With 2:45 remaining in the game the Titans were at the Colts’ 19 yard line, down seven, facing a 4th and 1 with the hopes of keeping the drive alive.
The Titans had just gotten a big interception off of Andrew Luck on the previous drive when Luck, under pressure, chucked up a pass into double coverage. The Titans then proceeded to go on a 12-play drive and marched down the field to the 19, and along the way they converted a 4th and 1 on a rollout pass by Marcus Mariota. Now, they faced another 4th and 1 after a pass on 3rd and 9 was stopped a yard short of the sticks.
It would come as no surprise to anyone what the Titans decided to do: they ran it. After all, they entered the day with one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL and the league’s second-leading rusher in DeMarco Murray. One yard with that rushing attack against a suspect defense? That seemed to be a mismatch in the Titans favor.
Sure enough, Tennessee decided to run the football on fourth down, and Murray tried to cut it back outside to make a play. It was there that second-year safety Clayton Geathers made perhaps his best play in a Colts uniform, as he absolutely stonewalled Murray and prevented him from getting the yard needed to keep the drive alive. Geathers stepped up in a huge way for the Colts, and it was a turnover on downs.
But the game wasn’t over yet. With 2:42 left and the Titans still having two timeouts plus the two minute warning, the Colts were going to need to get a first down to win the game. The first play was a five yard run by Frank Gore, followed by a quick Titans timeout. The next play was a run for no gain by Frank Gore, followed by another quick Titans timeout. The Colts suddenly faced a 3rd and 5 with 2:35 left in the game, meaning that if they didn’t convert the Titans would get the ball back with at least two minutes remaining. Again, it was far from over.
A few weeks ago, the Colts faced a similar situation near the end of the game and the offense clinched it thanks to a few great passes by Andrew Luck. They’d need that again this week in order to secure another victory. On 3rd and 5 Luck rolled to his right and bought some time before he found T.Y. Hilton for a first down conversion and a gain of eleven. First down. The Colts ran the clock to the two minute warning, and then after that kneeled it three times for the win.
The Colts had managed to turn a 21-0 first half lead into a competitive game, but in the end the play of Clayton Geathers, Andrew Luck, and T.Y. Hilton clinched the game for Indianapolis as they notched their biggest win of the season. It was a game they absolutely could not afford to lose, and at the end their players made plays to win it.