In a key AFC South showdown — the second meeting in three weeks — the Tennessee Titans got a little revenge. Tied at the top of the division, this late-season meeting was a big one as we start to pay attention to the AFC playoff picture.
With so much on the line, of course it was Derrick Henry doing the heavy lifting this afternoon.
It was a track meet early on. Henry got the scoring started to open the first quarter, but Philip Rivers and Trey Burton quickly answered. A.J. Brown kept things going with a 69 yard catch and run for another score, while the Colts put another lengthy drive together to answer once again.
In under 20 minutes of play, 28 points — four touchdowns — went on the board.
Finally midway through the second quarter, each defense forced a punt. It turned out to be a quick breather, as Arthur Smith’s offense went back to work on the ground. It was a hot start for Henry, running behind an offensive line that was controlling the line of scrimmage in the first half.
Henry bounced outside for his second score of the day, giving the Titans a 21-14 lead. It wasn’t long after that until he found the endzone again for his third score of the game.
Tennessee’s defense got another stop before halftime, and the Titans kept their foot on the gas. Tannehill hit a big play over the middle to Corey Davis to convert a 4th and 4 at midfield. On the next play, Tannehill kept it himself on a read option to bring us to a 35-14 score before the break.
It was a dominant half for the Titans, powered by 140 yards from Derrick Henry.
Breon Borders picked off Rivers midway through the third quarter, allowing the Titans to chew clock with Henry and D’Onta Foreman. Stephen Gostkowski hit a field goal from 49 yards out to extend the lead to 38-14.
The fourth quarter began with a deep pass to T.Y. Hilton as the Colts finally got something positive to go their way. Hilton was ruled down inside of the five, but Jacoby Brissett punched in another to cut the lead down to 18. The two-point conversion was failed, keeping us in a three-score game.
Tennessee continued to take the air out of the ball on the next drive. The Titans worked Henry, pushing the clock under six minutes before punting back to Rivers and the Colts.
Hilton added a garbage-time touchdown to cut the lead down to 12, but with 2:34 to play, it didn’t matter. As a matter of fact, A.J. Brown returned the onside kick for another touchdown.
Final Score: Titans 45, Colts 26
Derrick Henry season has officially arrived. The NFL’s leading rusher finished with 27 carries for 178 yards and three scores.
The Titans, now alone in first place of the AFC South return to Nashville next week to take on the Browns (8-3) at noon.