Colts finally get into win column

Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell and Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky (6) greet Colts defensive...

Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell and Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky (6) greet Colts defensive back Jacob Lacey (27) as Lacey leaves the field during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Indianapolis December 18, 2011. (REUTERS/Brent Smith)

Ken Fidlin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 PM ET

It takes a special kind of ineptitude to get through an entire 16-game NFL season without winning at least once, even by accident. The Indianapolis Colts proved themselves unworthy of that notorious distinction Sunday, rallying for their first victory after 13 losses.

Trailing the Tennessee Titans 6-3 at the half, the Colts scored a pair of third-quarter TDs less than three minutes apart — one on offence and the other on defence — on their way to a 27-13 victory to eliminate the possibility of a winless season.

That leaves the Detroit Lions (0-16 in 2008) and the Tampa Bay Bucs (0-14 in 1976) as the only teams to go through at least a 14-game NFL schedule without a win. The Colts join a host of teams that have won only once but they still have a pair of games left to improve on that.

Down by three points on the Colts’ first possession of the third quarter, Dan Orlovsky capped off a 43-yard TD drive with an 18-yard scoring strike to Reggie Wayne.

That score gave Indianapolis its first lead in a game since Week 5. The back-breaker for the Titans came on the next series when Matt Hasselbeck threw a pick-six to Colts defender Jacob Lacey who returned it 32 yards, giving Indianapolis a commanding 17-6 advantage.

The Colts weren’t out of the woods yet. They needed an interception in their own end zone and then, after Tennessee closed the gap to seven points, Indy’s Donald Brown put an exclamation point on the win with an 80-yard TD romp.

After the game, general manager Bill Polian told reporters that QB Peyton Manning, who had been believed to be aiming to play before the end of the season, will wait until next year.

“Last Thursday, we met with (Manning’s doctors), the rehabilitation folks, the strength and conditioning folks and our training staff,” said Polian. “It was determined by the doctors that there was no chance he would play this year.”

For the Titans, this unexpected loss just about kills their playoff hopes.

“I would feel a lot better if I had zero catches, but we got the win,” said WR Lavelle Hawkins, who had eight catches for 88 yards. “We needed this win to go to the playoffs and now it’s tough for us to do.”


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