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Second-half surge earns crucial Colts road win

Posted Nov 14, 2013

Intro: Thanks to 20 unanswered points, the Colts pulled off yet another comeback win. The 30-27 win over the Titans on Thursday night gives Indianapolis a three-game lead in the AFC South with six weeks left in the season.



INDIANAPOLIS— Make it eight “bounce back” wins in the Chuck Pagano era.

 

An early 14-0 deficit took some time to dig out of, but the pesky Colts (7-3) did it with 20 unanswered points in earning a 30-27 victory in Nashville on Thursday night.

 

It was yet another slow start for the Colts as Titans (4-7) running back Chris Johnson ran for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns on Tennessee’s first two drives.

 

Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri would kick two second quarter field goals, sandwiched around a Titans field goal, to bring the halftime score to 17-6 in favor of the home Titans.

 

Vinatieri’s field goal at the halftime gun gave the Colts some momentum that would only grow in the second half.

 

The Colts took the opening kickoff to start the third quarter and marched down the field before Donald Brown scored from six yards out, thanks to beautiful blocks by left tackle Anthony Castonzo and pulling center Samson Satele.

 

On the ensuing kickoff, new running back Daniel “Boom” Herron pounced on a Titans fumble and the Colts had great field positioning at the Titans 20-yard line.

 

Just two plays later there was Luck faking a quick pass to the right and keeping the ball for an 11-yard touchdown run, the ninth rushing score of his NFL career.

 

With a three-point lead, the Colts played keep away and milked the clock behind Donald Brown’s 14 carries for 80 yards and some timely third-down conversions.

 

Vinatieri added field goals of 50 and 35 yards to pad the second-half lead before Brown scored on an 11-yard run to make it 30-20 with 3:01 remaining.

 

The 50-yard field goal by Vinatieri ties a single-season career-high of four field goals of at least 50 yards for the 18-year veteran.

 

In typical Colts “team” fashion, it was the defense who buckled down to hold Chris Johnson to 16 rushing yards on his final nine carries.

 

Colts tight end Coby Fleener recorded career-highs with 8 catches for 107 yards on Thursday night.

 

With the win, the Colts have swept their road slate of games in the AFC South and have taken a three-game lead over the Titans in the division.

 

The Colts will now have 10 days off before traveling to Arizona to take on former interim head coach Bruce Arians and the 5-4 Cardinals.

 

SCORING RECAP

           

FIRST QUARTER (11:36 remaining)

After Chris Johnson was quiet for nearly the entire opening drive, the speedster broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick converted a pair of third-down attempts on crossing routes to keep the drive alive. Titans kicker Rob Bironas hit the extra point.  Titans 7, Colts 0

 

FIRST QUARTER (4:06 remaining)

Johnson continues to carve up the Colts defense. Johnson’s seven-yard touchdown run capped off eight carries for 70 yards after the first two drives for the Pro Bowl running back. On an early third-and-seven, Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick converted a 14-yard completion under immense pressure to tight end Delanie Walker. Bironas connected on the extra point. Titans 14, Colts 0

           

SECOND QUARTER (11:26 remaining)

With the Colts starting at their own five-yard line, the offense drove into Titans territory before kicker Adam Vinatieri hit a 48-yard field goal. Andrew Luck converted a third-and-seven early in the drive to T.Y. Hilton. The 17-yard catch by Hilton was his first of the game. A false start penalty stalled the Colts drive.  Titans 14, Colts 3

 

SECOND QUARTER (2:32 remaining)

The Colts came into Thursday night leading the league in fewest committed penalties but back-to-back personal fouls resulted in 27 yards and aided the Titans immensely on this drive. Eventually, Bironas kicked a 25-yard field goal. Titans 17, Colts 3

 

SECOND QUARTER (0:00 remaining)

The Colts ran out the rest of the first half clock with a drive that ended on a 30-yard field goal by Vinatieri. On the drive, Luck was 6-of-9 for 62 yards but a third-down sack in the final minute forced the field goal try. Titans 17, Colts 6

 

THIRD QUARTER (8:33 remaining)

The Colts put together their best drive of the evening to open up the second half. Donald Brown continued his fine night with a six-yard touchdown run. On the drive, Luck had a 13-yard run and two third-down conversions to Hilton and Griff Whalen respectively. Vinatieri added the extra point. Titans 17, Colts 13

 

THIRD QUARTER (7:36 remaining)

Tennessee fumbled the ensuing kickoff and new running back Daniel “Boom” Herron pounced on the loose ball. Starting at the Titans 20-yard line, the Colts needed just two plays for another touchdown. Luck pump faked a quick pass to the right and kept the ball for an 11-yard touchdown run. Vinatieri converted the extra point.  Colts 20, Titans 17

 

THIRD QUARTER (1:27 remaining)

The Colts kept momentum with a 50-yard field goal by Vinatieri. The drive included a pair of Coby Fleener catches and the second-year tight end now has six catches for 54 yards on the evening. The 50-yarder ties a career-high for Vinatieri of four field goals of at least 50 yards.  Colts 23, Titans 17

 

FOURH QUARTER (11:39 remaining)

An 11-play drive by the Titans ended with Bironas connecting on a 38-yard field goal. Fitzpatrick had a third-down to tight end Delanie Walker on the drive but a holding penalty halted the drive in the Colts red zone.   Colts 23, Titans 20

 

FOURH QUARTER (3:01 remaining)

With an 11-play, 74-yard drive, the Colts did everything they could do to put the game away. It was Brown’s 11-yard touchdown run, his second of the night, that pushed the lead to 10 points. Brown now has 14 carries for 79 yards. Vinatieri converted the extra point.   Colts 30, Titans 20

 

FOURH QUARTER (1:54 remaining)

Needing two scores in the game’s final three minutes, Fitzpatrick found his tight end Walker for a 19-yard touchdown. Walker finished the game with 10 catches for 91 yards. Bironas hit the extra point.   Colts 30, Titans 23


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