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Ryan Tannehill throws 3 TDs as Titans hold off Colts, 25-16

Ryan Tannehill threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns as the Tennessee Titans held off the Indianapolis Colts, 25-16 in Nashville
Credit: AP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans know it's almost impossible to win a game turning the ball over three times.

They found a way to overcome their mistakes for a big win against a team they rarely beat, especially in Nashville.

Ryan Tannehill threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns and the Titans held off the Indianapolis Colts 25-16 Sunday to grab an early tiebreaker in the AFC South.

"I'll take a win no matter what ...," said Tannehill, who was intercepted twice. "Find a way to win. Obviously have some things to clean up, but we found a way to win and that's why we're here."

The road team had won the previous five games in this division rivalry with the Titans only 8-16 in Nashville in this series. This was their first home win since Oct. 16, 2017, over the Colts. Tennessee also hadn't won a game turning it over three times since beating Atlanta 20-13 on Oct. 7, 2007.

This time, the Titans (2-1) are the defending AFC South champs with a healthy Derrick Henry. The reigning AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year ran for 113 yards, topping the 100-yard mark for a sixth straight division game.

The Colts turned two interceptions of Tannehill into 10 points. Indianapolis coach Frank Reich called it a "heartbreaking loss."

"You don't lose many games when you win the turnovers 3-0," Reich said.

The Colts (0-3) are off to their worst start since 2011.

"It just feels like a bad dream, honestly," Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said. "Starting 0-3, first loss here in Tennessee. It just sucks. Got to find a way to win."

Carson Wentz started after being questionable for Indianapolis with a pair of sprained ankles. He never ran even once, choosing to throw the ball away repeatedly when pressured. He finished with 194 yards passing.

Credit: AP
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) plays against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

The Colts twice had first-and-goal inside the Titans 9 in the second half. Tennessee's defense, much-maligned in 2020, held the Colts to a pair of field goals by Rodrigo Blankenship. The last came with 10:20 left when Blankenship's 24-yarder pulled the Colts within 22-16.

Tennessee then put the game away, going on a 14-play drive chewing up 7:22 of the clock. Randy Bullock put Tennessee up 25-16 with a 32-yard field goal.

The Colts tried for a final score, but Blankenship's 51-yard attempt was wide right with 57 seconds left. The Titans knelt down for the win.