Thursday Night Football: Second half surge carries Colts to 34-17 win over Titans

Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts Defense and special teams clamped down on the Tennessee Titans and helped spark a second-half scoring blitz in a 34-17 victory on the road Thursday night.

The Titans were held scoreless in the second half as a trio of special teams mistakes helped the Colts steam away for the victory.

Despite trailing 17-13 at halftime, the Colts gained control of the game in the third quarter. A shanked punt from Trevor Daniel traveled just 17 yards before going out of bounds and giving the Colts a short field at the Titans’ 27-yard line. It took Indianapolis just four plays before Nyheim Hines scored on a 2-yard touchdown run as the Colts took a 20-17 lead.

After forcing a three-and-out, Daniel had a punt blocked by E.J. Speed and returned six yards for a touchdown by T.J. Carrie as the Colts lead grew to 27-17.

After a 12-play, 52-yard drive, Stephen Gostowski missed a 44-yard field goal wide right to preserve the 10-point lead for the Colts.

A 40-yard pass from Rivers to Michael Pittman set up a 2-yard quarterback sneak touchdown run by Jacoby Brissett as Indianapolis slammed the door shut. A last chance to mount a comeback for Tennessee ended with a turnover on downs inside the Colts red zone.

It wasn’t all defense and special teams for the Colts either. Indianapolis out-gained the Titans by a 430-294 margin on Thursday night.

Hines scored two touchdowns – one rushing, one receiving – and racked up 115 yards from scrimmage for Indianapolis. Philip Rivers completed 29 of 39 passes for 308 yards with the touchdowns to Hines to carry the night for the Colts’ offense. Michael Pittman also caught seven passes for 101 yards.

The Titans did strike first with D'Onta Foreman scoring on a 5-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead.

Rodrigo Blankenship and Gostkowski traded field goals before Rivers and Hines connected for a 13-yard touchdown to even the game at 10-10 in the second quarter. Tennessee retook the lead on a 1-yard jet sweep touchdown run from tight end Jonnu Smith to grab a 17-10 advantage.

Blankenship’s 43-yard field goal to end the half would trim the deficit to four before the defense took control after the break.

Tannehill completed 15 of 27 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Henry carried 19 times for 103 yards for the Titans.

Colts defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad was ejected in the closing minutes for Indianapolis after punching Titans tackle Ty Sambrailo.

19 responses to “Thursday Night Football: Second half surge carries Colts to 34-17 win over Titans

  1. Another horrible display of football every week I keep watching hoping things will improve, but so far no luck

  2. That’s the first Titans game I’ve seen in a long time, but I don’t get the hype around Vrabel. The Titans defense is soft as can be. The offense is incredibly vanilla and predictable. And the special teams are a joke. Vrabel just aimless looks around like a lost puppy the whole game.

  3. Really enjoyed that defensive performance by the Colts. They owned the line of scrimmage all game and their secondary jam receivers hard. As a Seahawks fan, I was envious of that secondary. Good game. Love an excellent defensive performance.

  4. @arealisticpackerfan
    The TD’s plays were creative with Henry as a decoy each time but i can see why you say that.
    I found the playcalling “shy”. Seems like they were trying to control the pace of the game a la Patriots against the Jets.
    Maybe they were afraid by the well-earned reputation of that Colts’ D.
    “Vrabel just aimless looks around like a lost puppy the whole game”
    Mmh you forgot thet were 17-13 with a big 4th down stand on their line.
    After, well that escalated quickly…
    The Titans’ D is inconsistent at best. They gave up an alley for Brisset’s QB sneak.

  5. The kicking game was bad but the defense still cant get it done … a blown chance to take control of the division.

  6. Yikes! The Titans special teams blew up! The blocked punt was not the punters fault. The blown blocking assignment was the cause. The shanked punt will probably earn him a bus ticket out of town, poor guy. I had no skin in the game, so overall I thought it was an entertaining game.

  7. This, combined with Tagovailoa’s play as a rookie, should help quell some of the ‘They should have kept Tannehill’ talk coming from Dolphin fans.

  8. I commented in the power rankings that the Titans barely beat some bad teams for the majority of their wins. Now they get spanked by the Colts who I would call decent but not great. This team better get their S together or they will be going nowhere fast. At this point they kinda seem like frauds.

  9. The Titans offense can’t handle a good defense . Fortunately there are enough bad defenses out there for them to make a playoff run but it will end as soon as they play a team with a good defense . No matter how much you pay Tannehill it doesn’t change the fact he’s an average QB .

  10. As a chiefs fan I tuned in to check up on Old Man Rivers, it’s been weird not dealing with him this year. Glad to see he’s playing well.

  11. Not to make things overly simplified but the Titans were unbeaten when Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan tore his ACL. Since then they have lost 3 of 4 games and the offense hasn’t scored 30 points in any of the four. In the first six games with Lewan starting they scored 30+ points five times. I know the NFL is a no excuse zone but injuries do matter.

  12. Who is good this year? Everyone has been up and down and even the best teams are just a little luck away from having lost 2-3 games.

    Maybe things will tighten up in the second half of the season, but at this point it looks like the playoffs could be very unpredictable this year.

  13. dangerruss1919 says:
    November 13, 2020 at 1:36 am
    Really enjoyed that defensive performance by the Colts. They owned the line of scrimmage all game and their secondary jam receivers hard. As a Seahawks fan, I was envious of that secondary. Good game. Love an excellent defensive performance.
    ——————————————–
    Then you must have really loved watching the Raven’s defense smother the Colts last Sunday πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.