Titans top Colts to make playoffs
INDIANAPOLIS - Kerry Collins spent most of the season waiting for a chance to prove he could still play. Last night, with a playoff spot at stake, Tennessee's backup quarterback delivered the biggest win of the season.
INDIANAPOLIS - Kerry Collins spent most of the season waiting for a chance to prove he could still play.
Last night, with a playoff spot at stake, Tennessee's backup quarterback delivered the biggest win of the season.
He led the Titans to three second-half field goals, including a 54-yarder from Rob Bironas to retake the lead in a 16-10 victory that left Tennessee celebrating and Cleveland grimacing.
The Titans (10-6) had to win to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. A loss would have given Cleveland its first playoff berth since 2002.
And when Peyton Manning left after two series, things looked good for the Titans.
Instead, the offense bogged down after a touchdown drive on the game's opening series. When Vince Young left in the third quarter with a right quadriceps injury, Tennessee appeared to be in trouble.
Collins replaced Young in the middle of a 13-play, 56-yard drive that ended with Bironas' tying 40-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
The Titans marched 79 yards in 11 plays on the game's opening possession, and Chris Brown scored on an 8-yard run to give Tennessee a 7-0 lead.
The Colts (13-3) looked ready to tie the score, but wide receiver Reggie Wayne fumbled after a catch, and Tennessee linebacker David Thornton, a former Colts player, recovered at the Titans' 20.
Adam Vinatieri made a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter, and the Colts cut Tennessee's lead to 7-3.
Tennessee drove inside the Colts' 10-yard line midway through the second quarter before Ed Johnson forced Brown to fumble and Indianapolis' Darrell Reid recovered at the Colts' 7-yard line.
Tennessee tight end Bo Scaife left the game late in the second quarter. He went across the middle for a pass and took a shot from safety Matt Giordano. The ball bounced up in the air, and Tennessee's Justin Gage caught it for a 21-yard gain, but the drive eventually fizzled.
Manning went over 4,000 yards for the season with a completion in the first quarter. It's his eighth 4,000-yard season, an NFL record. He played until the middle of the second quarter after completing 14 of 16 passes for 95 yards, and was replaced by Jim Sorgi.
Wayne took the NFL's receiving yardage title. His 6-yard catch from Sorgi in the second quarter pushed him past New England's Randy Moss. He caught one more pass, then left the game and got a hug from coach Tony Dungy. For the season, Wayne finished with 1,510 yards, the fourth-highest total in team history behind three seasons by Marvin Harrison.