INDIANAPOLIS – For the second time this season, Gardner Minshew had to replace an injured Anthony Richardson.
And for the second time, the veteran quarterback led his team to victory as the Colts beat the Titans 23-16 on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The win snaps a five-game losing streak to Tennessee and a seven-game skid at home. The Colts hadn’t won in front of their fans since October 16, 2022 against the Jaguars.
Richardson left the game with a shoulder injury with under five minutes to play in the first half. The rookie fell hard on his right shoulder after being tackled by Titans’ linebacker Harold Landry on a four-yard run. He appeared unable to move his right arm as he walked to the locker room for evaluation. He was ruled out of the game right after halftime.
Richardson could not finish the season opener against Jacksonville with knee and ankle issues and left the game in Houston in the second quarter after self-reporting concussion symptoms. He missed the team’s game in Baltimore after spending that week in concussion protocol.
Tennessee jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Colts responded with a 56-yard Zack Moss touchdown run.
On their next possession, Richardson hit fellow rookie Josh Down with a beautiful 38-yard pass on third-and-16. Matt Gay capped the drive with a 43-yard field goal to make it 10-3.
Nick Foles added a field goal for the Titans to make it 10-6 at the half.
Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill came out of the locker room on fire connecting with DeAndre Hopkins on passes of 16- and 36-yards. He finished the drive with a 19-yard TD toss to Tyjae Spears to put the Titans up 13-10.
Minshew answered right back with 9-play, 75-yard drive. Moss’ second touchdown of the game, a three-yard run put the Colts back on top, 17-13.
The two teams swapped field goals before the Colts’ defense made the play of the game, stopping Tennessee star running back, Derrick Henry on fourth-and-one from the Indianapolis five-yard line. Zaire Franklin and DeForest Buckner were in on the stop to help preserve the lead.
The Colts then milked seven minutes off the clock with a 14-play, 84-yard drive that ended in a Gay 28-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
Julian Blackmon sealed the game with an interception with 10 seconds to play.
Jonathan Taylor played his first game since December after offseason ankle surgery and spending the first four weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list. The star running back signed a lucrative extension on Saturday ending a contentious contract dispute with the team.
Taylor finished with 18 yards on just six carries as he eases back into action, while Moss racked up 165 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Downs had his best game as a pro with six catches for 97 yards.
The Colts are now 3-2 and had back onto the road next week for another AFC South game with Jacksonville.