8:25 PM ET, November 14, 2013
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
If losing 29-27 at home Sunday to previously winless Jacksonville wasn't bad enough, Tennessee (4-5) lost Locker when he suffered a Lisfranc injury to his right foot in the second quarter. Limited to 18 career starts because of injuries, Locker could need surgery.
The focus now shifts to Fitzpatrick as he tries to help turn around a team that's lost four of five, is two games behind AFC South-leading Indianapolis (6-3) and hoping to avoid its first four-game home losing streak since 2005.
"We're just concentrating on these seven weeks," coach Mike Munchak said. "That's all we're concerned about. Next year is next year (with Locker). Right now we just got to go forward and try to win a game."
Tennessee has dropped eight of nine to the Colts, who it will face twice in three weeks. The Titans' lone win during that stretch came at home, 27-10 on Oct. 30, 2011.
Fitzpatrick completed 54.3 percent of his passes with a touchdown and four interceptions while starting for the injured Locker in consecutive losses to Kansas City and Seattle last month. He was 22 of 33 for 264 yards with two TDs, no picks and ran for a score in relief Sunday.
"When it's your turn to step up, you've got to step up and play, and that's where we're at," said tight end Delanie Walker, who had four receptions for a season-high 62 yards and a 14-yard TD with 40 seconds remaining Sunday.
"He's going to be the starting quarterback from now on because Jake is out for the year, so Ryan has no choice but to play (well). I feel like he did a great job against the Jaguars. This is his opportunity to be the man now."
Fitzpatrick could use some help from Chris Johnson, who ran 12 times for 30 yards against a Jacksonville team that came in surrendering an NFL-worst 161.8 rushing yards per contest.
Johnson, who gained 150 and scored twice in a 28-21 win at St. Louis on Nov. 3, has been held to 39 or fewer rushing yards five times in a six-game stretch. He's averaged 54.2 yards per game and 3.0 per carry without a TD in his last five against the Colts.
After turning the ball over a season-high four times Sunday, the Titans have committed 13 in five games following a 3-1 start where they didn't have any.
Indianapolis has forced one or no turnovers in three of four games, and committed a season-high five during Sunday's 38-8 home loss to St. Louis. Andrew Luck threw three interceptions to match his total from the season's first eight games and the Colts allowed Rams rookie Tavon Austin to score on a 98-yard punt return and pass plays of 57 and 81 yards.
"I think all we want is to never play like that again," tight end Coby Fleener said. "The feeling after that game was just disgust."
Luck threw for a season-high 353 yards, but one touchdown and was sacked three more times, including one he fumbled and returned for a Rams TD. Luck did run for 17 of the team's 18 rushing yards.
Trent Richardson gained two yards on five attempts, and has averaged 2.8 per carry while not running for more than 60 yards in any of his seven games since being acquired from Cleveland on Sept. 18.
Indianapolis has been held to 74 or fewer rushing yards in three of the last four contests. Tennessee ranks 21st allowing 114.9 rushing yards per game but held the Jaguars to 54.
"We realized how important the run game is to our success," Luck told the Colts' official website. "We'll improve, and we're looking forward to the Titans."
Defensively, Indianapolis has allowed at least 24 points in four of the last five games and five TD passes of at least 31 yards in the last three.
"Certainly we're not going to bury our head in the sand on this past ball game," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "We'll address the issues like we always address them. We know there are things that need to be fixed and we'll go to work on fixing those things."
Luck's 16-yard touchdown pass to Vick Ballard gave the Colts a 19-13 overtime win at Tennessee last season. He completed 58.3 percent of his passes with two TDs and three INTs while Indianapolis won both 2012 meetings by a combined 10 points.
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|Avg Points Allowed||22.0||22.6|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||IND|
|Rush Yds Allowed||IND|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Indianapolis leads 18-6|
|Dec 9, 2012||IND 27, TEN 23|
|Oct 28, 2012||IND 19, @TEN 13|
|Dec 18, 2011||IND 27, TEN 13|
|Oct 30, 2011||IND 10, @TEN 27|
|Jan 2, 2011||IND 23, TEN 20|
|Dec 9, 2010||IND 30, @TEN 28|
|Dec 6, 2009||IND 27, TEN 17|
|Oct 11, 2009||IND 31, @TEN 9|
|Dec 28, 2008||IND 23, TEN 0|
|Oct 27, 2008||IND 21, @TEN 31|
|Dec 30, 2007||IND 10, TEN 16|
|Sep 16, 2007||IND 22, @TEN 20|
|Dec 3, 2006||IND 17, @TEN 20|
|Oct 8, 2006||IND 14, TEN 13|
|Dec 4, 2005||IND 35, TEN 3|
|Oct 2, 2005||IND 31, @TEN 10|
|Dec 5, 2004||IND 51, TEN 24|
|Sep 19, 2004||IND 31, @TEN 17|
|Dec 7, 2003||IND 29, @TEN 27|
|Sep 14, 2003||IND 33, TEN 7|
|Dec 8, 2002||IND 17, @TEN 27|
|Nov 3, 2002||IND 15, TEN 23|
- Chris Johnson's 30-yard touchdown run is his longest run this season. - The TD marks Johnson's first rushing touchdown against the Colts since Week 14 2010, breaking a five-game drought without a rushing TD against Indianapolis. - All four of Johnson's rushing touchdowns this season have come with seven or fewer defenders in the box. - Johnson's two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter tonight match his total from the entire season entering tonight. - Chris Johnson has never rushed for three rushing touchdowns in a game in his career.
Chris Johnson got the Titans off to a hot start with 2 first-quarter rushing touchdowns, helping Tennessee reach the century mark in rushing by halftime. The Colts turned the tables in the second-half with just shy of 100 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. Indy averaged 43.5 rushing yards in their previous 2 games, with no touchdowns.[+]
Rushing Yards by Half Thursday
Andrew Luck has struggled in the 1st half since losing Reggie Wayne (injury occurred late in Week 7 vs Broncos). He has failed to record a touchdown (pass or rush) in the 1st half in 3 straight games (Weeks 9-11), after recording 7 touchdowns in the 1st half in the team's 1st 7 games.[+]
1st Half Performance - Andrew Luck This Season
Chris Johnson rushed for 80 yards in the first half, including 2 touchdowns which tied a career high in a game. In the second half, Johnson was held to 6 yards on 4 carries. When Johnson rushes for fewer than 10 yards in the second half, the Titans are 3-12.
Tonight, Luck is 1-4 for 17 yards on throws more than 10 yards downfield. In the two and a half games since losing Reggie Wayne, Luck has completed 9-27 (33.3%) passes more than 10 yards downfield, tied for 28th among 35 qualified QBs. In the first eight weeks with Wayne, Luck completed 46.3% of such passes, tied for 18th among qualified QBs.
In the first 7 weeks this season, before Reggie Wayne's torn ACL, Andrew Luck's average pass traveled 9.4 yards downfield, seventh-longest among qualified quarterbacks. In his last 3 games, Luck's average pass traveled 7.0 yards downfield, tied for 24th in the league since Week 8. - Luck averaged 6.0 air yards per attempt Thursday night, the second-lowest rate of his career. The Colts are 5-1 in Luck's career when his average pass travels 7.7 yards or less downfield. - Luck completed 6-of-7 passes for 91 yards on play action. Last week, Luck tied a career-low with 1 play-action completion. The Colts are 7-0 when Luck completes at least 6 play-action passes in his career. - Coby Fleener was targeted 10 times on Thursday, resulting in career highs in catches (8) and yards (107). Five of Fleener's 8 receptions resulted in Colts' first downs. Fleener has been targeted 8.3 times per game since Reggie Wayne's injury, after he averaged 4.6 targets in the first 7 games with Wayne.
Since Trent Richardson joined the Colts in Week 3, Donald Brown has averaged 6.1 yards per carry compared with Richardson's 2.8. During that span, Andre Ellington (7.4 yards per carry) is the only running back averaging more yards per carry than Brown (min. 25 rushes). - Since the Richardson trade entering Week 3, the only running back to average more yards after contact per carry than Donald Brown's 2.4 is Adrian Peterson (2.5). - Brown rushed 10 times for 51 yards in the second half, including both of his touchdowns. Brown's second-half carries and yards are both season highs.[+]
Colts Rushing, Since Trent Richardson Trade
Chris Johnson has 2 Rush TD on 8 carries tonight... He had 2 Rush TD on 150 carries this season entering the game.
Andrew Luck was 1-5 for 17 yards under duress and 2-6 for 15 yards against five or more pass rushers in the first half against the Titans.
The Colts ran the ball just 8 times in the 1st half and fell behind by 11, but in the 2nd half, they kept it on the ground to fuel the comeback.[+]
Colts Running Late - Thursday at Titans
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Andrew Luck is only the third quarterback since the merger not to lose back-to-back games in his first 26 starts. Most Starts By QB Before Losing Consecutive Starts, Since Merger 1st Start Dan Marino 33 1983 Kordell Stewart 28 1995 Andrew Luck 26 2012 >>Source: Elias Sports Bureau - Since 2012, Andrew Luck has 5 scrambles for touchdowns, tied with Christian Ponder for most in the league. - Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a career-high 79 percent of his passes Thursday night. When Fitzpatrick has completed 70 percent or more of his passes, his teams are 3-4. - Delanie Walker set career highs in targets (10), receptions (10) and yards (91). Since 2006, the only tight ends to be targeted at least 10 times in a game and catch all of their targets are Jimmy Graham (Week 5 2013), Jason Witten (Week 4 2012 and Week 12 2010) and Kellen Winslow (Week 12 2007). - Since Week 2, Kendall Wright is the only receiver to record at least 54 receiving yards in each game.
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