Doyle: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards, TD

 

TY Hilton‘s return this week after missing Week 7 was once again short-lived, as he went out in the fourth quarter after being targeted five times and only caught two balls. Michael Pittman on the other hand had an absolutely incredible day; on his first drive, he caught 3 of his 5 targets for 15 yards and a TD. Then, after a Colts interception, Pittman scored again on a 7-yard pass. Pittman was targeted all over the field, including five deep targets, with one connecting for a 38-yard gain. Overall, Pittman has been electric and the only reliable target for Carson Wentz this season.

Zach Pascal and Jack Doyle wrapped up a sad day for the Colts’ struggling receiving corp. Pascal has been used prominently as a safety net for Wentz. In this game, he was getting targeted on 3rd downs and 1st and 15’s; he’s the guy when you need some yardage. I would consider him a decent guy to stash on a fantasy roster just because Hilton’s status isn’t looking consistent for 2021. Doyle was a good blocking tight end and also picked up a 5 yard TD.

 

— Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)

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