Almost three weeks ago, the Indianapolis Colts came away from Nissan Stadium with a 34-17 victory that left a bad taste in the mouth of the Tennessee Titans and took the lead away from the Titans in the AFC South Division.
On Sunday, Tennessee returned the favor with five touchdowns in the first half as they put on their “big boy pants” and made a statement by dominating Indianapolis 45-26 to regain sole possession of the lead in the AFC South Division.
The Titans improved to 8-3 overall for the season as the Colts fell overall to 7-4.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns on their first two offensive possessions, tying the game at 14-14.
But from there, the Titans took over.
They fed their beast, Derrick Henry, quite a bit in the first half as he had three touchdowns with 140 yards rushing.
For his career, he has 4,912 yards rushing, his third straight 1,000 yard rushing season and leads the league in rushing yards with 1,079 and tied for 4th overall with nine rushing touchdowns. He finished the game with 178 yards rushing on 27 carries.
“I just had to go out there and get north and south and finish runs and finish forward, get to the end zone,” Henry said. “Credit to all those guys blocking. A lot of credit goes to them. I just had to go out and do my job and be efficient when I had the ball.”
Ryan Tannehill completed a 69-yard touchdown pass and run to A.J. Brown. Plus, Tannehill ran for a two-yard touchdown as Tennessee dominated the half with 346 yards of total offense for 22 first downs against Indianapolis, whose defense is statistically ranked second in the NFL, for a 35-14 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Stephan Gostkowski added a 49-yard field goal for a 38-14 lead in the third quarter.
The Colts scored two straight touchdowns but Brown scored his second touchdown of the game as he returned an onside kick 42 yards that ended any opportunity for a Colts’ comeback with the 45-26 victory, propelling the Titans into first place in the AFC South Division.
“We like to establish the run game whether we’re at home or away, and Derrick is consistent,” Tannehill said. “He does his thing no matter where we’re at. He’s a football player, and a really good one at that.”
Tennessee will host the Cleveland Browns, who are also 8-3 overall for the season and are in the fight for an AFC playoff berth on Sunday in Nashville with kickoff time tentatively scheduled at noon.