INDIANAPOLIS –First Quarter Recap
The Titans won the toss and chose to defer.
The "Josh Freeman era" in Indianapolis began with a very nice start. A 13-play drive from Freeman included some Wildcat looks by Frank Gore and Phillip Dorsett touching the ball in a variety of ways. Adam Vinatieri's 49-yard field goal gave the Colts a 3-0 lead at the 8:57 mark of the opening quarter.
It was a solid first series for the Colts defense to start the regular season finale. A three-and-out from the unit came with first-down pressure courtesy of safety Dwight Lowery.
With Tennessee's defensive front beginning to assert itself, the Colts went three-and-out on their second offensive possession.
Rookie T.Y. McGill continued his hot play of late with at third-down sack on the Titans next drive.
The first mistake of the game for the Colts came on a third-down pass where a Josh Freeman pass went off the hands of Boom Herron and into the arms of Titans cornerback Da'Norris Searcy.
On the next play, a five-yard quarterback draw from Zach Mettenberger gave the Titans a 7-3 lead at the 2:21 mark of the first quarter.
The Colts then snapped out of things offensively with Josh Freeman delivering a strike down the middle of the field to Coby Fleener for a 57-yard touchdown. The run formation look for the Colts opened up things down the seam for Fleener. The Colts now led 10-7 with 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, the Colts led the Titans 10-7.Second Quarter Recap
A third-down facemask penalty on Erik Walden would prove costly for the Colts to start the second quarter. An 11-play, 80-yard drive ended on a fourth-and-one touchdown run from Titans running back David Cobb. The Titans led the Colts 14-10 with 10:25 to play until halftime.
This one was turning into a first-half shootout. The Colts chipped at the Titans lead with a 52-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri. The 52-yarder gave Vinatieri more than 100 points on the season, extending his NFL-record with 18 seasons of at least 100 points.
The scoring finally slowed down with the two teams trading punts on their next two drives. Pat McAfee's punt did pin the Titans back at their own two-yard line with just more than two minutes left in the first half.
A quick three-and-out by the Titans gave the ball back to the Cotls at their own 42-yard line with 1:39 left in the half.
Backup quarterback Ryan Lindley, who the team signed on Tuesday, entered on this two-minute drive. Lindley led the Colts on an eight-play, 57-yard drive and got some big-time play making from Andre Johnson. An 18-yard touchdown catch by Johnson included the vet stretching the ball out across the pylon for the score.
At halftime, the Colts led the Titans 20-14.
Third Quarter Recap
The late-half momentum created by the Colts spilled into the third quarter. A batted ball by blitzing safety Dwight Lowery fell into the hands of Jerrell Freeman and returned 23 yards for a touchdown. The Colts lead was 27-14 with 14:19 left in the third quarter.
With Zach Mettenberger dealing with a forearm injury, the Titans turned to backup Alex Tanney, who spent a portion of 2015 on the Colts practice squad. Tanney's first drive ended with a 49-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop. The Colts lead was now 27-17 with 7:30 left in the third.
The Colts first offensive series of the third quarter finally came at the midway point. It ended in a Pat McAfee punt with Josh Freeman back at quarterback.
The third quarter came to an end with the Titans punting the ball back to the Colts.
At the end of the third quarter, the Colts led the Titans 27-17.Fourth Quarter Recap
Tennessee wouldn't go quietly. After another Colts punt, Alex Tanney led the Titans on a 59-yard touchdown drive, hitting wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham for a five-yard touchdown. The Colts lead was 27-24 with 11:07 remaining.
With the Colts clinging to a three-point lead, the two teams would punt on their next two offensive drives. They got the ball back at midfield with 8:27 left in the fourth quarter.
It was effective four-minute offense time for the Colts. It was a 13-play, 6:02-drive that ended with a 35-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri, pushing the Colts lead to 30-24 with 2:25 remaining.
The Colts got one final defensive stop on Sunday to end the season with a .500 record.
With Houston's (9-7) win over Jacksonville on Sunday, the Colts (8-8) did not make the postseason for just the third time in the last 17 years.
64-Kelcy QuarlesColts Pre-Game Notes
-If the Colts do not make the playoffs this season, it will mark just the third time they will have missed the postseason in the past 17 years.
-Josh Freeman will start at quarterback for the Colts.Weather Update
-With temperatures in the 30s, the roof and window is closed today at Lucas Oil Stadium.