INDIANAPOLIS –When running back Donald Brown received the handoff from quarterback Dan Orlovsky with 3:43 remaining in the game, ball security and keeping the clock moving were the two most important things on his mind.
The Titans had just cut the Colts lead to seven points but with no timeouts left, the Colts had the chance to run off the final three and a half minutes to seal the victory.
On the Colts' first play following the touchdown, Brown took the handoff and ran right before penetration from the Titans defense forced him into the backfield. He was staring an almost inevitable loss on the play.
Brown was not going to be denied as he cut back to the left of the line of scrimmage and thanks to a few crucial blocks from quarterback Dan Orlovsky and wide receiver Reggie Wayne, he was able to keep his balance down the left sideline for the game-clinching 80-yard touchdown run.
Offensive tackle Ryan Diem could not help but give a sheepish grin when asked if that was the design of the play.
"Just the way we drew it up…not really," Diem said with a laugh. "It's one of those plays where if we go back and look at it, I doubt that any of us got our jobs accomplished real well but he made us all look good, more power to him. It was an unbelievable play and I just couldn't believe when I looked up and saw him running down the field."
Brown did most of the work himself once he bounced it out to the left sideline, but he received a pair of blocks from non-offensive linemen that sprung the play. His quarterback got a piece of Titans safety Michael Griffin in the backfield and Wayne provided a downfield block that broke the play open.
"The offensive line did a great job," Brown said. "Dan Orlovsky threw a block. Reggie (Wayne) threw a key block, so it was just a flat out offensive team effort and the guys did a phenomenal job."
Perhaps the most unlikely of blocks made was by Orlovsky. As Brown began to reverse field, it was the block of a fellow Connecticut Husky that allowed the play to turn from eating up the clock into the Colts' third touchdown of the afternoon.
"I saw Don (Brown) go and kind of cut back," Orlovsky said. "To be honest it is something that you kind of always think about, if you are given that opportunity, it is kind of rare. I was in the right place at the right time kind of thing. Donald made a great run. A lot of credit goes to him and the guys up front on it."
The 80-yard run touchdown run, which tied a club record for longest run set in 1964, culminated a career day for Brown as he carried the ball 16 times for 161 yards. Heading into the touchdown run, Brown had been averaging 5.1 yards a carry on the afternoon. The long score helped the team achieve a season-high 205 yards on the ground.
"Obviously when you are missing Peyton (Manning) you've got to find a few things that will work, and we were able to utilize some guys in the run game differently," Diem said. "We started using a fullback a little more and that has definitely opened up some opportunities to run a lot. Donald (Brown) had a fantastic day today, obviously a couple long runs makes us feel great about the run game."
The Colts out-gained the Titans 205-66 on the ground, while averaging six yards a carry. Establishing the run was evident from the opening snap as wide receiver Pierre Garcon ran for eight yards on a reverse.
Rookie running back Delone Carter also was in on the rushing act, converting a pair of third-and- ones on the Colts' lone scoring drive in the first half.
"It was just a great team effort, defense, special teams and offense. It just feels great to get a win underneath our belt," Brown said. "It's a huge confidence boost and relief. We get to go home and smile for once."
With running back Joseph Addai battling injuries through much of the season, Brown's role has increased significantly since week five. His 586 yards on the season is a career-high and his 161-yard afternoon is the highest the Colts have had since Addai ran for 171 yards against Philadelphia in 2006.
Brown and Orlovsky's time at Connecticut missed overlapping by one year, but the running back invited his quarterback into his home once the Colts signed him just prior to training camp.
"I think the world of him, as a football player, more as a person," Orlovsky said of Brown. "He is a guy I feel gets better with every carry. He starts to run better as the game goes on. His eyes, I think get better. I don't know how to play running back, but I feel when he gets the touches he can make plays. He continues to do that. I have been living at his house for four months rent free. I told him the hip check was the least I could do. I am happy for him."