The Indianapolis Colts just keep digging themselves into early holes, then proving they know how to come back and win.
Donald Brown ran for two touchdowns, Andrew Luck added another and the Colts rallied yet again, this time beating the Tennessee Titans 30-27 on Thursday night after trailing 14-0 in the first quarter.
“At the end of the day winning is what matters,” Luck said. “We were fortunate in this game to survive our mistakes and have a chance to win. … But we know that’s got to be fixed.”
Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals, including a 50-yarder, and Coby Fleener had a career-high eight catches for 107 yards to help the Colts (7-3) bounce back nicely from a 38-8 home loss to St. Louis. They have yet to lose back-to-back games under coach Chuck Pagano and are 8-0 coming off a loss.
“Obviously, starting out like that is something we’re all too familiar with,” Fleener said. “That’s something we have to work and get corrected.”
The Colts are back in charge of the AFC South too, now having beaten all three divisional opponents on the road.
“We’re not worried about that yet,” Luck said. “We’re worried about this next game.”
The Titans (4-6) lost their second straight and fifth in six games, blowing the big lead. Chris Johnson ran for two touchdowns and 70 yards in the first quarter, but had only 16 yards after that.
“We’ve got to find that winning formula, whatever it is,” Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “We have to find a way to pull these games out at the end. It’s a tough locker room in there right now. That’s two in a row that kind of slipped away from us. Two big ones, two costly ones for us.”
The Colts had the ball less than 6 minutes in the first quarter and wound up holding the ball more than 32:23. They also outgained the Titans 366-340.
Indianapolis sealed the victory with an 11-play drive capped by Brown’s 11-yard touchdown with 3:01 left. That was the Colts’ fourth drive of 11 plays or more.
Luck finished 23 of 36 for 232 yards passing.
Incognito files grievance
Richie Incognito filed a grievance against the Miami Dolphins over his suspension.
The NFL Players Association released a statement saying the veteran guard filed a non-injury grievance.
“The grievance challenges his suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club,” the union’s statement said. “In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team.”
Incognito was suspended by Miami on Nov. 3 for misconduct related to the treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who abruptly left the Dolphins late last month to receive help for emotional issues.
The NFL is investigating whether Incognito harassed or bullied Martin. Incognito has said the conduct was all part of the normal locker room environment.
Incognito has missed one game, and the suspension by the team can last for four games. The Dolphins, who have not said how long Incognito is suspended, said they do not comment on grievances.
Around the League
The New York Jets and nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed have agreed to terms on a contract. The 35-year-old Reed was released Tuesday by Houston, cleared waivers Wednesday and joined the Jets a day later. … After sitting out practice with a sore right ankle on Wednesday, Denver QB Peyton Manning was back on the practice field for the Broncos as they prepare for an AFC West showdown against Kansas City on Sunday. Manning had an MRI on Monday that revealed no further damage to the ankle. … Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley plans to have spinal fusion surgery and intends to play football again. The surgery will be performed by the Pittsburgh Steelers team neurosurgeon. No timeline for surgery was given. … New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, who missed three games with a hip injury, says he’s eager to return for the Patriots’ game Monday night against the Carolina Panthers.