Titans Six Pack: Things that Stood Out in Loss to Colts

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Here's a look at six things that stood out – good and bad – following Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:

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Mariota stays hot**

Quarterback Marcus Mariota blamed himself for the slow start on offense, but clearly it wasn't all on him. Mariota, in fact, continues to play at a high level. With two touchdown passes, Mariota now has 19 touchdowns vs. only three interceptions in the last seven games. He's completing deep passes with great effectiveness. His passer rating is up to 100.3, which ranks second in the AFC behind New England's Tom Brady (123.3). His improvement is easy to see, and it's a great sign moving forward.

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Morgan's impact**

Linebacker Derrick Morgan has been on a tear of late, and he was especially disruptive on Sunday. Morgan had 1.5 sacks against the Colts, giving him a career-high eight for the season. He also made a great effort on a critical third-and-one stop of Colts running back Frank Gore. According to the folks at Pro Football Focus, Morgan had nine total pressures (in addition to the sacks, two more hits and five hurries) on 29 pass rush snaps. He added two run stops on 22 run snaps.

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Slow starts a killer**

The good news about the Titans is they don't quit. They've fallen behind the Texans (17-3), Chargers (16-0) and Colts (17-6 and 21-0) in games this season, and in every one they've had a chance to win down the stretch. So applaud the fight. With that said, the Titans have to find a way to get out of the gate faster in these game. Slow starts force a team to play near-perfect football late, and the Titans haven't been able to do it.

Up and down defense

The Colts racked up 15 first downs and 250 yards of offense in the first half while scoring 21 points. In the second half, the Titans held Indianapolis to just three first downs and 77 yards. The defensive effort allowed the team to stay in the game, and have a chance to win it. The Titans gave up two plays of 50 yards or more, and a 49-yarder as well. They were big, but Andrew Luck converting some third-and-longs early hurt, too.

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Play of the game**

The Titans had the ball, and the momentum late. While the 4th-and-one stop of running back DeMarco Murray was pretty much the game-ender, the biggest play – and call – happened earlier on the same drive when Mariota ran for 14 yards, to the Indianapolis 7-yard line. The play was called back, however, because of a questionable holding penalty on tight end Anthony Fasano. The flag came late, and from far away, and it proved to be a killer the Titans.

Succop streak

Titans kicked Ryan Succop has been money for the Titans. Succop's 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was big, and it cut Indy's lead to 21-17. Succop has now made 30 consecutive field goals from inside the 50-yard line, dating back to 2014. He already broke Al Del Greco's franchise of 24 consecutive made field goals from inside 50 yards, set from 1995-96.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11 action at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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