Nashville, TN – Vick Ballard scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime and the Indianapolis Colts escaped with a 19-13 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at LP Field.
The Colts won the coin toss and began the deciding drive from the 20. They handed the ball to Donald Brown on the first six consecutive plays of the drive and reached the Tennessee 36, where they faced a crucial 3rd-and-8.
On that play, Andrew Luck stepped up into the pocket from the shotgun and hit Reggie Wayne over the middle for 20 yards and a first down at the Titans 16.
After Ballard was stuffed on first down, Luck threw a short screen out to the left for Ballard, who rumbled toward the end zone and dove head-first, extending the ball over the pylon for the touchdown.
The play was reviewed and confirmed, giving the win to the Colts (4-3), who snapped a 10-game road losing streak.
"That was a blast," Colts offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo said of the final drive. "Everyone was blocking their butts off. It was an awesome drive."
Luck threw for 297 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 26-of-38 passing while Brown ended his day with 80 yards on 14 carries. Ballard ran for 55 yards on 12 carries in the triumph.
Matt Hasselbeck threw for 236 yards on 22-of-29 passing with a touchdown -- the 200th of his NFL career -- while Chris Johnson had an impressive day on the ground for the Titans (3-5), who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. Johnson rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries.
Kendall Wright caught a touchdown pass and Rob Bironas kicked a pair of field goals in the setback.
"Everyone is pretty upset," Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers said. "Deep down inside, everyone knows we should have won."
The Titans struck first on the opening possession of the game, as Hasselbeck led a 13-play, 59-yard drive to the Indy 21 before Bironas booted a 39-yard field goal try through the uprights.
The Colts answered with a 12-play drive that moved the ball to the Tennessee four, where they were faced with a 3rd-and-4.
On the play, Luck stepped up in the pocket and spotted some daylight toward the end zone. But he was dragged down from behind at the two, forcing a chip- shot 20-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri that tied the game.
With two minutes to go in the first half, Hasselbeck connected with Kenny Britt down the left sideline for what would have been a go-ahead score, but the play was called back when Britt was flagged for offensive pass interference after making contact with Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers.
The Titans were unfazed by the tough call, however, and just three plays later on a 3rd-and-11, Hasselbeck found Wright in the left corner of the end zone for a 23-yard strike and a 10-3 lead with a minute remaining in the opening half.
Indianapolis had a chance to cut the lead to 10-6 with four seconds left before the half when Vinatieri trotted out to attempt a 37-yard field goal. However, the kick was blocked by safety Michael Griffin, keeping it a 10-3 game.
On the opening possession of the second half, the Colts marched 49 yards in 10 plays and Vinatieri connected on a 44-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 10-6.
Following a punt, Tennessee got possession at the 20 with 1:05 left in the third quarter. Hasselbeck took his team 68 yards in 10 plays and Bironas squeezed a 30-yard field goal just inside the left stick to increase the lead to 13-6 early in the fourth quarter.
But Luck showed some moxie on the Colts ensuing possession, going 6-for-8 for 62 yards before Delone Carter capped the 14-play, 80-yard march with a 1-yard touchdown plunge, tying the game at 13-13 with 3:24 to play in regulation.
The Colts lead the all-time series, 22-13, and have won 15 of the last 19 matchups between the teams ... Bironas has made 19 consecutive field goals in the fourth quarter ... Indianapolis outgained Tennessee, 457-339 ... The Colts finished 6-for-12 on third-down conversions, while the Titans managed five on 11 chances.