The streak is over. The Titans have beaten the Colts for the first time since 2011. Here’s how it went down.
For once, the Tennessee Titans jumped out to an early lead. It was just a field goal, but getting points on the first drive has been an issue for the team lately. Mariota started the game and looked decent, leading a drive into Colts’ territory. The drive stalled, but Ryan Succop was able to boot one through to give the Titans a 3-0 lead.
A big run from Marlon Mack had the Colts off and running immediately. Jacoby Brissett threw what should have been a touchdown up the seam, but Donte Moncrief dropped it. Adam Vinatieri was able to tie the game at 3-3.
The big plays continued as Mariota was able to hit Eric Decker and DeMarco Murray for big chunks. Once again the drive stalled, but Succop finished it off with three more to make it 6-3.
The Colts were finally able to push one drive to the endzone. Jacoby Brissett picked the Titans apart, hitting Jack Doyle for the score to take the lead. Marcus Mariota put together a decent drive to answer, but once again stalled deep in Colts’ territory. Ryan Succop added his third field goal of the night to bring the score back to a 10-9 Colts lead.
Right on cue, Brissett walked right back down the field. Dick LeBeau chose to rush four the entire drive and it bit the Titans. Thankfully, Adoree’ Jackson was able to cut off T.Y. Hilton in the endzone, which forced a 4th down. Vinatieri added another field goal to give the Colts a 13-9 lead at halftime.
The Titans forced their first punt of the game to open the third quarter. Marcus Mariota opened with a first down quick pass, but John Simon hung back, read it and plucked it out of the sky at the line of scrimmage. It was an odd play, but Simon was able to take it back for six. The extra point was missed, but the damage was done. The Colts took a 19-9 lead.
After that, the offense got the ball back and — you guessed it — added another field goal. The drive stalled after an Eric Decker drop. The Titans pulled to within 7 points with Succop’s 4th field goal of the game.
After trading a couple of punts, Avery Williamson made a massive play. He stripped Jack Doyle and the Titans recovered in Colts’ territory. Mariota hit Rishard Matthews on a big screen down to the 4. Derrick Henry got a carry to the 2, then the Titans got cute with a Delanie Walker sweep that lost 3 yards. Mariota missed Walker in the endzone on third down, forcing yet another field goal.
19-15 was your new score.
Once again, the Titans got a stop. Methodically, Marcus Mariota drove the team down the field. Quick passes kept the sticks moving, until a 4th and 1 at midfield. Mike Mularkey opted to go for it and got it with a quarterback sneak. Back to back negative plays put the Titans in a tough 3rd and 12, though. But Mariota converted to Rishard Matthews.
Mariota checked down to Derrick Henry on the next play, getting the ball to the Indy 14. DeMarco Murray took the next four carries and finished this drive. Hats off to Murray for finishing that drive, too. It was some tough sledding, but the Titans had to have it. It was a 15 play, 87 yard drive for Tennessee.
The Titans regained the lead with that one, 22-19.
Quan Bray took the following kickoff 60 yards, however. The Colts were moving, but got burned on a Brissett intentional grounding call. Vinatieri hit another field goal to tie the game at 22 all.
Then this happened.
That bomb from Mariota to Taylor gave the Titans a 29-22 edge, but the Colts had an answer.
Brissett got rolling as the Titans’ defense got soft again. They got all the way down to the 13, but faced a 4th and 1. The Colts dialed up a bootleg for Brissett, but Wesley Woodyard was able to track him down and stop him short.
There was 2:19 left when the Titans took over. Derrick Henry picked up a first down on a 2nd and 8 play coming out of the two minute warning. That wrapped things up for the Titans. Henry added a 72 yard touchdown run, just because.
The Titans improve to 3-3 and are now tied with the Jaguars and Texans for the division lead. What a huge, gutsy win for the Titans — and especially Marcus Mariota.