Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/9/12
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts played one of their worst halves of the season. But as has become habit, they picked it up in the second half. The Colts came back from a 13-point deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans 27-23 on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis improved to 9-4 and kept their playoff hopes alive and well. Adam Vinatieri's 53-yard field goal gave the Colts a 24-23 lead with 6:23 left before Colts cornerback Darius Butler helped set up another score with an interception of Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker on the next series. Vinatieri hit a 40-yarder to make it 27-23 with 3:48 left. Indianapolis remains in the No. 5 spot in the AFC playoff picture heading into their final three games at Houston, at Kansas City and home against Houston. The Colts are 8-1 in games decided by one score this season. The Titans fell to 4-9 heading into a home game against the New York Jets. Locker led the Titans to a 20-7 halftime lead, completing 15 of 20 passes for 213 yards (including 127 yards to Kenny Britt) as the Colts' offense struggled. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who passed Peyton Manning for the team record for most passing yardage in a season, threw two first-half interceptions. The second half was a different story. The Colts cut the deficit to 20-14 on their first drive of the third quarter, with Luck driving the team 80 yards in 14 plays. He completed two third-down passes to Reggie Wayne -- the second pushing him past Peyton Manning for the team's rookie record for yards passing in a season. Delone Carter scored on a 1-yard run. A great 52-yard punt by Pat McAfee pushed the Titans back to their 1-yard line. One play later, Colts cornerback Cassius Vaughn jumped the route, picked off Jake Locker's pass and put the Colts up 21-20. The Titans regained the lead 23-21 on a 16-play, 10-minute drive, capped by Rob Bironas' 25-yard field goal with 10:28 left in the third. The Colts had penalties on two third-down plays that would have forced a punt. The Colts then put Vinatieri in position to win the game. Luck finished 16 of 34 passing for 196 yards. Colts running back Vick Ballard rushed 19 times for 94 yards. Tennessee started strong in the game, going 7-0 on the game's first possession with a near-flawless nine-play, 80-yard drive. Locker was 6-for-6 passing for 53 yards and scrambled 32 yards for a first down. Locker hit tight end Jared Cook with an 18-yard strike for the touchdown. The Colts tied it 7-7 after the Titans tried a 57-yard field goal, missed and gave Indianapolis great field position at its own 47. Luck engineered a score, hitting Reggie Wayne for the 4-yard touchdown pass with 1:01 left in the first quarter. Locker's 47-yard strike to Kenny Britt set up a Bironas 40-yard field goal to put the Titans up 10-7 early in the second quarter. The Titans boosted their lead to 17-7 with 4:40 left in the half when Luck, being sacked by Derrick Morgan, tried to throw a pass on his way down. Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon picked off the pass and returned it for a touchdown. Officials reviewed the play to see if Luck's knee was down before the throw, but the call on the field stood. Bironas boosted the Titans' lead to 20-7 with a 31-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the half. Locker finished 22 of 35 passing for 262 yards and one score. NOTES: Titans running back Chris Johnson reached 1,000 yards rushing for the fifth consecutive season, becoming the eighth player in NFL history to achieve the feat. The most recent was LaDainian Tomlinson. ... Colts receiver Reggie Wayne moved into the top 10 in NFL history in pass receptions, passing Andre Reed for 10th place.
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