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GIFtastic: Colts keep coming back, beat Tennessee

Just like the Colts, the GIFtastic will always come back, even if it's a little dicey for a while!

Apologies for how long it's taken for this to come up, but it's been a crazy week. Big thanks to our staff for their work these last two weeks, as they've done a tremendous job. Also kudos to the readers on the CA Charting Project, which has kicked off and is going to be extremely helpful as we move forward. 

Now, on to the good stuff. 

The Colts put themselves in a hole again last Thursday, crawling out in the first quarter and falling behind 17-3. But, they put together a phenomenal third quarter and rode it to a 30-27 win and a seemingly insurmountable lead in the AFC South. The Colts now have a chance at a bye in the playoffs, which is a bit difficult to fathom, but will need wins against a few key AFC opponents in order to earn that. 

But first, the Colts had to beat Tennessee. Here's how they did it, animated internet pictures style. 

We'll start out in the first quarter, when the Colts allowed the Titans to jump out to a 14-0 lead. The Titans got to the lead on the back of Chris Johnson who ran for a million yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone. 

Look at the angle Tom Zbikowski LaRon Landry takes on this play. C'mon Mr. 24-million-dollar-man. You're better than that.

After falling down 14-0, the Colts needed a scoring drive to get back into the game. 

Of course, David Reed had to make it hard on them. 

Ah, David Reed. It's an unlucky bounce, but still. Ew. 

Fortunately, the Colts started moving the ball. A pass here, productive run by Donald Brown there, obligatory Trent Richardson 1-yard gain here, a Luck scramble there. Luck even managed to hurry the Colts to the line and catch three Titans offsides. 

Of course, the referees didn't catch that, somehow, the first time around, so Chuck Pagano was forced to challenge. Fortunately, the officials got it right, thanks to some help from Matt Hasselbeck. 

So, the Colts got down into Tennessee territory, and Andrew Luck found Darrius Heyward-Bey down the middle of the field. Or not. 

COME ON DARRIUS.

MORE LIKE DARRIUS HANDSLESS WAYWARD WASTE-OF-SPACE-BEY AMIRITE

(Note: I clearly need a good nickname for DHB's evil pass-dropping alter-ego. Please help.)

DHB has been a disaster of a signing. All free agents aren't terrible, but DHB is the epitome of a bad free agent, performance-wise. He's killing his chance at a long term contract anywhere, much less in Indianapolis. 

Anyway, the Colts kicked a field goal, and then the defense started to step up, forcing a three-and-out on the Titans' following drive. 

Potential DHB nickname- Doesn't Hold Ball… nah. Needs to be catchier. Darn. That had some potential. 

Cassius Vaughn even did a good thing, guys. 

On third down even!

Vaughn fights through the rub, gets a hand on the ball and doesn't get called for pass interference. Great work by him and he has a legitimate reason to celebrate this time.

You pump that fist Cassius. You deserve it. 

How about Darrius "Former seventh-overall pick" Heyward-Bey? No. We have to leave room for that joke with Trent Richardson too. *tears*

On the next offensive play, Donald Brown showed us why he's having so much success this season. 

It's a really impressive run from Brown, who doesn't really see the hole as much as he anticipates it opening there and then quickly accelerates through as soon as it does. 

Here's another example that's just as impressive, in my opinion. 

I'll do a video next week on Brown and what he's excelling in this year, and these two GIFs are perfect examples of how well he's been reading the offensive line this season. 

"Scarius Heyward-Bey"

The Colts would be stopped and held to a field goal on this particular drive, however, and closed the gap to 14-3. On the next drive, the Colts held Tennessee to a field goal, and then had a chance to score prior to half. They were able to get into field goal, helped by this screen to Brown. 

I'm a big fan of Brown's change of direction here. It's not a violent jump cut or anything, but the subtle change helped him avoid two defenders and get about 10 extra yards on the play. 

After the field goal, the Colts went into half down 17-6, and receiving the ball after halftime. 

Halftime= the time when the Colts coaches tell Andrew Luck to win the game.

Oh how he responded. 

Everybody bow your heads in respect to the passing of Michael Griffin's ankles. 

Let's watch it from another angle, one that gives you a nice view of Griffin spinning.

Also, here's a before and after picture that I put together from the first angle. It's pretty telling. 

And by telling I mean embarrassing. For Griffin. For us it's just delightful. 

But, Luck wasn't done abusing Titans defenders, and certainly not Michael Griffin. 

OH MY GOOD GRAVY WHAT DID ANDREW LUCK JUST DO

DID HE-?? HOLY FLAMING PANCAKES HE DID. 

/closes mouth and wipes drool from floor
//apologizes to housemates for all the noise
///unapologizes because if they didn't appreciate that then they're lost anyway

"The Run Blocker" because that's the one thing he can do? Eh. Shoot, he wasn't even on the field for that Luck touchdown. Or the Brown touchdown earlier. Of course he wasn't. 

Here's another angle, from which you can tell that it wasn't designed, Luck is clearly trying to throw the pass (he pumps and then re-cocks his arm to throw), but then sees the lane and takes off. Plus, you can also see his little stutter-step that freezes Griffin, leaving him on the ground writhing in self-loathing. 

With the touchdown, the Colts took a 20-17 lead, one that they would not give up. 

But don't get me wrong, Luck did have help. 

He got help from Coby Fleener (finished with a career-high 108 yards), who turned on the speed like we haven't seen from him in his short NFL career on this well-designed play. 

He got help from Tennessee return man Devon Wylie, who decided he didn't want to carry the football any more.

Let's be honest, it was probably the intimidating stare Pat McAfee was giving him.

Thanks Dan Herron for recovering that ball. And thanks to David Reed for, while being awful, not being that awful. 

"Dubstep" because you know the drop is coming. labjow]asdfadsf I've had too much to drink

Luck also received help from the defense, who shut down the Titans offense for 90% of the second half as they stifled Chris Johnson and forced the Titans to go to the air. Props to Erik Walden, who is an idiot (I didn't GIF the headbutt out of respect for Brent Fatig and the rest of humanity), but still played pretty well in the second half of the Tennesee game, doing a solid job of containing CJ2-inconsistent-to-carry-a-bad-team. 

Fittingly, the game was sealed by a Donald Brown run. 

Brown has played well all year, but this was the first game that he got more touches than Richardson, and he made the most of them. The offensive line still is bad, and Brown will occasionally get stopped for no/short gains, but give him touches and he'll be productive. 

Once again, Brown really sees the hole developing before it's there, and then bursts through without hesitation. 

Also, nice work from the entire right side of the line on that play. 

Darrius Hands-Are-Cray. I don't know. I give up. I need better ideas. I'm transferring responsibility to you guys for this one. Don't let me down. 

With that, the game was over. The Colts now look ahead to Arizona, whose defense is a little more terrifying. The Colts need to get out to a quick start on Sunday. For more on the Cardinals game, check out Nate Dunlevy's Eyes in the Backfield piece here on CA, or head over to Bleacher Report and take a look at my game plan for the matchup.

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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