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Notebook: Brown's big day, stopping Chris Johnson and 20 unanswered points

Intro: The Colts/Titans Notebook looks at the effort of Donald Brown, shutting down Chris Johnson and the nine-minute stretch which turned the game in the Colts favor.





WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU—With all the shuffling the Colts running back position has seen over the last few seasons, the one constant has been Donald Brown.

The veteran running back showed exactly why on Thursday night.

There was Brown carving up the Titans in the second-half, finishing the game with 14 carries for 80 yards.

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"Donnie really did a great job and had a fantastic game," Chuck Pagano said after the game.

"He's one of those guys that's the first to arrive and last to leave. He's running as good or better then he's run since I've been here. The way he's running the football, his vision and the cuts that he's making and the tackles that he's running out of tackles, it's tremendous."

Brown, who was awarded a game ball after the 30-27 win, also added a catch for 14 yards.


During Brown's five seasons in Indianapolis, he has seen his role shift in a variety of ways.

One thing that hasn't changed is the work ethic that earned Brown a first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.

"(Brown) comes to work every day, puts the time in, the ultimate professional and he's reaping the benefits of hard labor," Robert Mathis said.

DEFENSE SHUTS DOWN CHRIS JOHNSON IN SECOND HALF—In struggling out of the gate, the Colts defense was gashed by Chris Johnson.

The Pro Bowl running back had eight carries for 70 yards in scoring a pair of touchdown on the Titans first two possessions.

After that, the Colts defense clamped down and adjusted to some unique looks the Titans offense was giving them.

"We were off balance to start. They came out with something totally out of left field," defensive end Fili Moala said.

"As the gritty team we are, as the hard as nails team that we are, we re-grouped, we made adjustments and played much better in the second half."

Following Johnson's fast start, the Colts then held the electric back to just nine carries for 16 yards the rest of the game.

"At halftime we said, 'Trust your keys. Don't doubt it,' defensive end Ricky Jean Francois said.

"We had to stop the run because once they got that run started, they could get the play-action going and throw it. We just came together and stopped that run. That was the biggest thing."

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NINE-MINUTE STRETCH PROVES TO BE THE DIFFERENCE—When the Colts offense took the field with 2:32 left in the first half, the unit was in a position that's been all to familiar to them lately.

Down 14 points, the Colts were searching for some momentum before the halftime gun.

The unit got it with a scoring drive that ended in an Adam Vinatieri field goal to cut the halftime lead to 11 points with the Colts getting the ball to start the second half.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, the Colts marched 74 yards in 11 plays with Donald Brown scoring from six yards out.

Then on the ensuing kickoff, Titans returner Devon Wylie fumbled the return and new running back Daniel "Boom" Herron pounced the loose ball to give the Colts offense the ball back at the Titans 20-yard line.

Two plays later, Andrew Luck faked a quick pass to the right and kept the ball to himself for an 11-yard touchdown run.

Just like that the Colts had erased an 11-point deficit in nine minutes to take a lead they would not relinquish.

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"Credit these guys and our players for finding a way to go down before the half, get the three points, and then coming out in the second half getting the two touchdown drives," Pagano said after the game.

"Just speaks to their character, their mindset, how tough they are. They were bound and determined to find a way to make amends for the home loss that we had."

With the Colts nursing a one-possession lead, it was up to the defense to hold on as the Colts moved to 7-3 on the year and took a three-game divisional lead.

"Been there been more times then we would like to be but we are able to fight through it," Mathis said of the team coming back.

"It's a division win so that almost counts double. To come in here, get a win, is nothing to sneeze out. I'm proud of the team and it's something to build on."

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