Tennessee at Indianapolis

Colts achieve high marks, blank Titans in meaningless game

CBSSports.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts achieved everything they wanted Sunday.

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Peyton Manning reached 4,000 yards. Marvin Harrison became the NFL's No. 2 all-time receiver. Dallas Clark broke a 42-year-old franchise record. And the Colts won their 12th game for a sixth consecutive season, extending their own NFL record.

Indy followed coach Tony Dungy's season-ending script to perfection, knocking out the individual milestones quickly enough for the starters to rest, and the backups put away AFC South champion Tennessee 23-0.

"We wanted to play well and get off to a fast start with our first unit, and we did that," Dungy said. "I'm proud of our guys and the way they played. I like where we are, and I think we'll be ready next week."

Now the Colts head West to San Diego for a first-round playoff game next week against the AFC West champs. Indy is seeded fifth and could not improve its playoff position Sunday.

But the Colts (12-4) still played well enough to win their ninth in a row. They have beaten the Chargers and the AFC North and South champs during the streak and enter the playoffs with their first shutout since Dec. 14, 1997.

They even did it despite deactivating eight key players including Bob Sanders, last season's Defensive Player of the Year. Tennessee (13-3) managed only 125 yards of offense and had just one first down in the first half.

Part of the reason was that the Titans followed a similarly cautious strategy. Coach Jeff Fisher put eight starters on the inactive list and yanked quarterback Kerry Collins after only three plays.

With nothing to gain after locking up the AFC's top seed last week, Fisher simply tried to avoid showing too much.

"They're playing very, very well, but there's a chance we may play them again, so we just lined up and played today," he said.

The disparity between the teams, though, was stark.

Manning was 7-of-7 for 95 yards with one touchdown and a perfect rating of 158.3, extending his NFL record of 4,000-yard seasons to nine before leaving after one series. Dan Marino is second all time with six 4,000-yard seasons.

Clark broke the franchise season record for yards receiving by a tight end, catching six passes for 59 yards. He finished with 848 yards, surpassing Hall-of-Famer John Mackey's 829 in 1966.

Harrison caught seven passes for 31 yards, passing Cris Carter (1,101) for second all time, and now has 1,102 receptions.

Indy's backups were productive, too.

Jim Sorgi, Manning's replacement, finished 22-of-30 for 178 yards and gave his toddler son, who was attending his first game, something to remember. Sorgi led the Colts on four scoring drives and helped the Colts take control.

The Titans watched Manning move the Colts 90 yards on the opening possession, ending it with a nifty 55-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Addai, who lined up as a receiver. That made it 7-0 with 9:12 to go in the first quarter.

Things only grew worse for Tennessee.

The Titans nearly lost a fumble on their first play and Indy fans wanted intentional grounding called on the second. After punting, Tennessee didn't touch the ball again for more than 13 minutes.

Adam Vinatieri connected on two short field goals to make it 13-0 and his third, a 38-yarder late in the first half, gave Indy a 16-0 lead and sealed Tennessee's fate.

Tennessee had only one real scoring chance, but Rob Bironas pushed a 48-yard field-goal try to the right.

And the Colts wrote a perfect ending to a perfect second-half comeback.

"They're all special," said Dungy, who was photographed with his family at game's end. "But we really wanted to get that 12th win. It was a great way to end this season at home."

Notes:

  • Dungy said not to read anything into the photo op although he still intends to ponder retirement when this season ends.
  • For the first time since 2003, the Colts had more punts in a season than touchdowns.
  • Bironas' miss ended a stretch of 12 consecutive field goals, dating to Nov. 9.
  • The Colts allowed only six touchdowns through the air this season, the fewest ever in a 16-game NFL season.
  • Titans linebacker Josh Stamer hurt his groin.
  • Titans third-string quarterback Chris Simms played for the first time in 26 months in the fourth quarter.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Marvin Harrison has seven catches and passes Cris Carter for second on the all-time reception list.
 
Marvin Harrison has seven catches and passes Cris Carter for second on the all-time reception list. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Sun. Dec. 28Final
Tennessee
(13-3)
00000
1060723
TEN - Pass: V. Young (9-13, 55), Rush: Q. Ganther (4-27)
IND - Pass: J. Sorgi (22-30, 178), Rush: L. Ball (13-83)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDJoseph Addai, 55 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 9:12. Drive: 9 plays, 90 yards in 5:48.
FGAdam Vinatieri 28 Yd, 0:16. Drive: 14 plays, 70 yards in 7:18.
2ND QUARTER
FGAdam Vinatieri 21 Yd, 10:14. Drive: 10 plays, 51 yards in 5:02.
FGAdam Vinatieri 38 Yd, 2:26. Drive: 12 plays, 42 yards in 5:53.
3RD QUARTER
None
4TH QUARTER
TDJamey Richard, 0 Yd fumble return (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 6:38. Drive: 6 plays, 60 yards in 3:48.
Players of the Game

J. Sorgi
Att 30
Comp 22
Yds 178
TD 0

V. Young
Att 13
Comp 9
Yds 55
TD 0
 
Tennessee
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
V. Young9/135500
C. Simms1/2700
K. Collins1/2000
RushingATTYDSTDLG
Q. Ganther427013
L. White72507
V. Young52508
A. Hall1303
C. Henry1303
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Jones213013
A. Hall211011
J. McCareins111011
C. Stevens1909
B. Scaife1808
P. Williams1707
Q. Ganther3302
Indianapolis
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Sorgi22/3017800
P. Manning7/79510
RushingATTYDSTDLG
L. Ball1383023
N. Davenport82608
J. Sorgi58012
J. Addai1404
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Clark659023
J. Addai255155
N. Davenport454033
M. Harrison73108
P. Garcon321012
R. Wayne115015
A. Gonzalez112012
R. Hall1909
G. Robinson1606
J. Tamme2604
L. Ball1505
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
WAS 24 Final
SF 27
DEN 21 Final
SD 52
SEA 21 Final
ARI 34
OAK 31 Final
TB 24
CLE 0 Final
PIT 31
DAL 6 Final
PHI 44
MIA 24 Final
NYJ 17
CAR 33 Final
NO 31
NYG 19 Final
MIN 20
CHI 24 Final
HOU 31
DET 21 Final
GB 31
KC 6 Final
CIN 16
NE 13 Final
BUF 0
JAC 7 Final
BAL 27
STL 27 Final
ATL 31