Titans are Colts’ first ’11 victim
Posted: Monday, December 19, 2011 7:02 pm
By CLIFF BRUNT
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts piled up wins for more than a decade. Their victory Sunday might go down as one of their most memorable.
After 14 straight losses, 50 weeks without a win and 14 years between non-Peyton Manning victories, the Colts don’t have to worry about 0-16 anymore. They’re 1-13.
Dan Orlovsky threw a touchdown pass and had the key block to spring an 80-yard touchdown run that sealed Indianapolis’ 27-13 victory over Tennessee, giving Orlovsky the first win of his NFL career.
“To finally get one, and in the aspect of a lot of certain situations, it feels great,” Orlovsky said. “I’m very humbled to be a part of it. I’m happy for a lot of people on this team, for a lot of people in this organization. It is a lot better than the feeling we have had lately.”
And for a change, the Colts had plenty to smile about.
Orlovsky had lost his nine previous NFL starts including the season-finale in Detroit’s 0-16 season. He’s the first quarterback not named Manning to win a game for the Colts since December 1997 when Jim Harbaugh was the quarterback.
Brown ran 16 times for a career-high 161 yards, tying Tom Matte’s franchise record for longest run, set in 1964.
The breakout performance might also temporarily quiet some of Brown’s biggest critics, who have labeled him a first-round draft bust.
Indy’s much-maligned defense forced three turnovers, scored a touchdown on Jacob Lacey’s 32-yard interception return and stopped Tennessee (7-7) on fourth down with less than 2 minutes left so Orlovsky could run out the clock with the traditional kneel-down.
Even coach Jim Caldwell got some support.
“I just want to say how happy I am for coach Caldwell, our coaching staff and for our players,” team vice chairman Bill Polian said.
But the celebration was muted. After the last defensive stop, Indy’s players and coaches simply raised their arms as the remaining fans cheered loudly.
Published in The Messenger 12.19.11