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Titans-Colts Flashback: Defense Does the Job

Posted Dec 7, 2012

Each week this season, Titans Online is taking a look back at a game in franchise history against the upcoming opponent.

Nov. 3, 2002: Titans 23, Colts 15

This week’s flashback goes back to the first regular-season meeting between the Titans and Colts as members of the AFC South. The division was created in 2002 when the NFL realigned into eight divisions.

Tennessee’s defense turned in a dominating performance. Tank Williams forced two fumbles and recovered the first to set up a field goal in the first quarter. Keith Bulluck returned the second 61 yards for a touchdown that put the Titans up 17-0 with 10:17 left in the first quarter.


The Titans also recorded an interception of Peyton Manning that Peter Sirmon returned 31 yards to set up a touchdown in the first quarter, and made a goal-line stand late in the third quarter to finish the period with a 23-0 lead.

Manning and the Colts rallied with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, despite possessing the ball for just five minutes, 43 seconds that period. Tennessee, however, didn’t allow Indianapolis to move the ball past its own 15-yard line on its final possession.   

Tennessee’s offense was less crisp than its defense, but the Titans controlled the clock and put enough points on the board, despite going just 1-for-5 on red zone efficiency.

Eddie George rushed 22 times for 95 yards, including 12 carries for 60 yards in the second half. Steve McNair was an economical 14-for-19 passing for 82 yards that included a 3-yard TD pass to Mike Green after the Sirmon interception.

McNair attempted just four passes in the second half and completed three of them for 16 yards. Derrick Mason led the Titans with five catches for 41 yards.

Tennessee benefitted from field goals of 28, 34 and 39 yards by Joe Nedney and a 46-yard missed field goal by Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt.

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