NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans never turned the ball over, but they couldn't move the ball when it mattered most, falling to 1-1 with a 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Mariota completed 19 of his 28 pass attempts for 154 yards, but failed to complete four of his last seven attempts, including his final one on a fourth-down play at the Indianapolis 45 in the final minute. His only touchdown came on a tackle-eligible pass to offensive lineman David Quessenberry in the second quarter.
QB breakdown: Mariota had a tough day. He was under constant duress and was sacked four times. At times, Mariota looked a little shell-shocked and tucked the ball to protect himself for what seemed like an inevitable quarterback takedown by a Colts defender. He has to get rid of the ball a little bit quicker to his receivers when the offensive line is giving up pressure, as the Titans did against Indianapolis. Offseason free-agent addition Adam Humphries was supposed to be the player who would help Mariota and the quick passing game, but the Mariota-Humphries connection was nonexistent. Mariota found Corey Davis a couple of times, including a precise throw on play-action that gained 25 yards.
Troubling trend: The Titans defense gave up a touchdown on the opening drive for the second week in a row. The Colts marched 78 yards on seven plays over 4 minutes and 19 seconds. Tight end Eric Ebron picked up an early first down on a third-and-13 when he caught a pass in the flat and hurdled a Titans defender. Ebron capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown catch. Until the final minutes Tennessee's defense was able to buckle down, but it can't continue to give up touchdowns on the opposing offense's first possession.
Describe the game in two words: Smash mouth. The game featured old-school football, with the Colts' rushing attack and the Titans defense battling. Derrick Henry's pounding rushing ability fueled Tennessee's offense.
Pivotal play: Tajae Sharpe had a chance to convert a first down for the Titans, but failed to do so on third-and-10 with 4:28 left in the game. Sharpe picked up nine yards but simply had to fall forward to convert the first down instead of taking a step back. The Colts took over after a 45-yard punt by Brett Kern.
Bold prediction for next week: Humphries will lead the Titans in receiving against Jacksonville. Tennessee struggled to get Humphries the ball in the first two weeks of the season. That has to change.