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Colts lead Titans 23-17 after third quarter

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)

Andrew Luck scored on an 11-yard run and the Indianapolis Colts erased an early 14-point deficit to take a 23-17 lead over the Tennessee Titans into the fourth quarter Thursday night.

The Colts trailed 17-6 at halftime before scoring on each of their three third-quarter possessions.

Luck went 5 of 5 for 42 yards on an 11-play, 74-yard drive that ended with Donald Brown's 6-yard touchdown run around the left end.

Daniel Herron recovered Devon Wylie's fumble on the ensuing kickoff to give the Colts the ball at the 20. Two plays later, Luck executed a pump fake and ran into the end zone for the go-ahead score. Luck slipped out of the grasp of safety Michael Griffin inside the 5.

Adam Vinatieri added his third field goal of the game - a 50-yarder - to extend the Colts' lead to 23-17 with 1:27 left in the third quarter.

Wylie's fumble continued the Titans' season-long struggles in the return game. Wylie had been signed to the Titans' active roster Tuesday after joining their practice squad last week. He lost control of the ball after running into teammate Craig Stevens.

The Titans took a 14-0 lead when Chris Johnson capped their first two drives with 30- and 7-yard touchdown runs. They were ahead 17-3 after Rob Bironas kicked a 25-yard field goal with 2:32 remaining in the first half.

By the time the Titans' offense got the ball again, they were behind.

The Colts cut the lead to 17-6 when Vinatieri kicked a 30-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. The Colts then capitalized on Wylie's fumble to score two second-half touchdowns before the Titans had their first possession of the third quarter.

The Titans were hoping to close the gap separating them from the first-place Colts in the AFC South. The Colts entered with a 6-3 record, followed by the Titans at 4-5. The teams meet again Dec. 1 in Indianapolis.

Luck was 21 of 32 for 179 yards through three quarters, and also ran for 33 yards on six carries. Johnson rushed for 87 yards on 15 attempts.

Johnson's 30-yard touchdown run capped an 80-yard drive on the game's first possession. Johnson got through a big hole on the right side of the line and headed down the right sideline for his third touchdown run of the season.

After forcing a three-and-out on the Colts' first drive, the Titans marched 68 yards and extended their lead to 14-0 on Johnson's bruising 7-yard carry. After getting hit by safety Antoine Bethea at the 2, Johnson bulled ahead, kept his legs moving and extended his arms across the goal line.

Indianapolis got on the board in the second quarter on Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal. Vinatieri added a 30-yarder on the final play of the half as the Colts capitalized on Jason McCourty's third-down pass interference penalty

The Colts hurt themselves with some chippy play in the second quarter.

Robert Mathis got called for roughing the passer with a blow to Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's head on a third-down incompletion. The Colts then committed personal fouls on their next two plays. Cassius Vaughn was called for unnecessary roughness after a takedown of wide receiver Justin Hunter, and Erik Walden was penalized for pulling the helmet off tight end Delanie Walker and head-butting him.

All those penalties led to Bironas' 25-yard field goal.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Titans, Colts, Adam Vinatieri, Rob Bironas, Chris Johnson, Andrew Luck, Devon Wylie

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