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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thoughts on Titans, Colts on Saturday

By Paul Kuharsky

We bounced between the Titans-Vikings and Colts-Rams games Saturday night on the Internet, trading focus on one in exchange for a sense of both.

A quick reaction to each …

Tennessee Titans 14, Minnesota Vikings 3

Significant action for a first-round rookie quarterback before halftime is about as interesting a thing as there can be in the preseason, and Jake Locker relieved Matt Hasselbeck early and played to the half.

Locker was solid. A miscommunication on one throw to Marc Mariani left me wondering if the receiver broke the wrong way or the quarterback threw to the wrong spot. But even when Locker dropped a snap, good things happened for him. He picked the ball up, moved to his right and found Yamon Figurs for a 45-yard touchdown.

Locker made several good throws and reacted well to pressure, finishing 7-for-10 for 89 yards and the score. The Titans didn’t give the ball away, took it away twice, minimized the miscues and didn’t suffer badly for them.

So in Mike Munchak’s first preseason game at a head coach, the Titans showed the sort of discipline and poise he and his staff have preached. They’ll find plenty to pick apart but plenty to build on too. They had to be pleased overall.

St. Louis Rams 33, Indianapolis Colts 10

With Peyton Manning on the sideline in street clothes, the Colts saw Curtis Painter start and Dan Orlovsky play the bulk of the game. Painter threw one pick, and Orlovsky two, helping position the Rams for short, easy scoring drives. St. Louis scored on seven of its first nine possessions.

Indianapolis doesn’t typically put a lot of emphasis on preseason results and the Colts got little going on either side of the ball.

Twelve first downs, just 10 pass completions and only two third-down conversions are hardly numbers the Colts will be happy about as they rehash the game in the offensive meetings rooms.

The defense was put in bad spots by the turnovers and was on the field for 34:18. Rams starting quarterback Sam Bradford had time to make decisions unhurried and St. Louis quarterbacks were not sacked.

But the Colts will hardly pull out any hair over how things went -- a veteran team is used to such results in the preseason, and minus Manning it was hardly a surprise.