Winners No. 3: Special Teams Unit
I was initially just going to give this “winner” designation to both Dane Cruikshank and Tye Smith, but honestly the Titans’ special teams unit played well pretty much the entire game.
The only blemish on the game was Colts running back/punt returner Nyheim Hines getting a 23-yard punt return in the first half. Outside of that, they were phenomenal.
It started in the first half after Tannehill’s fumble. The Colts would stall out, settling for a field goal, and defensive lineman Austin Johnson blocked Adam Vinatieri’s second field goal attempt of the game, keeping the score tied at 7.
Late in the fourth quarter, Vinatieri would attempt a 45-yard field goal which would have given the Colts a 3-point lead. Instead Cruikshank was one of three Titans who quickly got into the backfield, and blocked the kick. Smith would pick it up and return the kick 63 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
The block-and-score was the pivotal moment of the game, and gave the Titans all the momentum that they needed to walk away with the victory.
As a side note, Brett Kern had another huge day, placing four of his five punts inside the Colts 20.