INDIANAPOLIS – In a city known for auto racing, the Titans started out fast and furious.
The team then spent most of the second half spinning its wheels.
At the end of this season, however, no one will be asking how the Titans beat the Colts here on Sunday.
'How much?' is the most important question, and the answer on this day was 'seven.'
"We won the game 24-17, and I am excited as hell about it," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said immediately after the contest. "We are excited to win on the road, in the division."
The Titans have now beaten the Colts four straight times, and won five of the last six in the series. The Titans have won four straight games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
After improving to 2-2 with the win, there was no reason to apologize, despite some anxious moments in the second half, when the team failed to score, and the Colts made it interesting.
"It feels great, and it feels great to celebrate in that locker room," Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "I'm proud of our guys – we battled together. … At the end of the day, our job is to go out there and win football games – 1-0 every week – and we were able to do that.
"Our job is to win, whether it is "ugly" or "pretty" it doesn't matter. A' W' is a 'W' and our job is to score more points than the other team and finish each and every week 1-0. "
The Titans showed up early on both sides of the football while racing to a 24-3 lead.
Tannehill completed 17-of-21 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the game, with scoring tosses to receiver Robert Woods and tight end Chig Okonkwo.
Running back Derrick Henry ran for 114 yards on 22 carries, with a touchdown run.
"A great win, a great team win," said Henry. "I'm glad we were able to come out with a "W."
Defensively, the Titans held Colts running back Jonathan Taylor to just 42 yards on 20 carries. Meanwhile, the Titans sacked Colts quarterback Matt Ryan three times.
It was a great start for the Titans.
Defensive lineman Denico Autry sacked Ryan and forced a fumble that was recovered by outside linebacker Bud Dupree at the Indianapolis 32-yard line.
Five plays later, Tannehill connected with Woods for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Titans a 7-0 lead just seven minutes into the contest.
Then, after the defense forced a three-and-out, the Titans responded with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off with a 19-yard scoring run by Henry to make it 14-0. Tannehill connected on throws to tight ends Austin Hooper and Okonkwo, along with one to Henry, on the scoring drive.
After the Colts cut the lead to 14-3 in the second quarter on a 27-yard field goal by kicker Chase McLaughlin, the Titans answered back with a 44-yard field goal by kicker Randy Bullock, which capped off a nine-play, 41-yard drive. The kick made it 17-3 with 9:39 left in the second quarter.
The defense kept coming.
Defensive lineman Teair Tart made a heck of a play midway through the second quarter when he batted a pass by Ryan into the air, and then intercepted it at the Indianapolis 28-yard line.
Five plays later the Titans cashed that in for another touchdown, as Tannehill connected with Okonkwo for his first career touchdown. The eight-yard scoring toss made it 24-3.
The Colts cut the lead to 24-10 with 2:13 left before halftime, however, on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to tight end Mo Alie-Cox.
The Titans missed a chance to get more points before halftime, but the clock ran out before the field goal unit could get set for a kick after Tannehill was tackled inbounds. With no time outs, the Titans headed to the half knowing they'd squandered a scoring chance.
In the third quarter, the Colts trimmed Tennessee's lead to 24-17 on another touchdown pass from Ryan to Alie-Cox, this time from seven yards out, and suddenly the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd was riled up.
The Titans were in trouble late, with the Colts driving and inside their 25. But linebacker Joe Schobert forced a fumble on a third and one play, and cornerback Kristian Fulton jumped on it to stop the Colts momentum.
The Colts missed a field goal with 1:58 left, and the Titans held on.
"We have nowhere near played our best four quarters," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "We have so much room for improvement, and I think that is a positive. To go through the first four games and be 2-2, that is huge for us. But we are not satisfied for getting two straight wins, we have a lot we need to fix."
The Titans return to action next Sunday on the road against the Washington Commanders.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium.