With no ability to come back from deficits, the Indianapolis Colts once again were stuck in the winless zone Sunday, falling behind 20-0 by halftime and losing to the Tennessee Titans 27-10
Nate Washington scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Titans, dropping the Colts to 0-8 on the season. Matt Hasselbeck completed 23-of-33 passes for 224 yards and a score for the Titans (4-3), who had dropped five straight to the Colts.
Javon Ringer rushed for 60 yards in the victory, while Chris Johnson continued to struggle, compiling just 34 yards on 14 carries.
Curtis Painter threw for 250 yards with a pair of interceptions and rushed for 79 yards for the winless Colts.
“It’s a job,” Colts receiver Pierre Garcon said of the team’s struggles. “You have to show up every day and do your job.”
Donald Brown ran for a touchdown in the loss. The Colts punted on seven of their nine first-half possessions.
One of those punts was blocked in the end zone by Patrick Bailey and recovered by Jason McCourty for a Tennessee touchdown.
“I pushed the snapper out of the way and nobody was there besides the punter,” said Bailey. Rob Bironas sandwiched field goals of 51 and 50 yards around that special- teams touchdown for a 13-0 Titans lead.
Of the Colts’ two first half possessions that didn’t result in a punt, one ended in a deflected interception for Michael Griffin, which the Titans converted into Washington’s three-yard touchdown run.
The other was a Brown rush as time expired on a lopsided 20-0 first half.
The Colts managed to register a pulse after the break, executing a 58-yard drive on their opening touch of the third quarter, which resulted in a 22-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal.
Early in the fourth Brown’s four-yard touchdown plunge made it a 20-10 game, but Painter was intercepted by Barrett Ruud on the team’s next drive and the Titans capitalized with Hasselbeck’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Washington on 3rd-and-9.
The Titans’ defense then put the game away, turning the Colts over on downs in the red zone on consecutive drives.
“We needed to reaffirm that we were a good defense,” said Ruud.