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Henry leads into AFC South lead with 45-26 over Colts

Sun Nov 29 6:45pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) salutes fans as he walks off the field following an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. The Titans defeated the Colts 45-26. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) makes a catch for a touchdown in front of Tennessee Titans cornerback Breon Borders (39) in the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) makes a catch for a touchdown in front of Tennessee Titans cornerback Breon Borders (39) in the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) is tackled by Tennessee Titans defensive back Chris Jackson (35) and strong safety Amani Hooker (37) in the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after throwing an incomplete pass against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) comes to the sideline after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) gets past Indianapolis Colts free safety Julian Blackmon (32) for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) gets past Indianapolis Colts free safety Julian Blackmon (32) for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) celebrates a defensive stop against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Tennessee Titans strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (24) tackles Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) celebrates touchdown throw against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton (80) makes a catch in front of Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) gets past Indianapolis Colts free safety Julian Blackmon (32) for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Derrick Henry carried the Tennessee Titans into the AFC South lead Sunday.

Now the bruising back can focus on other daunting tasks, like clinching the division title and making another long playoff run.

Henry battered the NFL's second-stingiest defense by rushing for 178 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Titans to a 45-26 rout at Indianapolis.

''I just had to go out there and get north and south and finish runs and finish forward, get to the end zone,'' he said. ''Credit to all those guys blocking. A lot of credit goes to them. I just had to go out and do my job and be efficient when I had the ball.''

Don't mistake Henry's workmanlike demeanor for the significance of this victory.

Tennessee (8-3) now has sole possession of the division lead over Indy (7-4), a split in the two-game season series and the current tiebreaking edge based on the teams' division records.

Henry made all the difference in this one. He did the heavy lifting with 27 carries, breaking tackles, eluding defenders and occasionally dragging along those who tried to bring him down.

It was his third consecutive 100-yard game, his seventh this season and his eighth straight on the road, tying former Titans running back Chris Johnson for the second-longest streak since the 1970 merger. Only Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (10 in 1996-97) had a longer streak.

Henry also became the second player in franchise history with 10 TD runs in three straight seasons, joining Hall of Famer Earl Campbell.

With the Colts defense down three key starters - Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, starting linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive end Denico Autry - Henry set the tone quickly. He touched the ball six times in Tennessee's first 10 plays, including a 12-yard run for a 7-0 lead.

''We just we did not execute,'' Colts coach Frank Reich said. ''In big games, it's about doing the little things right. We didn't do that. At times, we have done that right in the big games. We didn't do that today.''

Indy tied the score with an 11-yard pass from Philip Rivers to Trey Burton, but Ryan Tannehill made it 14-7 with a 69-yard scoring pass to A.J. Brown. Indy answered with Jacoby Brissett's 1-yard TD run, and then Henry went back to work.

The NFL rushing leader scored on a 1-yard run midway through the second quarter, and then added an 11-yard TD run to make it 28-14. He played the perfect decoy to free Tannehill for a 1-yard TD run to give the Titans a 35-14 halftime lead.

Henry had 140 yards rushing at the break, and Indy never recovered.

''We like to establish the run game whether we're at home or away, and Derrick is consistent,'' Tannehill said after going 13 of 22 for 221 yards. ''He does his thing no matter where we're at. He's a football player, and a really good one at that.''

INJURY REPORT

Titans: Left guard Rodger Saffold III (ankle) returned to the lineup as center Ben Jones and right tackle Dennis Kelly fought through knee injuries to play. David Quessenberry became the third left tackle to start for Tennessee, and the Titans defense didn't miss a beat without linebacker Jayon Brown (elbow). Defensive backs Kenny Vaccaro and Amani Hooker were shaken up late.

Colts: In addition to losing Buckner and Autry (reserve/COVID-19) and Okereke (ankle), Indy played without center Ryan Kelly (neck) or running back Jonathan Taylor (COVID-19). Left tackle Anthony Castonzo hurt his knee in the second quarter and safety Khari Willis left with back and quad injuries in the second half. Neither returned.

STAT PACK

Titans: It was Henry's 20th straight game with at least 18 carries, the league's second-longest streak since 1948. ... Henry has three 100-yard games against Indy since 2018 - the only three against the Colts during that span. ... Tennessee rushed for 230 yards and had a season-high scoring total. ... Brown became the fourth player in franchise history - the first since Drew Hill in 1988-89 - with eight TD receptions in consecutive years. He had four catches for 98 yards and returned an onside kick 42 yards for a score.

Colts: Indy allowed more points in the first half than in any full game previously this season. Their previous high was 32 by Cleveland. ... Rivers was 24 of 42 for 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in his 235th consecutive start. He's tied with Charles Woodson for ninth on the NFL's career starts list. ... T.Y. Hilton caught four passes for 81 yards and his first TD this season, becoming the sixth player in Colts history with 9,000 yards from scrimmage and the fourth with 9,000 yards receiving.

UP NEXT

Titans: Tennessee hosts Cleveland next Sunday.

Colts: Indy begins a two-game road trip with a stop at Houston next Sunday.

Player Notes
Michael Pittman Jr. Nov 29 6:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. had a disappointing day against the Titans, catching just two passes for 28 yards. It broke a streak of three solid performances from Pittman. The encouraging thing for fantasy owners is that his lack of receptions was not for a lack of targets. He was targeted nine times, which was second-most on the team behind Nyheim Hines. The production was not there today, but he has clearly been Philip Rivers' favorite target over the last four weeks, averaging nearly seven targets a game during that span. He will look to rebound next week in his first career matchup against the Texans.

From RotoBaller

Golden Tate Nov 29 6:30pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate caught four passes for 36 yards in a win over the Bengals on Sunday. The story of the game for Tate, however, was getting a season-high nine targets as Darius Slayton (undisclosed) had his playing time severely limited due to what head coach Joe Judge called "some bumps and bruises." Unfortunately for Tate, starting QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) also went down with an injury so it seems Colt McCoy will take over under center for the time being. With a backup QB, it'll be hard to trust Tate in fantasy as New York's targets have been impossible to predict behind Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram.

From RotoBaller

Sterling Shepard Nov 29 6:30pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught seven passes for 64 yards in a win over the Bengals on Sunday. Shepard was targeted eight times, the fourth time in his last five games he's seen eight-plus targets as he has been the most reliable Giants receiver. Shepard has six catches in every game since Week 7 when he returned from a toe injury. If Daniel Jones (hamstring) misses time, Shepard's fantasy value will take a hit but he's still a must-start option in 12-team fantasy leagues based on volume alone.

From RotoBaller

Mike Glennon Nov 29 6:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon got the start over the unproductive Jake Luton in Week 12 against the Browns, finishing with 235 yards and two touchdowns on 20-for-35 passing. The veteran held his own on Sunday despite the team being without D.J. Chark (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip). He connected with Collin Johnson on a 46-yard touchdown late in the second quarter before capping off his day with a two-yard scoring toss to Tyler Eifert early in the second half. Though this type of performance from the 30-year-old would warrant a waiver claim in deeper formats, it may not be necessary if Gardner Minshew II (thumb) can suit up in Week 13 against the Vikings. Fantasy managers who desperately need a signal-caller should monitor this situation throughout the week and act accordingly.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Nov 29 6:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton caught three passes on six targets for 42 yards and a touchdown against the Titans in Week 12. Burton hauled in all three of his catches in the first quarter, but it was a solid fantasy performance, nonetheless. His 42 receiving yards was the most he has gone for since Week 6, and he now has a touchdown in back-to-back weeks. All of Burton's touchdowns this season have come in the red zone, so he continues to prove he is a legitimate threat in that area. He saw six out of the nine tight end targets today, which is encouraging for fantasy owners going forward. Burton will look for another solid performance next week against the Texans.

From RotoBaller

Hayden Hurst Nov 29 6:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst compiled four receptions for 48 yards on eight targets in Week 12. After getting nothing last week, the TE redeemed himself. Though he has had a few bad games this season, Hurst has had a stable role in this Atlanta offense and has usually put up decent numbers each week. The former Raven has seen at least five targets in eight of 11 games and has posted at least 48 yards in seven of 11 games. That type of consistency keeps Hurst as a low-end TE1 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Wayne Gallman Nov 29 6:10pm ET

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman had a big day for fantasy managers in a win over the Bengals on Sunday. Gallman turned a season-high 24 carries into 94 yards and added a touchdown as the Giants finally treated Gallman like the undisputed lead-back in the offense. No other running back had more than four carries and Gallman led the backfield with five targets as well. Gallman is a must-start fantasy option given the amount of work he is getting. He'll be in the RB2 conversation next week in a matchup with Seattle.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Nov 29 6:10pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (knee) won't return to Sunday's game against the Saints. Lindsay ends the day with nine carries for 20 yards on a weird day where the Broncos were without a starting quarterback and used Lindsay in the wildcat some. Hopefully he's good to go next week, but if Lindsay's knee issue is serious, Melvin Gordon III will see the bulk of the team's work going forward. Gordon would become a low-end RB2 option.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Nov 29 6:10pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had his best performance of the season in a Sunday loss against the Titans. He caught four passes on five targets for 81 yards, and he hauled in his first touchdown catch of the season. Hilton netted the majority of his yards on a 50-yard catch in the first half, and his touchdown came in garbage time when the outcome was decided. Regardless of the reason, it was good to see Hilton have a solid fantasy performance. Hilton has a divisional matchup against the Texans next week, and he has found success against them in the past. In 16 career games against Houston, Hilton averages about five catches for 96 yards.

From RotoBaller

Younghoe Koo Nov 29 6:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo went a perfect 5-for-5 in field goals in the Week 12 win over Las Vegas. He also made four extra points. Koo's longest field goal was 54 yards in the win and he has now gone 29-for-30 in field goals this season. He is also 22-for-25 in extra points. Koo remains a strong starting option going forward given his reliability.

From RotoBaller

Willie Snead Nov 29 6:10pm ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead IV has tested positive for COVID-19. This makes seven offensive starters for Baltimore on the COVID list and marks eight consecutive days with a positive test. Getting through Sunday with no positives would have been huge in guaranteeing that Tuesday's Ravens/Steelers game happens as scheduled. This positive introduces even more doubt about the viability of that football game.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Nov 29 6:10pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram had a big day Sunday turning six catches into 129 yards, his first 100-plus yard game this season. Engram almost had a bigger day, but he was tackled at the three-yard line after a 54-yard reception in the first quarter. Engram has been one of the most reliable options in fantasy over the last month with at least nine targets in four of the last five games. His fantasy value could take a hit if QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) misses time, but even with Colt McCoy under center Engram is a must-start tight end with a good matchup with Seattle on tap.

From RotoBaller

Janoris Jenkins Nov 29 6:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins (knee) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Broncos. The veteran defender has two interceptions and nine passes defender this year so far, as well as 37 tackles. If he misses time, the Saints Defense would take a slight hit in value, though aside from a Week 15 meeting with the Saints, they're past playing most of the top quarterbacks on their schedule.

From RotoBaller

Russell Gage Nov 29 6:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage finished with three receptions for 34 yards on five targets in the Week 12 blowout win over the Raiders. Even with Julio Jones not playing, Gage did not see a boost in value throughout the game. He has been rather streaky this season and has only posted over 50 yards in four of 11 games. Even if Jones cannot play next week, Gage is simply too streaky and unproven to trust for fantasy on a weekly basis. He should only be considered a low-end flex, but there are certainly better options to start.

From RotoBaller

Jeremy Chinn Nov 29 6:00pm ET

The Carolina Panthers Defense had a great day in a 28-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, recovering three fumbles, notching two sacks, and scoring two touchdowns. Perhaps most impressive of all, Carolina held star running back Dalvin Cook to just 83 scoreless scrimmage yards, though he did leave at one point with an injury. The star of the day for the Panthers was rookie safety Jeremy Chinn, who led the team with 13 tackles and two fumble recoveries- he returned both for touchdowns. Carolina will get a Week 13 bye before getting a favorable matchup against the Broncos.

From RotoBaller

Brian Hill Nov 29 5:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill finished with 13 carries for 55 yards in Week 12. Todd Gurley II was ruled out of the game beforehand with a knee injury, meaning Hill and Ito Smith split the work out of the backfield. Hill had 13 carries while Smith had 12. If Gurley returns next week, Hill would have zero fantasy relevance. Even if Gurley cannot go, Hill is still quite a risky choice considering he and Smith split the carries in Week 12 and that cuts into the potential for more production.

From RotoBaller

Doug Marrone Nov 29 5:50pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired general manager Dave Caldwell, but team owner Doug Marrone was reportedly told that he and his staff's jobs are secure for the rest of the 2020 season. Of course, that doesn't mean Marrone will keep his job going into next year, especially with the Jaguars poised to draft a quarterback early and move into a different era of Jags football. Continuity for the rest of 2020 should at least keep running back James Robinson on pace to be a low-end RB1 play each week.

From RotoBaller

Joey Slye Nov 29 5:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye made 2 of 4 field-goal attempts and all three extra points in a disappointing 28-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Slye had a solid day for fantasy purposes, though he left points on the field, including the game-winning kick. The 24-year-old has had a solid season otherwise, as he ranks in the top-ten in points. Slye will get a Week 13 bye before he faces a Broncos' team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to kickers.

From RotoBaller

Colt McCoy Nov 29 5:50pm ET

New York Giants quarterback Colt McCoy went 6-for-10 passing for 31 yards in relief of Daniel Jones (hamstring) in a win over the Bengals. McCoy didn't throw a touchdown nor record a turnover and added seven rushing yards in the win. Jones is scheduled to undergo further tests on Monday, but early reports indicate Jones is unlikely to suit up in Week 13. The 10-year journeyman McCoy doesn't offer much to fantasy managers and hurts the value of other members in the New York passing game.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Nov 29 5:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley had six receptions for 50 yards and a score on nine targets in Week 12. Ridley was the WR1 on Sunday with Julio Jones not playing due to a hamstring injury. The WR has seen at least seven targets in eight of 10 games and has produced at least 60 yards in seven of 10 games. With such a rich role in this offense, it keeps Ridley in the WR1 tier going forward.

From RotoBaller