By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — COLTS 30, TITANS 27
Player of the Game
Donald Brown, RB, Colts
The numbers don’t jump off the page, but Indianapolis would not have won without Brown’s 14 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. His first score capped a huge drive to start the third quarter and cut another early two-score deficit to 17-13. The second score provided a 10-point cushion late in the fourth quarter and essentially sealed the win.
Didn’t finish two first-half drives and ended up with field goals, but the offense wasn’t the reason for the slow start this week. Indianapolis ended up with as many third-down conversions (6) as it had in the previous two weeks combined, and scored 30 points on just nine possessions. Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck completed 23 of 36 passes for 232 yards and also ran for a touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over four days after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. Tight end Coby Fleener had a career day with eight catches for 107 yards, a key element in the Colts’ ability to move the chains.
The three consecutive fouls in the second quarter were inexcusable, and outside linebacker Erik Walden was fortunate not to be thrown out of the game after head-butting Titans tight end Delanie Walker. Walden made up for his transgression with a solid second-half, but the Colts were a mess in the secondary for much of the night. Walker finished with 10 catches for 91 yards, and Kendall Wright added nine receptions for 80 yards – with most of the production coming on crossing routes. Indianapolis fell into a 14-0 hole when struggling running back Chris Johnson rushed for two touchdowns in the first quarter.
Special Teams: A
Boom Herron’s fumble recovery on a third-quarter kickoff return set the Colts up with a short field for the go-ahead score. Adam Vinatieri connected on all three of his field goal attempts, including his fourth 50-yarder of the season – tying a career high. Pat McAfee had a curious kickoff that went out of bounds, but the game was clinched on special teams when Pat Angerer recovered an onside kick with 1:54 to play.