After a huge comeback win in overtime last week in Seattle, the Titans returned home for their first divisional game of the year against the 0-2 Colts. It was a big spot for Indianapolis, which badly needed to find a way today to avoid falling to 0-3.
Carson Wentz got the start today despite missing plenty of practice during the week, nursing two sprained ankles.
The Titans started the scoring early, with Ryan Tannehill finding Chester Rogers on a slant for the touchdown. Indianapolis responded with with an efficient nine-play drive, capped off by a Nyheim Hines touchdown run. Tannehill responded to grab the lead back at 14-7, tossing a touchdown to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
A.J. Brown left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return.
Still, Tennessee was threatening to take control of the game before the halftime break, but a bad bounce changed the complexion of this game. Tannehill was picked off after his pass bounced off of Rogers and into the hands of the Colts. That took potential points off of the board for the Titans, and handed the Colts a free three points.
Indianapolis would add three more to open the third quarter, giving us a 14-13 score.
The Titans needed an answer suddenly, and Tannehill got their next drive off and running with a big scramble to flip the field. Just as they entered the redzone, Westbrook-Ikhine fumbled at the Colts’ five yard-line, and Indianapolis recovered.
It was the third turnover of the day for the Titans, who continued to let the Colts hang around. Thankfully for Tennessee, a well timed blitz paid off as Harold Landry and Ola Adeniyi got home for the sack.
Todd Downing fired up Henry to open the fourth quarter, who inched closer to his fourth consecutive 100 yard game against the Colts. A big DPI call set up the Titans inside of the Indy ten. On a big third and goal, Tannehill found Jeremy McNichols in the flats who squeaked inside of the pylon for the score.
Mike Vrabel went for two and converted with Derrick Henry, taking us from a seven point game to a nine point, two-score game at 22-13.
Tennessee held the Colts to a field goal on the next drive, which did bring us back to a one-score game at 22-16. The Titans had a couple of big redzone stands, and this was another big moment for that group.
Still, the Titans needed one final answer to put this one on ice. With Brown and now Julio Jones sidelined, Downing turned to Derrick Henry. A ten yard run and a ten yard reception took the Titans to midfield as Tennessee began chewing down the clock. Tannehill moved the sticks twice more, finding MyCole Pruitt and then scrambling again.
The drive stalled with three minutes left in the game, but Randy Bullock was able to split the sticks to make it a 25-16 game, essentially ending this one.
Indianapolis was able to get into field goal range with one minute left, but Rodrigo Blankenship missed from 51 yards out.
Final Score: Titans 25, Colts 16
Derrick Henry ended up with 113 yards on the ground, shouldering the load for a banged up receiving core. Ryan Tannehill also made a huge difference, while Nick Westbrook-Ikhine stepped up and delivered four big catches for 53 yards.
The Titans (2-1) will hit the road again next week to face the Jets in New York.