Colts ship loud, clear message with essential win at Tennessee

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts despatched an unmistakable message at Tennessee: Sure, they will beat anybody within the NFL.

Simply 4 days after enduring an excruciating loss to Baltimore, Indianapolis posted its most important win this season. It gave the Colts a share of the AFC South lead, a chance to grab management of the division by successful the rematch in two weeks, and the type of momentum that goes far past the normal win-loss calculus.

“We completed the best way we would have liked to complete,” Reich mentioned. “We simply type of got here in (at halftime) and mentioned, ‘That is what we anticipated, a decent sport.’ Simply going backwards and forwards. We felt like we have been capable of do some issues, however we would have liked to lock in and end it off, which we did.”

By beating the 2019 AFC runners-up on their house area and at their very own sport, the Colts lastly proved they belong in a dialog in regards to the convention’s high groups. Indy (6-3) entered the sport with 5 wins over groups with worse data, and two losses in opposition to groups with higher data.

And whereas it quickly halts the comparisons to final season when one other promising 5-2 begin become a playoff-short 7-9 mark, essentially the most essential half about this win appeared to be the boldness increase Indy bought.

It was evident within the Colts’ post-game voices.

“I knew one factor, I didn’t need to accept common,” operating again Nyheim Hines mentioned after scoring two touchdowns. “I needed to play nice.”

For one week, at the very least, this gave the impression to be the successful formulation the Colts envisioned all alongside.

Philip Rivers threw for 308 yards and a TD in one in all his best video games this season. Indy’s sputtering floor sport produced 133 yards, a wholesome 4.6 yards per carry and two scores.

The league’s No. 1 protection pitched a second-half shutout and largely saved dashing chief Derrick Henry in examine. And on particular groups, the Colts pressured Tennessee into one poor punt, which they finally become a TD, and blocked one other that was returned for the game-turning rating.

It was the right script on the excellent second.

Now, in fact, the Colts should present they will proceed to play this fashion after they face Inexperienced Bay on Nov. 22 and the Titans (6-3) on Nov. 29. Rivers believes they will.

“You’ve bought to maintain going as a result of until we proceed to get higher and win soccer video games, we’ll look again at this one and say, ‘That was cool, however it didn’t matter,’ ” he mentioned. “This was an enormous sport, even an even bigger sport after shedding to the Ravens.”

WHAT’S WORKING

The no-huddle offense. Indy threw a change-up on the Titans on Thursday, and it helped Rivers and the offense get into and keep in rhythm for 4 quarters. Reich mentioned they determined early within the week to offer it a shot, and now it’s another wrinkle defenses want to arrange for.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The deep passing sport. This has been a season-long drawback. A lot of the huge performs have been manufactured from yards after the catch. Defenses proceed to dare them to go excessive, but when the Colts’ floor sport churns out yardage like on Thursday, maybe they’ll benefit from extra downfield pictures.

STOCK UP

Hines’ twenty fourth birthday celebration didn’t embrace any backflips, however there was little question his vitality gave the Colts an actual increase. He had 115 whole yards, ran for rating and caught a TD move — his third sport this season with at the very least two scores.

STOCK DOWN

DE Al-Quadin Muhammad. In a sport the place nearly every little thing else went in keeping with script, Muhammad was ejected within the waning moments after slapping the helmet of a Titans participant. Reich acknowledged it’s not one thing the Colts need or condone.

INJURED

Cornerback Kenny Moore II left Thursday’s sport with a rib harm and continues to be being evaluated, Reich mentioned. Tight finish Jack Doyle went into the concussion protocol throughout Sunday’s sport and has not but been cleared.

KEY NUMBER

5 — Indy now has 5 landing returns this season: three pick-6s, a 101-yard kickoff return, and T.J. Carrie’s rating off the blocked punt. The Colts even have two safeties this season, and Hines returned two punts for scores in the identical sport final December.

NEXT STEPS

The Colts get a couple of further days to get relaxation. Once they do return, they’ll have two essential house video games that might assist decide their postseason probabilities.

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL





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