The Tennessee Titans could not have drawn up a worse start to their Week 8 matchup against their division rival, the Indianapolis Colts.
After Carson Wentz and the Colts’ offense converted two fourth downs, including a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. on the opening series, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game.
The Colts responded in one play on another pass from Wentz to Pittman Jr. to give the home team an early 14-0 advantage.
Early in the second quarter, the Titans finally got on the board, with tight end Geoff Swaim hauling in a six-yard pass from Tannehill to cut the Titans’ deficit to seven.
Tannehill would go on to throw his second interception on the next drive, but the Titans retained possession of the ball after Colts defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis fumbled the return.
The turnover was a token of good fortune for Tennessee. The visiting Titans needed just one play to tie the game — a 57-yard catch and run from Tannehill to wide receiver AJ Brown.
“This was a heavyweight fight,” Brown said after the Titans’ 34-31 overtime win. “This was blow for blow, we score, they score. It was a really tough game and we found a way to get the win.”
First catch goes for 6. @1kalwaysopen_
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) October 31, 2021
Brown had averaged just under 38 yards per contest in five previous matchups with the Colts. However, he came into this game with 15 receptions for 224 yards over his last two contests.
And, with fellow wideout Julio Jones out with a hamstring injury once again, Tannehill continued to look in Brown’s direction all day, leading to him finishing with a career-high 155 receiving yards.
The Ole Miss product has come up big when the Titans have called upon him in big games. He did so in Week 6 against the Bills, and then again in Week 7 versus the Chiefs.
“For me guys, it’s really not me – it’s (Ryan) Tannehill,” Brown said, modestly. “Like some of the throws today, he couldn’t have put it in a better place. I was more hyped about the throws than what I did, what I did with the catch, but he’s been spot on. He’s always been accurate, but he has been balling.”
Brown had three of the Titans’ five-longest plays of the game. And while his final stat line looks like he was involved in the offense from start to finish, Brown didn’t receive a target until his second-quarter touchdown.
“I’ve learned over a period of time to stay in the game,” Brown concluded. “If I don’t get a catch in the first quarter or the second quarter, just stay in it because I know that they’re going to come to me eventually and right there I made the most of the opportunity.”
Up next on the schedule, the Titans will travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 9.