NFL Game Summary - Indianapolis at Tennessee|
(Thursday, December 9th)
Final Score: Indianapolis 30, Tennessee 28
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning passed for 319 yards and two
touchdowns without an interception, and the Indianapolis Colts snapped a
three-game losing streak with a 30-28 victory over Tennessee on Thursday
The game, while competitive, wasn't as close as the final score. The Titans
scored a last-second touchdown for the final margin.
Coming off a dreadful stretch where he threw 11 interceptions in three Colts
losses, Manning connected with Pierre Garcon for both of his touchdown passes
in a bounce-back performance.
The four-time NFL MVP was 25-of-35 passing -- but more importantly, he was
mistake-free for the first time in nearly a month and the Colts (7-6) won't
lose any ground to Jacksonville in the AFC South.
Instead of turning the ball over himself, Manning and Indianapolis capitalized
on a slew of Titans mistakes for a 21-7 lead at halftime.
"We protected the ball better, which is always key, and got just a really good
win on the road in the division," said Manning.
Javarris James rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown for the Colts and Garcon
ended with six catches for 93 yards. Blair White caught seven balls for 52
yards in the win, but got in the way of a potential Manning-to-Reggie Wayne
Garcon earned 43 of his yards the hard way, breaking three tackles for a key
first down that set up Adam Vinatieri's 47-yard field goal in the final
minutes. Those points ended up being the difference.
On the previous possession, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher opted to punt on
4th-and-1 at their own 34-yard line rather than try for a first down and
potential go-ahead touchdown.
"I had three timeouts and it was 4:57 when I looked up at the clock," said
Fisher. "I thought we needed to have the ball last. You can always second-
guess that, but I felt we could get a punt, get a stop and get the ball back
for a touchdown and a chance to win the game."
Tennessee (5-8) scored its first touchdown in three games and got a good
performance from Kerry Collins, who passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns
in his second straight start.
Chris Johnson rushed for 111 yards and a score and Bo Scaife caught two
touchdown passes, but the Titans dropped their sixth straight game and will
remain at least two back of the division-leading Jaguars.
There was a time this season when the Colts and Titans were the two clear-cut
contenders for the division title. But both sides entered Thursday's game just
trying to stay alive in the playoff hunt.
Indianapolis tried to put the game away early, scoring two of its three first-
half touchdowns on Titans penalties and the third when Tennessee botched a
Titans safety Michael Griffin was flagged for pass interference for pulling
Garcon down in the end zone, setting up James' one-yard touchdown run for a
7-0 Colts lead in the last minutes of the first quarter.
Safety Chris Hope was called for defensive holding on a play from the 5-yard
line and Manning hit Garcon two plays later in the end zone to make it 14-0
with 10:17 left in the half.
Things got even easier for the Colts when Tennessee's Ken Amato snapped the
ball over punter Brett Kern's head -- Kern got a right hand on it -- but the
Colts' Taj Smith recovered the fumble. Manning connected on a 19-yard
touchdown pass to Garcon two plays later.
The Titans offense responded with a touchdown drive, its first in 15 quarters,
and pulled within 21-7 when Johnson scored on a one-yard pitch play around
the left side with 49 seconds left in the half.
Tennessee opened the third quarter with a touchdown drive when Collins and
Craig Stevens connected for a seven-yard pass.
The Colts responded with a 21-yard field goal from Vinatieri for a 24-14 lead
-- but only after White got in the way of Wayne in the back of the end zone on
a Manning pass that seemed destined for another touchdown.
Vinatieri kicked a 28-yarder to cap a 16-play Indianapolis drive that spanned
the third and fourth quarters, but a 37-yard Johnson run help set up Collins'
four-yard TD pass to Scaife to make it 27-21.
Vinatieri's 47-yarder gave the Colts a 30-21 advantage inside three minutes.
Collins was able to march his offense all the way downfield, but the Titans
used every remaining second to score on Scaife's two-yard catch, leaving
themselves two points short.
Indianapolis took a 19-12 lead in the all-time regular season series...The
Colts are trying to make the playoffs for the ninth straight season...Indy
avoided suffering its first four-game losing streak since 2001...Manning had
four interceptions in both of the previous two games...Collins was pressed
into a starting role in the aftermath of troubled quarterback Vince Young's
season-ending thumb injury and well-publicized tirade...Titans wide receiver
Kenny Britt returned from a torn hamstring and had a fumble that led to Indy's
12/10 02:02:16 ET