Donald Brown ran for two touchdowns and Andrew Luck added another as the Indianapolis Colts rallied yet again, this time beating the Tennessee Titans 30-27 on Thursday after trailing 0-14 in the first quarter.
Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals, including a 50-yarder, and Coby Fleener had a career-high eight catches for 107 yards to help the Colts (7-3) bounce back quite nicely from a 38-8 home loss to St Louis. They have yet to lose back-to-back games under coach Chuck Pagano and are 8-0 coming off a loss.
“Obviously, starting out like that is something we’re all too familiar with,” Fleener said. “That’s something we have to work and get corrected.”
The Colts are back in charge of the American Football Conference South too, now having beaten all three divisional opponents on the road.
The Titans (4-6) lost their second straight and fifth in six games, blowing the big lead. Chris Johnson ran for two touchdowns and 70 yards in the first quarter, but had only 16 yards after that.
Ryan Fitzpatrick drove the Titans 80 yards in four plays, capping the drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker with 1 minute 54 seconds left.
However, the Titans, just like they did in becoming the first team to lose to Jacksonville this season, could not execute an onside kick with the ball not even covering 10 yards before Colts linebacker Pat Angerer covered it up.
The Colts had the ball for less than six minutes in the first quarter and wound up holding the ball for more than 32 minutes. They also outgained the Titans 366-340 after Tennessee opened with a 148-4 edge in total offense with their quick start.
Indianapolis sealed the victory with an 11-play drive capped by Brown with an 11-yard touchdown with 3m 1s left. That was the Colts’ fourth drive of 11 plays or more. Luck finished 23 of 36 for 232 yards passing.
The Titans came out with the start they only wish they had on Sunday last week when they lost to Jacksonville 27-29. Ryan Fitzpatrick did not turn the ball over once replacing Jake Locker, who is out for the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot.
The Titans were up 17-6 at halftime and looked to be in control as the Colts had a mini meltdown with three personal fouls including one for a head butt by linebacker Erik Walden on Delanie Walker.
The Colts won their fourth straight and for the ninth time in 10 games over their divisional rival with Vinatieri’s 30-yard field goal as the first half expired helping settle the Colts down. That was the first of 20 straight points as they dominated in the third quarter holding the ball for more than 11 minutes in taking a 23-17 lead.
They opened the third quarter with an 11-play drive where Luck completed all five of his passes for 42 yards, including two on third down. Brown capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown.