INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts avoided their first 0-16 season thanks to a quarterback who was trying to prevent his second.
Dan Orlovsky, who closed out the NFL's only 0-16 season with Detroit in 2008, threw one touchdown and the key block to spring an 80-yard touchdown run to lead the previously winless Colts to a 27-13 win Sunday over playoff-hopeful Tennessee.
Players and coaches celebrated by throwing their arms in the air, and Orlovsky closed it by taking the traditional kneel-downs for the first time in his NFL career.
"I'm happy for a lot of people on this team, for a lot of people in this organization," Orlovsky said. "It's a lot better than the feeling we've had lately."
Indianapolis hadn't won for 50 weeks — which was also against Tennessee and also at home.
Orlovsky, a seven-year veteran, was 0-9 in his previous NFL starts. He didn't have to do too much Sunday, going 11-of-17 for 82 yards with one touchdown, but he didn't turn the ball over.
"I think in my career, I've learned not to take (wins) for granted," Orlovsky said, drawing polite laughter.
Donald Brown added a career-high 161 yards rushing, including the late 80-yard TD run for Indy.
The Colts will need their offense to keep playing like this in the final two games, after vice chairman Bill Polian announced that Peyton Manning would not be back this season, though he has started throwing to teammates. Manning has not played since having neck surgery Sept. 8.
The Titans probably need to win their last two and get help to make the postseason.
Matt Hasselbeck threw for 223 yards but had no TDs and two interceptions. Chris Johnson ran 15 times for 55 yards.
"I never would have expected us to come out, and they're playing like the team going to the playoffs and we're the team that's 0-13," coach Mike Munchak said.
Just when the Titans got within 20-13, Brown reversed field and got away from the defenders. Orlovsky jumped in front of the man closest to him, providing enough of an obstacle for Brown to outrun the defense 80 yards to the end zone.
He tied Tom Matte's record for the franchise's longest run, set Oct. 12, 1964, against St. Louis.