(5-7) Titans 14 – Colts 22 (8-4)
Entering Sunday’s Week 13 matchup with the Tennessee Titans, the Colts had yet to lose back-to-back games with Andrew Luck as their quarterback.
Following the game, that trend is still well in tact.
Behind five Adam Vinatieri field goals, a Donald Brown rushing touchdown, and a few lucky breaks, the Colts pushed their win total to eight and maintained their control of the AFC South.
Donald Brown emerged as the Colts’ new starting back after consistently out-rushing the midseason-acquired Trent Richardson, for whom the Colts gave up a first round pick in September. Richardson, who averaged less than three yards per carry and failed to record a 100-yard game in eight weeks, was benched today in favor of Brown. Brown had a nice day and rushed for 54 yards on 14 carries, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. His 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter put the game away and sealed the deal for Indianapolis.
The hero of the day, though, was none other than the 18-year veteran Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri accounted for over 68% of the Colts’ point total, and four of his five field goals were made from distances greater than 40 yards. With his performance today, the clutch kicker became just the second player in NFL history to score 800+ points with two different teams. Vinatieri has almost split his career between the Colts and rival New England Patriots.
Andrew Luck failed to throw a touchdown pass for the second time in three weeks. He threw for 300 yards on 32 pass attempts, had one interception, and fumbled twice behind a porous line that allowed five sacks of their quarterback. However, Luck made some plays with his legs and rushed for an eye-opening 42 yards of his own.
The Colts did catch a few breaks. Indy recovered both of Luck’s fumbles and was given a gift of a field goal at the end of the first half that was made possible by a costly 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness by the Titans’ Moise Fokou (Ironically, Fokou was a Colt just last year). The Titans committed seven penalties for a hefty 74 yards. The Colts made plays when it counted, though, and they dramatically improved in a key area by having a stronger start. The Colts took a 12-7 lead into halftime this week. They had been outscored a whopping 92-12 in the first half of their last four games.
The Colts will look the clinch the AFC South title next week when they visit the 7-4 Bengals in Cincinnati next week. Their offense may not be firing on all cylinders, but they continue to find ways to win, and, at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.