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Why Wide receiver Alec Pierce's 100-yard receiving game against Titans was a testament to the importance of patience

Sunday's game was the first time in Pierce's career he has topped 100-receiving yards. He also scored his first touchdown in nearly a year against Tennessee.

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In a season where Michael Pittman Jr. has been the Colts' go-to receiver and Josh Downs has established himself as one of the top rookie wideouts in the NFL, it felt like it was just a matter of time before Alec Pierce had his breakout game.

His time came this Sunday in the Colts' 31-28 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans when Pierce reminded everyone why he's one of the best young deep threats in the league. With the help of two pivotal receptions of 35-plus yards, Pierce had his first 100-yard receiving game of his career. He also reached the end zone for the first time since last December.

Knowing all the hard work Pierce puts in, fellow wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. said it couldn't have happened to a better guy.

"I am so proud of him," Pittman said. "I am so excited for him because he's just worked so hard and people kind of like wrote him off, but he's doing everything right. And so, it's just really great to see him have that success in a big game. I'm just so proud of him."

Pierce got to work early on Sunday when he scored a touchdown on the Colts' first offensive drive. To do so, Pierce beat Titans' cornerback Kristian Fulton and safety Elijah Molden on a go route for the 36-yard score.

"It's super gratifying," Pierce said. "It's been a lot of adversity, so it definitely feels good."

With the exception of a reception for nine yards, Pierce was quiet for the rest of regulation. However, he remained confident that he would get another chance to make a big play.

"The opportunities are limited, so if you don't make the play then you don't have a good game," Pierce said. "So, it's like when the ball comes your way, you got to be able to make the play. The biggest thing mentally is just staying in it. They could throw you one in the first quarter or not come back to me until the fourth quarter. It's like, you just got to be ready to make that play and make that impact whenever you can."

His next chance came with 3:05 left in overtime. Trailing 28-25, the Colts were in need of a big play if they were going to give themselves a chance to win the game.

So, on first-and-10 at their own 41-yard line, quarterback Gardner Minshew looked Pierce's way again, this time for a 55-yard pass that set the Colts up all the way at the Titans' four-yard line. Two plays later, Minshew hit Pittman in the back of the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown.

Proud of the way Pierce was able to set the team up with excellent field position, head coach Shane Steichen said that the second-year receiver's patience paid off.

"He had the big one there [which] was huge to get us down there at the four-yard line," Steichen said. "But he keeps working, he keeps grinding and then you know, it takes some time every once in a while, but today was his opportunity and he made the most of it."

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