Titans break tie at top of AFC South with 45-26 win over Colts

Liz Roscher
·3 min read

The Tennessee Titans broke the tie at the top of the AFC South on Sunday, beating the Indianapolis Colts, 45-26. The Titans now stand alone in first place in the division.

The Titans lost to the Colts, 34-17, in Week 10, so they desperately needed to win this in-division game. Letting the Colts sweep them this season would all but doom their chances of winning the division. Plus, they’d lost three of their past four games, which is not how you want to follow up a 5-0 start.

With an able assist from running back Derrick Henry, the Titans got the win they needed and some sweet revenge on the Colts.

Derrick Henry leads Titans to win

Henry was the star of the first two quarters. He rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries and scored three touchdowns before the end of the half. Oh, and he broke 5,000 career yards in just his fifth season in the NFL and regained the league rushing lead, also before the teams went back to their locker rooms for halftime. The Colts defense could not stop Henry, and he made it look easy.

Henry wasn’t the only guy doing stuff in the first half. QB Ryan Tannehill also had a rushing touchdown, and A.J. Brown had an absolute beauty in the first quarter.

The Titans scored five touchdowns in the first half, more than doubling up the Colts’ 14 points.

Colts were overwhelmed

Both teams scored twice on the first four possessions of the game, but the Colts couldn’t keep up. Losing left tackle Anthony Castonzo to a knee injury didn’t help, but the Colts were already playing without a bunch of difference-makers. Ryan Kelly, DeForest Buckner, Denico Autry, Jonathan Taylor and Bobby Okereke were all out for various reasons.

Despite that, the third quarter started with hope. The Colts had outscored their opponents 41-3 in the second half of their past two games. They allowed just one field goal in the third quarter on Sunday, which was a small miracle considering how the first two quarters had gone — and considering the late third-quarter interception on a Philip Rivers desperation pass.

The defense had stiffened up, which would have allowed the Colts to catch up, but the offense was nowhere to be found. Indy finally broke through at the start of the fourth quarter, scoring a touchdown — its first points of any kind since the first quarter.

The Colts added another touchdown late in the first quarter, T.Y. Hilton’s first of the season, and for a minute it seemed like the game wasn’t totally decided yet. Then, the Titans immediately recovered an onside kick, which Brown ran back for a touchdown.

Despite the late-game scoring, the game was all but decided in the first half — or perhaps even before that. The Titans stood on the Colts’ logo before the start of the game, just like they did before beating the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. Maybe that’s good luck for the Titans now.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) goes in for his first touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 29, 2020. (Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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