NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns and the Tennessee Titans held off the Indianapolis Colts 25-16 Sunday to grab an early tiebreaker in the AFC South.
The road team had won the previous five games in this division rivalry, but the Titans (2-1) are the defending AFC South champs with a healthy Derrick Henry. The reigning AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year ran for 113 yards, topping the 100-yard mark for a sixth straight division game.
The Colts (0-3) are off to their worst start since 2011. Carson Wentz started after being questionable for Indianapolis with a pair of sprained ankles. He never ran even once, choosing to throw the ball away repeatedly when pressured. He finished with 194 yards passing.
The Titans outgained the Colts 368-265 and won despite three turnovers that Indianapolis turned into 10 points.
The Colts twice had first-and-goal inside the Titans 9 in the second half. Tennessee’s defense, much-maligned in 2020, held the Colts to a pair of field goals by Rodrigo Blankenship. The last came with 10:20 left when Blankenship’s 24-yarder pulled the Colts within 22-16.
Tennessee then put the game away, going on a 14-play drive chewing up 7:22 of the clock. Randy Bullock put Tennessee up 25-16 with a 32-yard field goal.
The Colts tried for a final score, but Blankenship’s 51-yard attempt was wide right with 57 seconds left. The Titans knelt down for the win.
The Titans had plenty of opportunity to blow this game open, but only led 14-10 at halftime because of two interceptions. Darius Leonard picked off Tannehill to set up a 9-yard TD run by Nyheim Hines. Kenny Moore II picked off the second, and the Colts got a 43-yard field goal by Blankenship as the first half expired.
Tannehill threw a 6-yard TD pass to Chester Rogers against his old team and found Westbrook-Ikhine on an 18-yard TD — the first of the receiver’s career.
Henry also caught a pass from Tannehill under pressure and finished off a 14-yard play with Leonard bouncing off him in the second quarter.
Colts defensive end Kwity Paye was ruled out in the first quarter with an injured hamstring. All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson hurt his right ankle early in the second quarter and was carted to the locker room. He didn’t return and was replaced by Chris Reed. Cornerback Khari Willis had a cramping issue in the fourth quarter.
Pro Bowl WR A.J. Brown hurt a hamstring early and was ruled questionable. But he came out of halftime in shorts and a T-shirt. Titans rookie outside linebacker Rashad Weaver was carted to the locker room late in the third quarter after not putting any weight on his right leg.
Colts continue their three-game road trip by visiting Miami next Sunday.
The Titans start a two-game road swing at the New York Jets next Sunday.