It wasn’t pretty, but the Colts got the job done on the road against a surging AFC South rival Tennessee Titans with a 34-26 victory.
The Colts (3-4) got the job done with a balance in the air and on the ground. Andrew Luck enjoyed possibly his best game of the young season, putting up 353 aerial yards for three scores to go with 17 rushing yards. He also posted a positive 69.2 percent completion (27/39) while working with a patchwork receiving core.
It was an interesting day receiving for the Colts. Leading the way was T.Y. Hilton with yet another dominating performance. Hilton snagged seven balls for 133 yards along with a second quarter touchdown. Backup tight end Jack Doyle had a great day receiving too, with nine receptions for 78 yards and the fourth quarter go-ahead score. Erik Swoope had two great catches as well for 51.
Frank Gore paced the Colts in the run game with 61 yards on 17 carries (3.5 YPC) and added a score in the passing game.
The defense wasn’t grand, but it did the job against Tennessee’s previously blazing offense. They held Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota to 232 passing yards. The Colts did struggle against DeMarco Murray as the running back cruised for 107 yards, but Indy struggling against the run is no new story.
Here’s a few notables about the game:
- Adam Vinatieri’s two field goals were enough to break the NFL’s all-time consecutive field goals made record with 43 consecutive. Vinatieri will have the chance to extend that record next week.
- Dropped passes were the name of the game for the offense as Hilton and company dropped six passes today; Luck’s impressive numbers could have been even better.
- Luck enjoyed a game where he was, relatively, untouched. Luck only took two sacks on the day, and one could argue that both sacks would go as coverage sacks rather than offensive line breakdowns. Rookie center Ryan Kelly quietly had a beautiful game against an oppressive Titans’ defensive front.
- On the other side of the ball, Indy had a few excellent pass rushes. The Colts grabbed three sacks on the day, including a strip-sack from T.Y. McGill that Robert Mathis returned for a touchdown in the waning moments, icing the game for Indy.
- While a good win, the penalties were massive against the Colts. Indy provided six first downs by penalty for Tennessee and a couple gigantic defensive unnecessary roughness penalties led to Tennessee’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Colts are lucky to not have lost on the back of those penalties.
Indy will return to action next Sunday against a hot Kansas City Chiefs team at home next week.