Colts double up Titans, forge tie atop AFC South
Nyheim Hines caught a touchdown pass and ran for a second score, Philip Rivers topped Dan Marino for No. 5 on the NFL’s all-time passing yardage list and the Indianapolis Colts routed the Tennessee Titans 34-17 Thursday night in Nashville.
The result leaves both teams tied for first place in the AFC South with 6-3 records.
Hines’ 2-yard run with 2:51 left in the third quarter gave Indianapolis a 20-17 lead. It came four plays after Trevor Daniel, Tennessee’s third punter in as many games, shanked a 17-yard punt that set up a 27-yard field for the Colts.
Defensive back T.J. Carrie upped the lead to 10 less than a minute later when he picked up a blocked punt and lugged it 6 yards for a touchdown. E.J. Speed burst through a big hole on the left side of the Titans’ protection scheme and snuffed out the punt.
Indianapolis wrapped it up on a 2-yard sneak by backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett with 9:21 remaining in the game.
Hines finished with a combined 115 rushing and receiving yards for the Colts, while Rivers completed 29 of 39 passes for 308 yards and a score.
With his first completion of the night, an 11-yard connection to rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, Rivers surpassed Marino. Rivers, in his 17th NFL season but first in Indianapolis, ended the night with 61,666 passing yards. Marino amassed 61,361 passing yards in 17 seasons.
The Titans lost for the third time in four games despite getting 103 yards on 19 carries from Derrick Henry, who moved past Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook for the NFL rushing lead. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill hit 15 of 27 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown.
Tannehill got Tennessee off to a quick start by finding D’Onta Foreman for a 5-yard score just 3:10 into the game. Rodrigo Blankenship’s 24-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the first quarter got Indianapolis on the board.
Stephen Gostkowski bombed a 50-yarder to restore a seven-point lead for the Titans early in the second quarter, but Rivers found Hines for a 13-yard touchdown at the 7:55 mark. Tight end Jonnu Smith regained the lead for Tennessee on a 1-yard run with 2:54 left before the break, but Blankenship hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired in the half to make it 17-13.
–Field Level Media