NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Coaches and quarterbacks change for the Indianapolis Colts. What remains the same is they keep beating Tennessee in its own building.
Philip Rivers threw for 308 yards and a touchdown, and Nyheim Hines scored twice as the Colts trounced the Titans 34-17 Thursday night to grab the head-to-head edge atop the AFC South.
The Colts (6-3) will host the rematch in Indianapolis on Nov. 29 after helping coach Frank Reich improve to 4-1 against Titans coach Mike Vrabel. Indianapolis is 14-5 at Nissan Stadium.
“We get a huge special teams touchdown and then offensively, shoot, we were rolling pretty good all day,” said Rivers, in his first season with the Colts after spending 16 with the Chargers. "We were very balanced, kind of got in a rhythm with the no-huddle. This was a huge road division win.”
Indianapolis came in with the NFL's best defense in terms of fewest yards allowed. The Colts smothered a Tennessee offense that had been averaging 384.6 yards per game, 10th-best in the league, and ranked seventh averaging 29 points. E.J. Speed also blocked a punt that T.J. Carrie returned 6 yards for a TD late in the third quarter.
The Colts outgained Tennessee 430-294, though Derrick Henry ran for 103 yards.
The Titans (6-3) lost for the third time in four games as they head into the toughest stretch of their season, with Indianapolis the first of four straight opponents currently with winning records.
Tennessee led 17-13 at halftime. Indianapolis took advantage of the Titans' special teams woes to score twice in the third quarter for a 27-17 lead.