Skip to comments.NFL Game Summary - Tennessee At Indianapolis
Posted on 12/05/2005 8:50:14 AM PST by Abathar
Indianapolis, IN -- Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes and Edgerrin James ran for 107 yards with a score, as the Indianapolis Colts kept their unbeaten season alive with a methodical 35-3 victory over the Tennessee Titans at the RCA Dome.
Larry Triplett gave the Indianapolis defense a touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Colts (12-0) became just the fifth team in NFL history to open a season with 12 consecutive wins.
The 1998 Denver Broncos, 1985 Chicago Bears, 1972 Miami Dolphins and 1934 Bears all won their first 12 games. Only the '72 Dolphins went on to complete an undefeated season with a championship and the Colts will try to continue their quest to match that accomplishment next week against division rival Jacksonville.
Indianapolis also became the first team to clinch a playoff spot and can capture the AFC South title next week with a victory against the Jaguars.
"I thought the guys did really well," said Colts head coach Tony Dungy. "They had that focus and wanted to win and get ourselves in the playoffs. We are very excited about that, accomplishing our first goal."
Manning completed 13-of-17 passes for 187 yards in the victory, the sixth in a row for the Colts over the Titans.
Tennessee (3-9) was coming off a win last week against San Francisco, but was no match for the high-powered Colts and lost for the sixth time in its last seven games.
Steve McNair threw for 220 yards, completing 22-of-33 passes, in defeat. The Titans, though, ran for just 40 yards, led by Chris Brown's 32 on 11 carries.
"If somebody's going to have a chance to beat this team [Indianapolis] before this season is over, they're going to have to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them," said Titans head coach Jeff Fisher. "I'm very impressed with what they've got going offensively and impressed with what they've got going defensively."
The Colts took their first possession 80 yards on eight plays for a touchdown to grab an early lead. Manning kept the series alive with a 36-yard pass to Marvin Harrison on 3rd-and-10, then found his long-time teammate with a 10- yard scoring toss.
"We really talked about coming out fast and getting off to a good start," said Manning. "It was key last week [against Pittsburgh] and it was key again this week."
Rob Bironas missed a 51-yard field goal attempt for Tennessee early in the second quarter and the Colts followed with a 59-yard march for another score.
A 16-yard pass from Manning to Reggie Wayne immediately after a holding penalty keyed the 10-play series and Bryan Fletcher caught a 13-yard pass for the touchdown to make it 14-0 with 4:11 remaining in the opening half.
The Titans followed with a drive to the Indianapolis six-yard line and nearly had a touchdown when McNair hit Ben Troupe in the back of the end zone on third down, but safety Mike Doss knocked the ball loose and Tennessee settled for a Bironas 24-yard field goal just 29 seconds before the intermission.
The Colts, though, put it out of reach with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter.
James did the dirty work on the initial possession of the second half with seven carries for 20 yards, including a three-yard run on 4th-and-1, but Wayne got the glory with a 27-yard touchdown reception.
The next series was all James. He caught two passes for 17 yards and ran six times on the eight-play march, finishing it with a two-yard touchdown run to make it 28-3 with 1:28 remaining in the third quarter.
After the Titans turned the ball over on downs, Manning fumbled and Tennessee recovered at its own 37-yard line. However, that just gave the Indianapolis defense a chance to score.
McNair was sacked by Dwight Freeney and the ball popped into the air for a charging Triplett, who rumbled 60 yards the other way for a touchdown and a 35-3 cushion with 11:44 to play in the contest.
The Indianapolis defense kept the Titans out of the end zone midway through the fourth quarter when four McNair passes from the two-yard line fell incomplete.
"We thought that if we had played a perfect game, we could have won," said McNair.
James recorded his ninth 100-yard game this season, tops in the NFL. He also reached the century mark for the 49th time in his career and the Colts improved to 43-6 in those games...Harrison, with his first reception, became the 12th player in NFL history to eclipse 12,000 receiving yards...McNair left the game briefly in the third quarter with a leg problem and Billy Volek finished the series, but the former MVP returned the next time the Titans had the ball...The Titans placed rookie wide receiver Brandon Jones on injured reserve before the game. He suffered a knee injury last week.
Manning had the worst game of his career earlier this year against the Jaguars.
But can Manning win an playoff game outdoors? Maybe this year he won't need to.
(Teams that start 6-0 have a tendency to make it to the Super Bowl, but that hasn't always been true.)
How about them 'Phins yesterday, coming back from a 23-3 deficit with 12 minutes to go in the game!
24-23!! Woo Hoo!
We'll see what they do outside against Seattle in a couple of weeks - potential Super Bowl preview as both made the playoffs yesterday - first teams to do so......
Maybe? He definitely isn't going to need to. They clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win against Jacksonville, and the Super Bowl happens to be in a dome this year, which sure works out pretty well for him.
This is the best chance for Indy to lose. If they beat the Jags, I predict they will be 16-0.
One word: "pwned"
Way too long. The summary is much more simple: complete and utter domination by the Colts.
As for next week at Jacksonville -- the Colts plan for the year has been to work towards one goal at a time: make the playoffs, win the division, get a bye, clinch home-filed advantage, etc. Against Tennesee, the Colts managed the first, beating the Jaguars would get them all the rest. If anyone thinks the Colts are not going to be prepared for this like its the most important game of the year, they're seriously fooling themselves.
Indianapolis 24, Jaguars 13.
I was at this game. The most impressive play in my book was when Tenn had the ball with inches to go on 4th down. Most long time colts fans are quite used to seeing both their offensive and defensive lines getting pushed around on running plays. On this play, a QB sneak, the Colts D line pushed the entire offensive line of Tenn two yards back at the snap and engulfed Tenn for a loss of yardarge and loss of the ball. You wanna play smash mouth? Indy now plays smash mouth.
As was expected.
Nope - everything is lining up for them and this is their year. The Colts have no weaknesses, except that their special teams is kind of so-so (but even that isn't a "weakness", at least STs don't hurt the team).
My Titans were humbled by a far better team yesterday. I still believe in the Patriot's blueprint for beating the Colts defensively: smart, quick linebackers that can cover as well as they stop the run. We've got one in Bullock, we need two more, then maybe we can beat Indy. Having an offense that can move the ball more than 10 yards at a time would help too.
Dream draft for me: AJ Hawk (LB) in 1st round, Jay Cutler (QB) in 2nd (would be ready to start in 2007 season). By then, the Colts will have to break it up and we'll kick their butts again like we used to.
It's a quagmire! The other teams might as give up now and just give the championship to the Colts.
As a lifelong Baltimorean, I hope they go 16-0. Then lose their first game of the playoffs.
I'm not still bitter. Really.
The way to beat Indy: Stop the run AND keep Peyton on the run. He sucks as a QB only when he has to move out of the pocket. Unfortunately for teams playing Indy, it's hard to draw up a defensive game plan that both stops the Edge and Peyton.
A very telling moment from yesterday's game:
Colts are at the line, and the play clock runs down to 2. Lord Manning the Infallible turns around and tells the officials to put more time on the clock.
And they do.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Dolphins undefeated season was only 14 games, right?
Nobody seems to mention that fact. If the Colts go undefeated, they will have "bested" the Dolphins record.
Utter domination by the Colts against the Jags? Please.
When have they dominated the Jags in the Del Rio era? Indy's had their worst games against the Jags - and that's not a coincidence.
The rest of the league is intimidated by the Colts. The Jags aren't. They hate the Colts, and they'll be ready in Alltel on Sunday.
The greatest NFL team has to be the 1985 Chicago Bears. Now please excuse me while I wash my mouth out with soap.
Agreed - the Jags match up better with the Colts than any team besides the Ravens, AND the Jags have some semblance of an offense.
If the Colts are going down, it's against the Jags. It WONT be the Seahawks, both for matchups reasons, and the fact that that game probably won't mean anything for one of the two teams, or both.
Re-read. I was referring to this past Sunday's game against the Titans. That was utter domination.
I don't expect them to dominate Jacksonville on the road. But Indy will prepare and play this game like its the biggest of the year for them, and they will win. The earlier 10-3 game was an abberration, as the Colts offense just flat-out struggled through three first three weeks. Since then, they've scored 26 or more every week. Even so, I have Jacksonville holding them to 24.
And, unlike teams such as Cleveland, once the Colts get up on you, they don't let you back in the game.
So basically yesterday, the current Baltimore team beat the current Houston team, and the former Baltimore team beat the former Houston team as well.
Not only that, but this year the former LA team beat the former Houston team, the former Houston team beat the former Cleveland team, and...
Oh, I'm getting a headache!
Don't forget that the former Baltimore team has already beaten the current Baltimore team, which was the former Cleveland team (and who has beaten the current Cleveland team), as well as the current Cleveland team.
I have never wanted to see the unbeaten record matched, since my beloved Douphins won it all years ago, but this year is different. Manning and Dungy are both class acts, and if any were to match the Dolphins record, I say let it be them. Phooey on Tampa for getting rid of a great coach!
Indy is my adopted team, I moved here after growing up outside of Detroit. Kind of nice to see an owner actually WANT to do whats best for a team. IF they do make it all the way the Dolphins will be in good company, thats all - they still got there first.
I do think that after they beat Jacksonville and clinch home field, that they will probably relax and have their letdown against a San Diego team that will need a win much more desperately. I don't think going 16-0 means nearly as much to the team as winning the Super Bowl.
The Jags win in Indianapolis the year before was not an aberration, nor was the Jags win in Jacksonville the year before that. Even the two losses in between were close.
The Jags know how to play the Colts.
Despite the loss of Leftwich, the Jags too, have improved since they played in Indy. Our offensive production has picked up. Our offensive line is much better than the one we had in Indy. And we have a scrambling quarterback. Granted Garrard doesn't have Leftwich's arm. But against a speedy defense like the Colts, his mobility will be an advantage.
This is not last year, or the year before. This year, the Colts have one of the top offenses and one of the top defenses in the league. This year, they are focused. They are prepared. And with the division title and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs in sight, they will show no mercy.
Jacksonville is a good team. Especially at home, they cannot be taken lightly. But the smart money is on the Colts, which is why they open as 7.5 point favorites.
That would involve Dennis Green winning a game that means something.
Did Peyton Manning get any more mobile? Did the Colts' offensive line get any stronger since they last played the Jags? Because those two factors explain why Jacksonville matches up with the Colts - by pressuring Manning and forcing him to make mistakes.
All the stats about offense and defense go out the window when you play your rival.
The Jags are ready. The Jags are prepared. Unlike the Colts, they've been ready for this rematch since Indianapolis. The entire city of Jacksonville is stoked.
The Jags are 7 1/2 point dogs on the1r own field!
26-18 (and it wasn't really that close) -- the only thing the "stoked" Jags managed to do right was hold the Colts to field goals 4 times. (Although thanks to the late pair of JAX TDs, I'm glad I took the Colts while the spread was still -7.5, as it had gone to -8.5 by Friday evening.) While San Diego can still be dangerous, the Seattle game on Christmas Eve now appears to be the only serious chance to stop Indy from going 16-0.
I was expecting next week, hosting the Chargers, to be a possible stumbling-point game for Indy. They've wrapped up everything they need before the playoffs now, but the Chargers, who were supposed to be a hot, hungry team, just pretty much took themselves out of the playoff race by losing to Miami. (And, other than Cincy pulling it out late over the Browns, could yesterday have been any better for Pittsburgh?)
Jacksonville should still coast to the #1 wild-card spot, the reward for which will be a road game in New England on January 7 or 8.