Everyone is going to look at what the Indianapolis Colts’ defense did to the Tennessee Titans only holding them to 14 points, picking Ryan Fitzpatrick off three times and sacking him once en route to a 22-14 victory. However, one guy who’s going to get overlooked is linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Most will point to Robert Mathis‘ sack/fumble or Cassius Vaughn‘s two interceptions as the keys, but it was Freeman who made the plays for the Colts to win.
In the first half, it looked like Freeman had played himself out of the lineup. He whiffed at Titans running back Chris Johnson on second down, which led to him taking it to the goal line, setting up Tennessee’s first score of the game. Then in the second half with Tennessee facing third-and-long, he again whiffed but this time on Fitzpatrick allowing, him to scramble to a first down.
Luckily, he stepped up afterwards. Mathis did sack Fitzpatrick and force the fumble, but it was Freeman who recovered and took it deep in Titans’ territory. He was in the right spot at the right time, and made a great play picking up the ball and taking off. Then on the final possession of the game with the Titans threatening to score to tie it, Freeman picked off Fitzpatrick to end the game. That’s two crucial game-changing plays Freeman was a part of.
He also led the team in tackles today with nine (five of them solo). If he can put the effort he had in the second half, then the Colts may be alright.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru.