NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans never trailed in their 25-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, but the never quite put away their division rivals either until the final minute.
The Colts forced the game’s only three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble) and turned the first two into 10 second-quarter points. Then they opened the second half with a 17-play drive that ended with a field goal and used up more than half of the third quarter.
Indianapolis stayed competitive despite the fact that their quarterback, Carson Wentz, played on two sprained ankles that seriously limited his practice time during the week.
Here is a roundup of some of what Colts players and coaches had to say following the loss, which dropped them to 0-3 on the season:
• Coach Frank Reich, on the Colts being outscored 11-3 in the fourth quarter: “You're going up against a good team. Comes down to a fourth quarter, who can make plays and who can get it done, which team can get it done. It's a 60-minute game, so every play matters, and then it really matters in the fourth quarter.
• Quarterback Carson Wentz, on Tennessee’s defense: “They definitely did a good job disguising some of their stuff and kind of getting us out of the plays we wanted to call and those types of things. So, hats off to them for making it tough on us today.”
• Running back Nyheim Hines, on the Titans defense: “it’s a divisional game. I think truthfully, the Titans did some things that they haven’t shown on film. They did a couple of things we haven’t seen on film, so we were making adjustments on the fly and a great gameplan by them. They know what we do. We know what they do. So, when they got some new wrinkles in it might have got us on a couple of plays.”
• Reich, on the Colts forcing three turnovers: “Yeah, real credit to the defense. We win the turnover battles. Three turnovers to none. You don't lose many games when you win the turnovers 3-0 turnovers, so real credit to the defense there. We had ten points off of turnovers, so that's one of the things that we did well.”
• Linebacker Darius Leonard, on the play of Indianapolis’ defense: “We still didn’t do enough with that. We didn’t take the ball over in the fourth quarter when we needed to, so it is what it is. Defensively we didn’t do enough to put our offense in the position to win the ball game.”
• Wentz, on playing hurt: “I mean, I knew I wasn’t going to scramble around and make some plays. Didn’t feel great when I did that but at the same time, there’s plays to make. There’s plays in the pocket that I missed that I’m kicking myself that I want back down there in the red zone and some things like that. You know we had a chance. We didn’t execute in key situations, third down and red zone, and it definitely cost us.”
• Leonard, on Jeremy McNichols’ fourth-quarter touchdown reception: “They scored. That’s what happened.”
• Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, on being 0-3, two games behind the Titans in the division: “It’s definitely hard when you’re losing. Nobody likes to lose. It’s definitely encouraging to see that we’re right there. It’s a play or two that we need to take advantage of when the momentum swings.”