Colts win to tie Titans atop AFC South

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Nyheim Hines scored two touchdowns as the Indianapolis Colts used an explosive second half to pull away and beat the Tennessee Titans in a clash between the two best teams in the AFC South Division.

Hines rushed for one touchdown and caught a pass for another and quarterback Philip Rivers surpassed Dan Marino for fifth place on the all-time passing yards list as the Colts won 34-17 to vault into a tie for first place with the Titans.

"It was a huge win," said Rivers of the Colts, who outscored their opponent 21-0 in the second half. "We felt good at the half. They slowed us down in the first half. The defence came up with huge stops, we got a blocked punt for touchdown, and we were efficient on offence all night long."

Rivers surpassed Marino on the passing list with his first completion of the contest, an 11-yard toss to Jonathan Taylor. Rivers, in his 17th NFL season, ended the game with 61,666 passing yards. Marino compiled 61,361 passing yards in 17 seasons.

"I feel good physically. I can still make all the throws," said Rivers. "I have always thrown with anticipation. I never had a (Patrick) Mahomes or (Aaron) Rodgers arm. I just never had that arm, anyway. Anticipation and throwing with accuracy is my game."

Hines finished with a combined 115 rushing and receiving yards for the Colts, while Rivers completed 29 of 39 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown.

This is the first of two meetings between the teams in 17 days, as they play again on November 29 in Indianapolis.

Organizers allowed 14,000 spectators into the Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Thursday despite the global pandemic which has killed 242,000 Americans and counting. Spectators were asked to wear a mask and adhere to strict distancing rules.

Derrick Henry gained 103 yards on 19 carries and quarterback Ryan Tannehill made 15 of 27 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown for the Titans, who lost for the third time in four contests.

"We are continuing to get better. We just have to continue to improve, but we need to win along the way. We got to regroup and get ready for Green Bay," Rivers said.