At long last, the Titans get a win over the Colts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With second-half adjustments that produced a far better pass rush and more effective offense, Titans weaved their way to a complicated 36-23 win over the Colts Monday night.

It ended an 11-game losing streak to Indianapolis and got the Titans to 3-3, even with the Texans and Jaguars atop the AFC South.TitansDoubleLogo

Marcus Mariota threw a horrific pick-6 to John Simon in the third quarter but rebounded to engineer a go-ahead drive that moved the score to 22-19 with 10:01 remaining.

The Colts evened it out, but Mariota and the offense recovered and he lofted a pretty 53-yard TD pass to up the right side rookie Taywan Taylor for a lead that stood up.

The defense got a stop on Indianapolis’ nerve-wracking final charge.

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Adoree' Jackson not impatient about first interception, but Titans could sure use it Monday night

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans need more electric, game-altering plays and they’ve got a good candidate to provide one in sticky rookie cornerback and explosive return man Adoree Jackson.

If he can provide such a play during Monday Night Football it could be a big part of a breakthrough for which the Titans are desperate. They’ve lost 11 in a row against the Colts, and 16 of their last 17.JacksonOAK

The Titans credit Jackson with a team-high seven pass breakups. But the team has only four interceptions and two of them came from guys with part-time work in the secondary, Curtis Riley and Tye Smith. (Jackson was also fourth in the NFL coming into the weekend with an 11.6-yard punt return average.)

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Marcus Mariota will play against the Colts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota will play for the Titans Monday night against the Colts, a source told me Sunday.

The Titans quarterback strained a hamstring on Oct. 1 while running a touchdown into the end zone in Houston, and while he played a little bit after suffering the injury, the team said it hampered him on an interception.MarcusSmileOAK 1

He didn't play in the second half of that giant loss to the Texans and didn't dress a week later in Miami as Matt Cassel quarterbacked the team in a 16-10 defeat.

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Mailbag: Could a bad result for the Titans Monday mean a lost season?

Now for the mail.

TitansCeilingPK: Until they lose a game that pretty much knocks them out of the playoffs, it's not a lost season. People are very quick to declare. The Titans completely handled the Dolphins in Miami last year to drop the Dolphins to 2-4. Miami then won nine of 10 and went to the playoff. As for Marcus Mariota, the reason for him not to play at whatever percent, is if they believe there is enough of a risk for him to strain it worse.

PK: Some stories are but most are...

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Terry Robiskie's review of offense in Miami is not OK

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coaches are candid and direct and generally unafraid to be honest.

But offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie came up short Thursday when he was asked how he thought Matt Cassel did in Miami.IMG 2809

“I think Matt did pretty good,” Robiskie said. “Well, I shouldn’t say he did pretty good. I think he did OK, and I think the problem is, on our side of the ball, we all did OK and OK wasn’t good enough.”

We don’t want to overly parse words, but OK is misused here.

The Titans produced 10 points, converted two of 13 third downs, gained an average of 3.2 yards per play and a total of 188 net yards, lost two fumbles and committed 10 penalties and two more that were declined.

In total yardage, it was the fifth worst NFL performance of the season by my count.

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Titans Rishard Matthews says he'll quit NFL if anthem rule is changed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans receiver Rishard Matthews has said since President Trump's Sept. 23 comments taking on NFL players protesting during the national anthem that he would kneel until there was an apology.

In three games since, the Titans collectively stayed in the locker room once and Matthews stayed in the locker room and emerged after the anthem twice.

He was asked on Twitter what he'd do if the NFL changed the rules.

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The tweet has since been deleted.

In 2016, Matthews signed a three-year, $15 million contract as a free agent, joining the Titans from Miami.

He's second on the Titans with 20 catches and first with 284 receiving yards.

There is an open locker room later Thursday afternoon and I'll try to follow up with him.

UPDATE, 4 p.m. CT: Matthews was not in the locker room during availability.

I support his right to protest, but I do find it odd that when he's gained chances to expound on things, he's often declined.

When he didn't come out of the locker room until after the anthem at Houston on Oct. 1, he said after the game he was only taking football questions.

He's free to do as he chooses, obviously. But when you skip the anthem or say you'll be done with football if the anthem rule changes, it would seem part of the reason for doing so is to be heard. And now at least twice, with a premium chance to be heard, he's had nothing to say.

It's kind of curious.

I'll look to ask him about that next time he does decide to talk.


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Corey Davis: When I get back, 'it's go time'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An offense lacking much oomph could really benefit from the return of No. 5 overall pick Corey Davis, who’s been out the last three games with a hamstring injury and won’t play Monday night.

Indications from Mike Mularkey are that the receiver has a shot to return Oct. 22 at Cleveland. If not, the Titans then have a bye and he could return Nov. 5 against Baltimore.DavisOAK

His absence has been frustrating for all involved and Mularkey said Davis could give the Titans a boost in every phase of the passing game.

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Marcus Mariota 'absolutely' feels good about chance to play

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans sound more optimistic about Marcus Mariota for the Colts game Monday night than the did last week as the team prepared for a trip to Miami.IMG 2759

But it’ll be at least a couple days, and perhaps Monday, before we have a verdict on whether he’s back from a hamstring injury that knocked him out of the blowout loss in Houston on Oct. 1.

“He did more today than he did last week, so that was a good sign,” Mike Mularkey said. “…He’s got to be able to move around really pretty good to be able to play and not put himself in a position where he’s going to reinjure himself. He’s got to show that by the end of the week.”

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