Titans blow 4th-quarter lead, 2-game win streak ends with 19-13 overtime loss to Luck, Colts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans missed an opportunity on Sunday.
With a chance to get to .500 for the first time this season after a 1-4 start, the Titans couldn't protect a fourth-quarter lead against a rookie quarterback in losing 19-13 in overtime to the Indianapolis Colts.
Tennessee (3-5) failed to hold a 13-6 lead, when the defense allowed Andrew Luck and the Colts to drive 80 yards for the tying touchdown late in regulation.
The Titans' offense never got a chance in overtime as the Colts drove 80 yards again to win on Vick Ballard's acrobatic 16-yard touchdown off a screen pass from Luck.
"We didn't make enough plays to win the game," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "You have to score more than 13 points to win. We had plenty of opportunities to do that."
The Titans had a chance to win on their final drive of regulation. Tight end Jared Cook broke open down the middle on a second-and-9 play from the Indianapolis 41, but quarterback Matt Hasselbeck overthrew him.
"If I had taken my time with the throw, I could have probably hit him," Hasselbeck said. "But I didn't, and I wish I could have it back."
The next play was another incomplete pass, and Tennessee decided to punt rather than try a long field goal. Munchak chose to punt instead, worried a miss would give the Colts good field position.
"I just thought it was too far at that point," Munchak said.
The Titans have lost seven of eight overall and seven of the past 10 in Nashville to the Colts (4-3).
"I don't really understand how we lost the game," Hasselbeck said.
Tennessee thought it had recovered a fumble that would allow kicker Rob Bironas to try to win the game in regulation.
Colts fullback Dwayne Allen was stripped of the ball after a catch, and Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner recovered at the Colts 28. Officials ruled Allen down, and the Colts kneeled down to run out the final seconds to reach overtime.
"It's a huge play and huge time of the game," Munchak said. "You wish it had gone the other way where you let the play go, and they can decide if the guy is down by contact. When you rule forward progress, then you can't review the play."
The Colts won the toss, took the ball and never gave it back.
Donald Brown, who had eight carries for 41 yards in regulation, got the ball on the first six plays of overtime and ran for 39 yards.
Facing third-and-8 from the Titans 36, Luck stood in the pocket and found Reggie Wayne for a 20-yard completion. A play later, Luck tossed the screen pass, and Ballard did the rest to finish off the victory.
Indianapolis outgained Tennessee 457-339, and Luck was 26 of 38 for 297 yards. Adam Vinatieri also kicked two field goals, but Colts interim coach Bruce Arians had plenty of praise for the rookie quarterback.
"He is a big strong young man, and he can throw the football from any position accurately," Arians said. "He did a good job of avoiding rushes and making completions, especially on third down."
The Titans led most of the game, tied only at 3-3 in the first quarter and late in regulation even without left tackle Michael Roos due to an appendectomy. Right tackle David Stewart and right guard Leroy Harris each hurt right knees on the opening drive. Stewart returned, though Harris did not.
Hasselbeck was 22 of 29 for 236 yards with a TD pass that was the 200th of his career making him the 32nd player in NFL history to reach that mark. Chris Johnson ran for 99 yards.
But the Titans came in giving up more points than any team in the NFL, and they just couldn't make the stop to give their offense one last chance. They sacked Luck twice. Michael Griffin got an interception and also blocked a 37-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
It wasn't enough.
NOTES: Colts CB Vontae Davis sprained his left knee on the opening drive and did not return. He was replaced by Cassius Vaughn. ... Colts TE Coby Fleenor hurt a shoulder in the first half and had one pass thrown at him in the second half. ... Bironas is the franchise career leader with 201 field goals. Al Del Greco had 200 field goals for the Oilers-Titans. ... The Titans last blocked a field goal Dec. 5, 2010, when Jacob Ford had a block against Jacksonville.
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