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Six Things That Stood Out

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Six Things That Stood Out for the Titans in Sunday's Win Over the Colts


INDIANAPOLIS – The Titans beat the Colts 24-17 on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here's a look at six things that stood out from the contest:

King Henry's Return

Titans running back Derrick Henry doesn't look for fairy-tale endings, not that this necessarily qualifies as one. Instead, Henry looks for defenders to run over, and stiff-arm. On Sunday, Henry returned to the stadium where he broke his right foot a year ago, and he left with a reason to be happy instead. After the game, however, Henry wasn't interested in talking much about his first 100-yard game of the season (Henry ran for 114 yards). "I don't care about that," Henry said. The big back also clearly hadn't taken much time to think about his return to Indy, where his season was cut in half a year ago. "It feels all right" he said. But Henry did play a major role on Sunday, as he powered his way for some important yards, including a 19-yard touchdown run, in a victory. "It's tough to win here," Henry said. "It's great to get the 'W."

Denico Autry's Impact

When the Titans signed defensive lineman Denico Autry prior to last season, they not only made their team better, they weakened the Colts in the process. On Sunday, Autry was a big difference-maker for the Titans, as he finished with a pair of sacks, and a forced fumble. "It is really cool the type of player he is, the type of savvy he has," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of Autry. "He certainly impacted the game." Autry played like a big bully, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Bud Dupree early, and he had another key sack of Colts quarterback Matt Ryan late. "Just doing what we have been working on all week," Autry said. "It is always good to come back here and kick their butt."

Big Play Tart

Another defensive lineman – Teair Tart – made a highlight-reel play in Sunday's game. And in the locker room after the game, the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Tart had the football to prove it. Tart batted a pass by Ryan into the air on Sunday, and then managed to find it for an interception. "When I saw (the ball) in the air, the biggest thing was to secure it for the team – I didn't want to drop the ball," a smiling Tart said. "It felt like it was in the air for 20 minutes." Tart was proud of his souvenir. "This thing has been in my hand since I picked it," Tart said, smiling even bigger. The popular Tart received congratulations left and right on the sideline, and in the locker room after the game. "Heck of a play by Teair," Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "To get his hands on it initially, and then finish it with a catch, I don't think I've seen to many of those. Huge play by Teair."

Tale of Two Halves

The Titans came out like gangbusters, jumping ahead 24-3 by the midway point of the second quarter with a lot of efficiency on offense. At the half, Tannehill had completed 12-of-15 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns, and even with a botched ending to the half when the team couldn't get points after driving into field goal range, things were looking good. But an ugly trend continued in the second half, when the Titans were shut out for the third week in a row. Tannehill completed just 5-of-6 for 34 yards in the second half, when the offense managed just three first downs. The Titans now have been outscored 64-7 in the second half of games this season. "I know we came out and played well in the first half, and the second half was what it was, but we found a way to get a first down when it mattered at the end," Tannehill said. "But there's things in both halves that we did well, and things in both halves we have to clean up."

Getting Chiggy With It

The Titans had several players on offense make plays when they got rolling early, as Henry rolled, Tannehill was sharp, and receiver Robert Woods caught his first touchdown pass as a Titan. But it was a breakout game of sorts for rookie tight end Chig Okonkwo, who also caught his first career touchdown in the first half before making a big play late. Remember, it was Okonkwo who caught the seven-yard pass from Tannehill when the Titans faced a third-and-four on their final possession. The first down allowed the Titans to keep the ball, and they ran out the clock. "As you know, winning is our main goal – that's the No.1 thing," said Okonkwo, who caught three passes for 33 yards and the score. "It feels great to win, and obviously it feels great to make plays and help the team win."

No Apologies Needed After Win

No, it wasn't pretty late. Not at the end of the first half, and not in the second half of Sunday's game. The Titans had a chance to win going away at Lucas Oil Stadium, but a botched ending to the half, a miserable possession to start the second half, and some inconsistencies on both sides of the ball made this one a lot closer than it needed to be. But the Titans deserve some credit for doing a lot of things right, from building the early lead, to making plays on defense, to holding Colts running back Jonathan Taylor to just 42 rushing yards, to making plays when it meant the most. And this team, after starting the year 0-2, deserves some credit for winning. I've been around long enough to remember when the Colts dominated this series. Heck, it wasn't long ago when former Colts Reggie Wayne and Pat McAfee made fun of the Titans in their own city during the NFL Draft in Nashville. Well, who's laughing now? The Titans have won four straight games against the Colts, and 5 of the last 6 in the series. The Titans have won four straight games in Indianapolis. Most importantly, the Titans are now 2-2, and have a chance to get to 3-2 at the bye week. "Division games are hard to win, and you know they are going to come down to the end," center Ben Jones. "We found a way to win, and that's what matters most. We know we have to be better, but we are going in the right direction."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Tennessee Titans arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium for their Week 4 Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

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