The Colts Influence
The Colts Influence
It wasn't a very good day for Tennessee Titans as it was for the Indianapolis Colts. Hell, every day's a good day for The Colts!
The defense occasionally bent, but limited the Titans to 40 rushing yards on 20 carries and never let McNair find the end zone. It sacked McNair and backup Billy Volek four times, including two by Freeney. It was Freeney who set the stage for Tripplett's personal highlight, beating left tackle Brad Hopkins and forcing a fumble by whacking McNair from behind.
Tennessee penetrated the Colts' 20-yard line only twice, and was limited to one field goal. The Titans converted just 2-of-12 third-down situations.
With the Triplets in sync and the defense producing another physically dominant performance Sunday, Tennessee never had a chance as the Colts rolled to a 35-3 victory to clinch a playoff spot and remain the NFL's only unbeaten team.
Again The Triplets achieved milestones Sunday, their systematic offense shredded the Titans' defense and Indy became the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot by rolling to its 12th consecutive victory, 35-3.
Indianapolis is now the fifth team in league history to start 12-0, the first since Denver in 1998, and again looked impressive as its historic quest for an undefeated season continued.
Tennessee has now lost six straight to Indianapolis.
Indianapolis became the first team to clinch a playoff spot and can capture the AFC South title next week with a victory against the Jaguars.
It didn't take long for Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James to produce their usual show.
Manning completed 13 of 17 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 25 this season. That extended his own NFL record to eight straight seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes.
James carried 28 times for 107 yards and one touchdown, becoming the second fastest player in league history to 9,000 yards. He now has 9,067 yards in 93 games. Eric Dickerson reached the milestone in 82 games.
Harrison wastes no time in reaching 12,000-yard milestone
Harrison also joined the milestone club by becoming the 12th player in league history to top 12,000 yards receiving. He did that with his first reception, a 36-yarder on the Colts' opening drive, which also ended with Harrison's 10-yard TD reception -- extending the NFL record between the duo to 92. Harrison had four receptions for 61 yards.
Marvin Harrison caught four passes for 61 yards and his first reception, a 36-yarder on the Colts' opening drive, made Harrison the 12th player in league history to top 12,000 yards receiving. His 10-yard TD catch on the Colts' opening possession was the 92nd between Manning and Harrison, also extending that duo's NFL record.
It was that kind of day for the Titans. From miserable trick plays to failed fourth down conversions and a Colts' goal-line stand, very little went right.
McNair was 22-of-33 for 220 yards, was sacked three times and knocked out for four plays in the third quarter with a bruised right shin. When he did return, the troubles continued. Early in the fourth quarter, McNair was sacked by Dwight Freeney, then lost the ball and watched helplessly as Larry Tripplett scooped it out of the air and raced 60 yards for a touchdown.
On With The Show . . .
Tennessee wins toss and elects to receive, and Indianapolis elects to defend the East goal.
Although McNair connected twice for a total of 12 yards and moving the chains once, Titans were unable to have any success with the kickoff as their next set of downs were for yards loss and an incomplete pass. Titans are forced to punt.
So it wasn't a good
start when Peyton got sacked on The Colts first play of the game,
however, Colts gained five yards when an illegal contact call was
called on Titans on the same play. Then it was on as Peyton and
Company moved the chains 80 yards down field which included a 15 yard
pass to Dallas Clark,
Tight end Dallas Clark (44) hangs onto the ball after he is popped by Tennessee's Lamont Thompson (28) in the first quarter.
a 36 yarder to Marvin
Harrison and another 10 to Marv and to end it with another 10 yard
pass in to the end zone again to Marvin Harrison to make it 7-0.
Marvin Harrison (88) stretches for the endzone with Tennessee Titans Andre Woolfolk (26) on his back to score a first quarter touchdown.
Again on Titans possession, they failed to move the chains but once and were forced to punt again.
On The Colts next series was a constant use of Edgerrin James gaining 4 yards on his first run, 4 yards on his second run, however Edge could only push 1 yard on his third and Colts ended up punting.
Titans take their next series into the second quarter . . .
On Titans next series, Dwight Freeney did what Dwight Freeney does! He knocks down quarterbacks, as McNair is sacked for a loss of 6 yards. And Mathis does what Mathis does when Adam "Pacman" tries to play as quarterback and is tackled for a 13-yard loss as he tried to throw the ball.
To top that series off, Rob Bironas kicks a 51-yard field goal wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidde left.
Then Manning went back to
work. This time, he led the Colts on a 59-yard drive with Edgerrin,
Edgerrin, Edgerrin, Edgerrin, and finishing with Bryan Fletcher on a
13-yard TD pass to make it 14-0 late
in the second quarter.
Tennessee then ran 8 plays for 44 yards to end up on Colts 6 yard line. 6 yards to go for a Titans touchdown as McNair fires one in to the end zone to Tight end Ben Troupe . . .
however a Titans touchdown
was denied by Colts defender Mike Doss.
Titans had to settle for a 24-yard field goal just before halftime making it Colts 14-3. That wasn't nearly enough against The Colts that has averaged more than 35 points over the past nine weeks.
Tennessee then ran 9 plays for 49 yards to cap it off with a 24-yard field goal just before halftime making it Colts 14-3. That wasn't nearly enough against The Colts that has averaged more than 35 points over the past nine weeks.
After Manning staked the Colts to a 14-3 halftime lead, it was nearly all James running and pounding out the field - all the friekin' time.
Edgerrin James (32) gives a stiff arm to the Tennessee Titans' Rien Long in the third quarter.
The Colts snapped 26 plays that netted 147 yards in the second half. James handled 21 of the plays with 19 rushes and two receptions and accounted for 94 yards. He exited the game with 107 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries.
Manning opened the third
quarter with a 72 yard drive in 10 plays, with a lot of Edgerin James
and a 22 yard pass to Dallas Clark to finally connect with Reggie
Wayne on a 27 yard TD pass bringing the score to 21-3
The Colts knocked McNair out of the game for four plays on the Titans' initial third-quarter drive. With Billy Volek in as quarterback he was introduced to Larry Tripplett and sacked for a minus 3 yards. Facing fourth-and-1 at the Colts 31, backup quarterback Billy Volek threw incomplete to Tyrone Calico.
Colts Ball . . .
On Colts next possession,
Edgerrin James turns the Colts' diverse offense into a one-man
wrecking crew as he took all 8 plays for 68 yards which included a 21
yard run and getting knocked out of bounds at the 2 yard line.
Indianapolis Colts' Edgerrin James, right, runs for 21 yards before being dragged down by Tennessee Titans' Tank Williams, left, during the second half, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005, in Indianapolis. The Colts won, 35-3.
Correction: James was pushed out of bounds - Not
Who else, but Edgerrin
James to finish up the remaining 2 yards for a touchdown with 1:28
left in the third to extended the Colts' lead to 28-3
to assure the Colts of one more week of perfection.
Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning reacts after teammate Edgerrin James scored on a two-yard touchdown during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005.
The TD was the 63rd of James' career, tying Lenny Moore's club record that was set in 1957.
Edgerrin James carried 28 times for 107 yards, becoming the third-fastest player in league history to top 9,000 yards. In 93 games, James has rushed for 9,067 yards. Eric Dickerson did it in 82 games; Jim Brown did it in 88.
Once more, the Titans faced fourth-and-1, this time at their 39 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Linebacker David Thornton and Brackett stuffed McNair on a sneak for no gain.
But the Titans get a break when Manning fumbled the ball and was recovered by Tennessee LB, Brad Kassell.
Did I say Titans got a break?
Whoops, here comes Freeney to sack McNair for a loss of 12 yards
let's take a snap shot back . . .
. . . so what happened with the ball?
As the ball was sent sailing, Larry Tripplett snags the ball out of the air and runs for 60 yards for his first NFL career Touchdown capping the Indianapolis Colts' 35-3 victory that enabled them to become just the fifth team in NFL history to open a season 12-0 and clinch their sixth playoff appearance in seven seasons.
"About the 20-yard line, I looked up at the video screen and didn't see anybody behind me. I was like, 'Thank goodness,' because I was getting a little winded," Tripplett said.
On Titans next possession, McNair marched his team 44 yards down the field to The Colts 2 yard line.
The 2 yard line.
The 2 yard line . . .
as McNair throws 4 incomplete passes into the end zone, one broken up by Colts Linebacker Gilbert Gardner and one by Rob Morris.
Colts ball as they run Edgerrin to run the clock, yet ended up punting with a little over 3 minutes left in the game as Titans backup quarterback Volek gets nowhere and Colts backup quarterback Sorgi takes a knee to end the game!
The 12-0 club
The Colts joined elite company with Sunday's win over Tennessee, moving to 12-0. Here's a look at the other four teams in NFL history to open a season 12-0, and how their season ended:
Dungy won his 100th regular-season game Sunday
The Colts extended their franchise-record home winning streak to 11 and have now won 20 of their last 21 regular-season games
Kyle Vanden Bosch, who came into the game second in the NFL in sacks, had two wiped out by Tennessee penalties.
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