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Titans hold off Colts, 24-17

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

An 0-2 start put the Titans in a hole to start the year, but a seemingly weak AFC South kept some hope alive. Two short weeks later, the Titans are 2-2 — winners of their last two.

Tennessee picked up a massive win in Indianapolis today, taking down the Colts to stay in the hunt. It wasn’t pretty, but it was enough.

The Titans have made a habit out of starting fast this year, and that trend continued in Indy. The Tennessee defense got a stop to start, then Ryan Tannehill put the Titans on the board with a touchdown toss to Robert Woods. It was their fourth consecutive touchdown on an opening drive — four for four so far on the year.

A Derrick Henry-heavy drive ended in another score, with Henry taking it in himself from 19 yards out. King Henry is starting to look like King Henry once again.

A quick 14-0 lead put the pressure on the Colts, who were sputtering early on offensively. Chase McLaughlin opened the second quarter by connecting on a 27 yard field goal to get Indy on the board, cutting the lead to 14-3.

Teair Tart came up with the defensive play of the game, batting a ball in the air and coming down with it for his first career interception.

Tannehill extended the lead even further with a touchdown pass to Chig Okonkwo following that pick.

It was all clicking for the Titans, who took a 24-10 lead into halftime. The only blunder? Clock management at the end of the half. Tennessee botched a chance for three points at the buzzer following a Tannehill scramble with no timeouts. That 14 point lead should have been 17.

Right off the bat, those three points were looming large. Ryan marched right down the field to open the third quarter, throwing his second touchdown pass of the day to Mo Alie-Cox.

Another trend continued for the Titans this afternoon — dreadful second half offense. The Colts held the ball for just about the entire third quarter, and the Titans came up with two three and outs in their first two possessions of the half.

Entering the fourth quarter, Tennessee was holding on to a 24-17 lead.

Alie-Cox opened the fourth with a field-flipping catch, putting the Colts in scoring range. Just as things were starting to get tight, Jonathan Taylor coughed up the football. Kristian Fulton recovered it, ending the Colts’ threat.

Tennessee needed something offensively to close this game out — and they had to do it without first round pick Treylon Burks, who was carted off the field early in the fourth quarter.

The Titans picked up one first down, but that was it. A negative run from Henry and a sack ended the drive, and Indianapolis was set to get the ball back with five minutes to play.

And immediately Ryan delivered deep to Alec Pierce. It was an underthrow, and Pierce was able to get free of Caleb Farley to make the play. Suddenly the Colts were threatening again with a chance to tie.

Denico Autry saved the day though, coming up with a sack on a stunt to blow up a third down pass attempt. Indy opted for the field goal, but McLaughlin missed left. The Tennessee lead held firm at 24-17.

It was Chig Okonkwo putting the game on ice. A really nice play from Todd Downing saw him catch a pass out of the backfield to pick up a first down, ending the day for the Colts.

Final score: Titans 24, Colts 17

The Titans have some bad habits and they’re banged up — but they’re alive. Now at 2-2, they’ll head to Washington next Sunday to take on the Commanders.