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 Indianapolis Colts beat the Tennessee 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 home crowd since October 16, 2022.
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 4-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. He also left the game in Houston in the second quarter after self-reporting concussion symptoms. He missed the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens after spending Week 3 in concussion protocol.
Tennessee jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Sunday, but the Colts responded with a 56-yard Zack Moss touchdown run.
On their next possession, Richardson hit rookie wideout Josh Downs with a beautiful 38-yard pass on third-and-16. Kicker Matt Gay capped the drive with a 43-yard field goal to make it 10-3.
Kicker Nick Folk 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 after halftime on fire, connecting with DeAndre Hopkins on passes of 16 and 36 yards, respectively. He finished the drive with a 19-yard TD toss to running back Tyjae Spears to put the Titans up, 13-10.
Minshew answered right back with 9-play, 75-yard drive. Moss scored his second touchdown of the game to end the drive. Moss’ 3-yard TD run put the Colts up, 17-13.
The two teams swapped field goals before the Colts’ defense made the play of the game, stopping Tennessee’s star running back, Derrick Henry, on fourth-and-1 from the Indianapolis 5-yard line. Linebacker Zaire Franklin and defensive lineman 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 28-yard field goal from Gay.
Defensive back Julian Blackmon sealed the game with an interception with 10 seconds to play.
Running back Jonathan Taylor played his first game since December after offseason ankle surgery. He spent the first four weeks of the 2023 season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. The star running back signed a lucrative contract extension on Saturday, ending a contentious dispute with the team.
Taylor finished with 18 yards on just six carries. The Colts are leaning on Moss while Taylor eases back into action. Moss racked up 165 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries Sunday.
Downs had his best game as a pro with six catches for 97 yards.
The Colts are now 3-2 and will hit the road next week for another AFC South Division contest with Jacksonville.