Colts 30, Titans 27

The SportsXchange

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With a furious third-quarter rally Thursday night, the Indianapolis Colts took control of the AFC South.

Rattling off 17 consecutive points against Tennessee, Indianapolis overcame an 11-point halftime deficit and extended its division lead over the second-place Titans to three games with a 30-27 win at LP Field.

After running back Donald Brown powered 7 yards off left tackle in the middle of the third quarter to slice the Colts' deficit to four, quarterback Andrew Luck faked a pass and rushed 11 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 7:36 left in the third, giving the Colts (7-3) a 20-17 lead.

Luck's score came two plays after Tennessee kickoff returner Devon Wylie, playing his first game for the Titans, ran into his own blocker and fumbled. Indianapolis running back Daniel Herron recovered at the Tennessee 20-yard line.

Kicker Adam Vinatieri added a 50-yard field goal with 1:27 to go in the third quarter, upping the Colts' advantage to six points.

Titans kicker Rob Bironas countered with a 38-yard field goal with 11:39 remaining in the game, making it 23-20.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Colts iced it when Brown burst 11 yards up the middle with 3:01 left, capping an 11-play, 74-yard drive that ate 4 minutes and 40 seconds.

Tennessee (4-6) got a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to tight end Delanie Walker with 1:54 remaining, but linebacker Pat Angerer recovered an onside kick and Indianapolis ran out the clock.

Luck hit on 23 of 36 passes for 232 yards. Fitzpatrick, who replaced starter Jake Locker after Locker suffered a season-ending foot injury on Sunday, connected on 22 of 28 attempts for 222 yards and a touchdown.

Indianapolis tight end Coby Fleener caught eight passes for 107 yards. Brown gained 80 yards on 14 carries.

The same Tennessee offense that sputtered for most of a 29-27 loss Sunday to the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars executed flawlessly on its first two drives Thursday, marching 80 and 68 yards for touchdowns and a 14-0 lead.

Running back Chris Johnson (17 carries, 86 yards) matched his 30-yard output against the Jaguars with his second carry, a TD run off right tackle at the 11:36 mark of the first quarter. Johnson then capped the second scoring drive with a 7-yard run with 4:06 remaining.

Indianapolis got on the board with 11:26 left in the second quarter as Vinatieri nailed a 48-yard field goal. Bironas made it 17-3 with 2:32 remaining in the half on a 25-yard field goal, finishing a 73-yard drive which saw the Colts hand Tennessee first downs on three straight plays, courtesy of personal fouls.

Vinatieri converted a 30-yard field goal as time expired in the half, sending the Titans to the locker room with a 17-6 advantage.

NOTES: Tennessee MLB Moise Fokou missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury that he suffered Oct. 13 in Seattle. Fokou could return for the Titans' game at Oakland on Nov. 24. ... Indianapolis LCB Greg Toler (groin) was inactive for the third straight game after going down in an Oct. 14 loss at San Diego. He was replaced by Cassius Vaughn. ... The Colts were outscored 66-9 over the past three first halves.
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