NASHVILLE – The Titans beat the Colts 19-10 on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Here's a look at six things that stood out from the contest …
Ryan Tannehill hasn't missed a game since joining the Titans in 2019. On Sunday, the Titans quarterback left the game briefly with an ankle injury, but he returned. Tannehill was in a walking boot after the game. (Keep reading for more on the injury). Tannehill wasn't the only Titan who came back after being injured. Center Ben Jones returned after gutting through pain, and so did defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel applauded the toughness of his players, and the players said it's an attitude and mindset. "It's the way we're built, man," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "We don't take things like that for granted. Guys over here fight for everything." Simmons, who dealt with an ankle injury of his own, said "this is a tough team." "We are going to fight to the end," Simmons continued. "Ben, whatever he had going, Tannehill – he's one of the toughest quarterbacks I've seen in this league. He gets hit and he's right back up like it's nothing. That's just props to what we have built this team on, and the toughness we have on this team."
Austin Hooper's Big Catch, and Day
With a smile, Titans tight end Austin Hooper acknowledged he knew what day it was: National Tight Ends Day. "I read that," Hooper said with a grin. "I'm glad I could help and celebrate with the tight ends." Hooper picked a good day to have a good day, and it was his best day as a Titan. Hooper caught three passes for 56 yards in Sunday's win over the Colts. Hooper's biggest catch of the day came late when he managed to haul in a Tannehill pass after a Colts defender initially caused it to bobble in his hands. It was good for a 19-yard gain in the fourth quarter, and it put the Titans in a position to seal the game with a field goal. "It was one of those bounces where I had a chance at it, and had to make it happen," Hooper said. "(My teammates) were all giving me a high-five." In six games, Hooper now has nine catches for 111 yards. "It's awesome when you can help the team win," Hooper said. "This is the best team sport in the world in my opinion. … It was my turn to help the team and take advantage of the opportunities."
Andrew Adams Gets His TD
Back in 2019, Andrew Adams was with the Buccaneers when Titans punter Brett Kern got blown up by linebacker Devin White on a fake punt. Adams picked up the loose ball, and he returned it for a touchdown. The only problem: The game officials ruled the play dead. "They should have let it play (out)," Adams said with a smile after Sunday's game. "They actually robbed me of my first touchdown against the Titans, and now I got my first touchdown with the Titans." Yes, Adams scored on a touchdown on a 76-yard interception return on Sunday, and it counted. The 7th year pro, signed by the team off Pittsburgh's practice squad back on September 21, had the ball in the locker room after the game. "I'll probably give it to my dad, or put it up in the man cave or something like that," Adams said. "(My mindset after the INT) was 'score, just score. I mean, you are still running, the adrenaline's going. So, just score. I think that's really the mindset, and don't get caught."
Titans running back Derrick Henry ran the ball 30 times for 128 yards on Sunday, with a long run of 23 yards. Henry has now eclipsed the 100-yard mark three weeks in a row, and he has 536 yards and five touchdowns in the season. Henry is now on pace to finish with 1,519 yards. The Titans needed Henry on Sunday, as his tough yards helped move the chains while further establishing the team's physical mindset. Perhaps the best run of the day wasn't the longest run – it was the 11-yard run late when his offensive linemen got behind him, and helped move the pile, turning what looked to be a short run into a first down. "Whatever is required for us to win, I am always wanting to do what I can to help the team win the game," Henry said. "It was a tough team (we faced), with a tough defense. We just had to stay with it and finish runs and get what we could."
Defense, Defense, Defense
Kicker Randy Bullock had a nice day, converting on all four of his field goal attempts, including a big one late. The offense moved the ball at times when it needed to, especially late. No, it wasn't a thing of beauty, but the last two possessions produced points, and allowed the team to run out the clock. But on this day, the Titans defense saved the day with another gutsy performance. In addition to the pick-6 from Adams, linebacker David Long Jr. had a big interception, cornerback Terrance Mitchell forced a fumble that was recovered by Amani Hooker, and the pass rush once again flustered Colts quarterback Matt Ryan all day. Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Bud Dupree all had sacks, and the Titans were credited with 10 QB pressures. Long and Adams tied for a team-high 10 tackles. "It was an all-around team effort," Long Jr. said. "When the front seven plays good, and the back players make plays on the ball, that's how you get rolling."
Tannehill's Walking Boot
I touched on Tannehill before. But the last visual after Sunday's game was seeing Tannehill in a walking boot for his post-game press conference. "It doesn't feel great," Tannehill said of the right ankle. "I had to battle through it there at the end, but sometimes it comes with the territory. I am going to be out there if at all possible, and I'm going to do everything I can this week to get it right and feeling the best I can for Sunday." Tannehill had his ankle taped when he went into the blue medical tent during the contest. The injury forced him to miss just one snap. Henry said he plans to check on Tannehill soon. The Titans face the Texans next Sunday in Houston. "I told him, 'I'm going to have to send him a text early in the morning to see how he is going," Henry said. "Hopefully it's not too bad – if he can go out there, he's going to go."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 at Nissan Stadium.
The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 at Nissan Stadium.
The Tennessee Titans arrive at Nissan Stadium for their Week 7 Game against the Indianapolis Colts.