The Titans and Colts battled it out for first place in the AFC South on Thursday Night Football.
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The Titans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a nice drive orchestrated by Ryan Tannehill. Completions to Khari Blasingame, A.J. Brown, and Corey Davis put the ball inside the five. Tannehill capped things off with a short touchdown pass to D’Onta Foreman (with Derrick Henry lined up as a fullback).
In response, the Colts moved the ball quickly inside the Titans 40, including a converted fourth and one from their own 45, but a few plays later it was fourth and one again. The Colts kept the offense on the field, but Jadeveon Clowney knifed quickly into the backfield to get the stop and take back possession for the Titans.
The Titans had a chance to make a big play despite a huge blown up play for a loss of four yards followed by a false start. A third-and-eleven shot down the sideline was uncharacteristically bobbled and dropped by Brown, who likely runs in a 72-yard touchdown if he hauls in the pass. Titans punted back to Indianapolis.
The Colts put together a nice drive with Philip Rivers hitting T.Y. Hilton, Trey Burton, Zach Pascal, and Michael Pittman along with Nyheim Hines carrying the ball. The Colts moved all the way inside the ten yard line, but a Wilkins drop on third and three brought out Rodrigo Blankenship for a 24-yard field goal.
End 1Q — Titans 7, Colts 3
The Titans responded with a nice drive helped along the way by defensive hold to negate a sack. The drive stalled near the Colts 30-yard line, and Stephen Gostkowski was able to hit a 50-yard try to push the Titans to a 10-3 lead.
The Colts answered right back with a tying touchdown of their own, moving 80 yards in eight plays and taking just 3:23 off the clock. Hines continued to run well, and Rivers found Pittman for the drive’s biggest play, a 30-yard gain to put the ball at the TEN 31. A few plays later, Rivers hit Hines on a short pass, who took it 13 yards and dove for the score.
The Titans didn’t flinch. With Henry warming up, the Titans moved the ball to the Colts’ 35 yard line behind runs of eight and five, with two offsides penalties adding 10 more yards. A pass interference in the end zone put the ball at the one, and the drive was extended further by a roughing the passer penalty. Jonnu Smith ran the next snap in for a touchdown on an end-around to retake the lead for Tennessee with 2:54 left in the half.
The Colts attacked the two-minute drill, with Rivers able to dink and dunk to move quickly down the field. On second and eight from the Titans nine-yard line, DaQuan Jones got to Rivers for a sack with time winding down. Rivers managed to spike it with :01 on the clock, and Blankenship made his second field goal.
End 1H — Titans 17, Colts 13.
To open the second half, Indianapolis marched down the field against the Titans defense with some, but not enough, resistance. After the Colts moved the ball into plus territory, Tennessee forced a pair of fourth downs, but Indianapolis converted both. A stop on third-and-goal from the one brought up a third fourth down try. Indianapolis went for it again, but the Titans goal line defense showed up to make a stand.
After a seven-minute, thirty-six second drive, the Titans offense couldn’t give their defense a break. Henry picked up one first down before Tannehill was sacked on a third-and-one. A disastrous 17-yard punt by Trevor Daniel set up Indianapolis at the TEN 27.
It didn’t take long for the Colts to take advantage. A 21-yard end around set up a touchdown run by Hines two plays later to give the Colts their first lead of the night. The Titans responded with a quick three-and-out after an incompletion on first down — a problem that has plagued the offense all season.
Daniel’s punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. Just like that, Indianapolis was in full control of the game with a 27-17 lead. Henry carried for a first down on third and one to finish off the third quarter.
End 3Q — Titans 17, Colts 27.
Tennessee strung a drive together riding Henry deep into Colts territory. On a run down inside the 15, Nate Davis was flagged for a holding, which brought back the play and derailed the drive. Gostkowski then missed a 44-yard try and Indianapolis took over at their own 26 with 12:11 to play. A facemask penalty and a 40-yard catch and run by Pittman set up first and 10 at the TEN 11. Jacoby Brissett came into the game for a QB sneak on third and one from the two and pushed the pile into the end zone. Colts running away with it, now leading 34-17.
Tannehill found Davis three times in a row to quickly drive down the field, but at the IND 12-yard line, an incompletion on third and three brought up a fourth down. The Titans went for it but failed to convert with 6:52 left. The game was just about over at that point.
The rest of the game was garbage time. The Titans forced the Colts to punt for the first time, and then Logan Woodside came in to run out the clock.
Final: Titans 17, Colts 34.
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