Titans at Colts: Live Updates and Analysis

The matchup between 7-3 teams at Lucas Oil Stadium will end with one team alone in first place in the AFC South.
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The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts meet for the second time in 17 days as they continue their battle for first place in the AFC South.

This one takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts are 4-1 this season. In their four victories, they have scored 28 or more points.

The Titans are 3-1 on the road this season. They are one of two AFC teams (Cincinnati is the other) that have played fewer than five away games through the first 11 weeks of the season.

TOP STORYLINES

• Both teams are 7-3, and the winner will have sole possession of first place in the division. If it is the Colts, they also will have the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker by virtue of a sweep of the season series.

• Indianapolis is dealing with a small COVID-19 outbreak that has taken some big names out of this game. Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and running back Jonathan Taylor, the Colts’ leading rusher, were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list in recent days. Defensive end Denico Autry, the team’s leader in sacks, will miss his second straight game because of the coronavirus.

• Tennessee running back Derrick Henry has rushed for 100 yards or more in seven straight road games, which is tied for the third longest over the past 60 years. Second place is former Titans running back Chris Johnson with eight (Oct. 18, 2009-Oct. 18, 2010). Henry’s streak started Dec. 1, 2019 at Indianapolis (149 yards) and includes every road game this season.

WORDS OF WISDOM

“They know us, we know them. It's going to be a matter of who can go out and execute and play the cleanest football game.” – Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Coming soon, kickoff.

FIRST QUARTER

Indianapolis won the toss and deferred its option until the second half. Tennessee will get the ball first.

(15:00) It’s a touchback. Titans’ ball at the 25.

(8:18) Derrick Henry’s 12-yard touchdown reception caps a smooth, swift opening possession. The offense went 53 yards in eight plays before it finally faced a third down. On third-and-1 from the 20, Ryan Tannehill connected with tight end Geoff Swaim for 8 yards. Henry scored on the next snap. Scoring drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:48. TENNESSEE 7, INDIANAPOLIS 0

Two weeks ago, the Titans took the opening kickoff and went 67 yards in six plays for a touchdown. They scored just one other touchdown the rest of the contest.

(6:05) The Colts keep their opening drive alive with a 2-yard run by quarterback Jacoby Brissett on fourth-and-1 from their own 48. Indianapolis was 3-for-5 on fourth down in the last meeting.

(2:40) Indianapolis makes the fourth-down conversion pay off and answers Tennessee’s touchdown with one of its own, this one an 11-yard reception by tight end Trey Burton on third-and-7. Scoring drive: 12 plays, 75 yards, 6:38. TENNESSEE 7, INDIANAPOLIS 7

(0:22) First-and-15 after a penalty? No problem. Tannehill throws a 10-yard pass to A.J. Brown, who turns it into a 69-yard touchdown reception, and the Titans are back on top. Scoring drive: 4 plays, 75 yards, 2:25. TENNESSEE 14, INDIANAPOLIS 0

This is the third time this season the Titans have scored 14 first-quarter points. The other two were against the other two AFC South teams (Jacksonville in Week 2, Houston in Week 6).

That was A.J. Brown’s eighth touchdown reception of the season, which tied his team-leading total from a year ago.

SECOND QUARTER

(12:58) Looks like we’re in for a high-scoring affair. Jacoby Brissett’s 1-yard touchdown run caps a second straight Colts’ touchdown drive and ties the score once again. Scoring drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:18. TENNESSEE 14, INDIANAPOLIS 14

Two drives apiece: Titans have 155 yards and seven first downs; Colts have 141 yards and 11 first downs. 

A statistical change: Derrick Henry’s touchdown has been changed from a reception to a rush. It was determined that Tannehill threw the ball backward to him. Through two drives, Henry has 48 yards and a touchdown on six rushes.

(11:25) Tennessee is the first team to put its punt team on the field after Tannehill’s third-down pass to Anthony Firkser is batted down by linebacker Darius Leonard at the line of scrimmage.

(11:21) Brett Kern’s first punt off of injured reserve (wrist injury) goes 47 yards and out of bounds at the Indianapolis 12. Yep, he is back.

(10:34) Kevin Byard tackles Nyheim Hines after a 5-yard gain on third-and-9, and the defense takes advantage of Kern’s punt and forces a three-and-out.

(9:54) Kalif Raymond’s 10-yard punt return gives the ball back to the offense at its own 35. That is just six yards back from where the last drive ended.

(6:20) Henry with his second touchdown of the day, this one a 1-yard run around the right side. The Titans got a huge break when a sack of Tannehill on third-and-goal from the 3 was negated by an illegal use of hands penalty against Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Instead of a field goal attempt, Henry ran it in on the next play. Scoring drive: 8 plays, 65 yards, 3:29. TENNESSEE 21, INDIANAPOLIS 14

That gives Henry 11 rushing touchdowns on the season, 49 for his career.

Henry has 81 yards on 12 carries. With seven more, he will join Eddie George, Earl Campbell and Chris Johnson as the only players in franchise history with 8,000 or more.

(4:37) Tennessee’s defense forces a second straight punt and gives the offense an opportunity to add to the lead before halftime.

(4:25) The drive starts with a 31-yard Henry run right up the middle. That gives him 112 yards on 13 carries and pushes him pas 5,000 for his career.

The Colts are definitely missing defensive tackle DeForest Buckner in the middle of that defense.

(2:00) Tennessee has a first down at the Indianapolis 25 after a holding penalty against the Colts defense. Four of the five plays on this drive have been runs. The one pass was incomplete.

(1:52) Last week, Cameron Batson emulated Lamar Jackson in practice. Today, he converts a third-and-1 from the Indianapolis 16 when he takes a direct snap and rushes for five yards.

(1:46) Derrick Henry with his third rushing touchdown of the day. This one from 11 yards. Scoring drive: 9 plays 86 yards, 2:44. TENNESSEE 28, INDIANAPOLIS 14

This is now the Titans’ highest scoring first half of the season. The previous high was 24 points against Jacksonville in Week 2.

(1:27) The defense forces another three-and-out capped by a big hit from linebacker David Long, fresh off the COVID-19 reserve list, and gives the offense an opportunity to do some more damage.

(1:21) A personal foul against the Colts during the punt makes it first down at the Indianapolis 44. Tennessee has 1:11 and two timeouts with which to work.

(0:31) After Tannehill throws incomplete to A.J. Brown on third-and-4, the Titans send the punt team on the field, then call timeout and put the offense back out there. Corey Davis’ sliding catch is good for a 37-yard gain to the Colts’ 1.

(0:22) Tannehill fakes a handoff and then runs into the end zone untouched. It seemed the Colts were focused on Henry, who already has three rushing touchdowns today. Scoring drive: 5 plays, 44 yards, 0:53. TENNESSEE 35, INDIANAPOLIS 14

The Colts have not allowed more than 32 points in a game this season until now.

The Colts have not allowed more than 32 points in a game this season until now.

(0:00) Halftime.

Tennessee has 173 rushing yards and 173 passing yards. Indianapolis has 161 total yards. 

THIRD QUARTER

Indianapolis could outscore Tennessee 21-0 in the second half of this one, as it did two weeks ago, and the worst that would happen is overtime.

(13:58) The Colts gain 12 yards on four plays before they are forced to punt. Look for the Titans to start working the clock immediately.

(11:48) Tennessee’s offense actually fails to score a touchdown, or even cross midfield, and Brett Kern punts for the second time. There was some drama moments earlier when A.J. Brown was slow to get up after an incomplete pass. But it looks like he will be OK.

(9:33) The Titans’ first sack of the day comes from Jeffery Simmons. He drops Philip Rivers for a 6-yard loss on third-and-6 from the Indianapolis 29, which forces a punt. That is Simmons’ third sack of the season, which is second to Harold Landry (three and a half).

Indianapolis is now 1-for-7 on third down.

(6:33) Another punt but the offense took another 2:18 off the clock with four plays, one of which was a 14-yard Henry run. That gives Henry 154 yards on 21 carries. It is the seventh time in his career, he has rushed for more than 150 yards. You have to think his day is nearly finished.

(5:46) Breon Borders with an interception, which is the game’s first turnover. It is the first interception of his career, and it comes after he dropped what would have been a pick-6 in the first half.

That ended a streak of 199 consecutive passes without an interception by Philip Rivers against Tennessee's defense.

(0:49) Stephen Gostkowski’s 49-yard field goal extends the advantage. The drive started with a handoff to Henry before D’Onta Foreman got two carries and Jeremy McNichols got three. Scoring drive: 8 plays, 32 yards, 4:54. TENNESSEE 38, INDIANAPOLIS 14

FOURTH QUARTER

(13:27) After five straight punts and an interception, the Colts finally score again. Jacoby Brissett scores on a 1-yard run. T.Y. Hilton’s 50-yard reception two plays earlier got the offense in position. Indianapolis attempted a two-point conversion but failed. Scoring drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 2:21. TENNESSEE 38, INDIANAPOLIS 20

(6:02) That last touchdown and an injury to D'Onta Foreman means the Titans have to continue to rely on Henry. He runs it five times on a nine-play drive that ends with a punt but takes 7:28 off the clock. Henry now has 178 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries. The only times this season he has had more carries were against Denver (31) and Baltimore (28).

(5:48) A replay review negates what was ruled on the field as a Malcolm Butler interception and allows the Colts’ offense to stay on the field. All that matters now, though, is the clock and getting the time to run out.

(2:38) More meaningless points for the Colts as T.Y. Hilton scores on a 5-yard touchdown reception. Again, the Colts go for two. Again, they fail. Scoring drive: 11 plays, 94 yards, 3:21. TENNESSEE 38, INDIANAPOLIS 26

(2:29) Indianapolis attempts and onside kick and the high hop goes right into the hands of A.J. Brown, who returns it 42 yards for a touchdown and removes what little drama remained. TENNESSEE 45, INDIANAPOLIS 26

The Titans now have set a season-high for points scored. The previous high was 42, against Buffalo and Houston.

(1:55) A fourth-down sack by Harold Landry ends the day for the Colts’ offense.

(1:47) Logan Woodside takes the field with the offense and will take a knee a couple times in order to run out the remaining time.

(0:00) Game is over. Titans win 45-26.

Derrick Henry finished with 128 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.

Ryan Tannehill was 13-22 passing for 221 yards with one touchdown. It is just the third time this season he failed to throw multiple touchdown passes.

A.J. Brown had four receptions for 98 yards and one touchdown. Corey Davis added three receptions for 70 yards.

Safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Kevin Byard were the leading tacklers with nine and seven, respectively.