NASHVILLE —It's the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans in a primetime AFC South Showdown on *Monday Night Football.
*Doesn't get much better than that.
The Colts (2-3), coming off an overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers, hope to make it 12 in a row in their series against the Titans (2-3), who fell to the Miami Dolphins last week.
Here are some major plays as they happened each quarter in the game itself:
11:15: The Colts, who won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, had seemingly held the Titans — who got to their own 40 on the kickoff — on their first third down attempt on 3rd and 3 from the Indianapolis 38. But an offsides call on defensive end Margus Hunt would give Tennessee new life, and four plays later, they would connect on a 48-yard Ryan Succop field goal to get off to a 3-0 lead. Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury, showed no real interest in doing anything outside of the pocket on that first drive; he completed his first two short passes for 15 yards before sailing his final two pass attempts.**
Photos from the Monday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans.
6:45:Adam Vinatieri connects from 36 yards out to tie the game at 3. But the play before, on 3rd and 11 from the Tennessee 18, quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw a laser over the middle to Donte Moncrief, who had snuck open over the top of the Titans' defense. But Moncrief could not hold on to the over-the-shoulder pass, giving away a prime touchdown-scoring opportunity. The Colts had a promising opening drive, going 52 yards in nine plays, highlighted by a nine-yard run by Frank Gore to begin the possession, and a 22-yard run by Marlon Mack on the very next play that got Indy to the Tennessee 39.0:47:For a second straight drive to open the game, a Colts' defensive penalty ruined a third-down stop and ultimately led to points for the opposition. This time around, John Simon brought down Mariota for what would've been his third sack of the season on 3rd and 7 from the Tennessee 28, but a holding call on safety Darius Butler gave the Titans a fresh set of downs and new life. They took advantage, marching down the field and connecting on a second field goal, this time from 32 yards out, to jump ahead 6-3.0:00:** At the end of the first quarter, the Titans lead the Colts, 6-3.
10:52: Welcome Back Jack Doyle (WBJD). The tight end, who missed last week's game against the 49ers with a concussion, is on the receiving end of an eight-yard touchdown pass from Brissett, giving the Colts their first lead of the night, 10-6. Brissett continues to show great poise in the pocket for the Indy offense, especially on that nine-play, 73-yard drive that took 4:53 off the clock. A key play came on 3rd and 3 from the Tennessee 42, when Brissett, who had traffic all around him, delivered another strike, this time to T.Y. Hilton, along the left sideline for a 19-yard completion.
4:10: Succop connects from 40 yards out to cut Indy's lead to 10-9. Perhaps the biggest news of that drive for the Colts, however, was the fact cornerback Rashaan Melvin — who is having the best season of his career — was pulled from the game due to an injury concern. Melvin had earlier been accidentally been on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet friendly fire hit from inside linebacker Antonio Morrison; it's yet to be announced what Melvin's actual injury is, however.
0:14: Vinatieri connects again, this time from 25 yards out, to get the Colts' lead up to 13-9. Indianapolis got as far as the Tennessee 6-yard line, but Brissett's two pass attempts on second and third down sailed on his receivers.
0:00: At halftime, the Colts lead the Titans, 13-9. Good news for the defense: Melvin was on the field for the Titans' final play of the half.
13:50: Simon might've had a sack negated in the first half, but he's not done making plays tonight. After the Colts went three-and-out on their opening possession of the third quarter, Simon showed off some sticky hands to pick off Mariota at the line of scrimmage and sprint 26 yards to the end zone for the pick six. It's Simon's first-ever interception, and he knows a little something about the importance of big plays in AFC South games. Vinatieri's extra-point attempt, however, hit off the left post, so the Colts' lead goes to 19-9.**
4:35:A potentially disastrous turnover by the Colts' offense in Indianapolis territory results in only a field goal due to a terrific stand by the defense. Doyle bobbled, and then secured, a catch from Brissett, only to be stripped by Titans linebacker Avery Williamson; the ball was recovered by Tennessee's Wesley Woodyard at the Indianapolis 31. The Titans then struck fast, getting to the 4 on a 27-yard screen pass from Mariota to Rishard Matthews on the ensuing play, but Indy's defense stood strong from there, only eventually allowing a 23-yard Succop field goal. Colts still lead, 19-15.0:00:** At the end of the third quarter, the Colts lead the Titans, 19-15.
10:01: The Titans have completely seized the momentum. DeMarco Murray scores from three yards out to cap an impressive 15-play, 87-yard drive that took 8:24 off the clock for Tennessee, which regains the lead over Indianapolis, 22-19.7:27: Vinatieri's attempt from 52 yards is good, tying the game at 22. On the drive, the Colts' offense actually got its first first down of the entire second half, though a key intentional grounding call on 2nd and 9 set up Indianapolis with a 3rd and 20 from the Tennessee 34 that it couldn't crawl out of. Credit returner Quan Bray with the play of the drive, however, as his 60-yard return, tying a career-best, got his offense into Tennessee territory to get things started.5:29: Mariota hits wide receiver Taywan Taylor, who gets past safety Malik Hooker to break wide open over the top, for a 53-yard touchdown pass, putting Tennessee back on top, 29-22. Quick strike and response for the host Titans.
2:19: On 4th and 1 from the Tennessee 13-yard line, Brissett, on a quarterback keeper to his right, is stopped inches short as he dove falling out of bounds and stretched the ball past the first-down marker — or so the officials ruled. A challenge from Pagano confirmed the ruling on the field, all-but guaranteeing the Titans' first win in their series against the Colts in their last 12 matchups.0:47:Derrick Henry adds the cherry on top for the Titans, rumbling 72 yards to the house to pad the Titans' lead to 36-22. The Colts have now been outscored 85-22 in the fourth quarter of games this season.0:00: It's final: the Titans (3-3) defeat the Colts (2-4), 36-22.