Second-half woes sink Colts and send them to bottom of AFC South

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- At this point, any problems the Indianapolis Colts have in the second half of games shouldn't be a surprise.

That's because it has been a season-long problem.

The Colts played a near-flawless first half against the Tennessee Titans on Monday only to watch it go away when they reverted back to their problematic ways in the final 30 minutes of the game. The Colts' offense looked inexperienced instead of maturing in the second half of their 36-22 loss.

The Colts (2-4) have led or been tied at halftime in their past five games and have been outscored 82-35 in the second half of those games. They're 2-3 in that stretch.

"It sucks, that’s the only way to put it," Colts receiver Kamar Aiken said. "We're not good at closing games right now, and we've got to change that."

With a win Monday, the Colts would have been tied for first place in the AFC South, but instead they've sunk to the bottom of the division after their dreadful second half. The loss also ended their 11-game winning streak over Tennessee (3-3).

The Colts were assured of their second loss this season after leading by double digits in the second half when they ran a bootleg on a fourth-and-1. With two-plus minutes left in the game, quarterback Jacoby Brissett was chased down by Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard for no gain along the Colts' sideline at the Titans' 13-yard line. The play call itself was questionable when you consider that the Colts had Frank Gore in at running back. Coach Chuck Pagano said they had practiced that play all week

"It's something that we said we were going to run in this situation," Pagano said. "We knew exactly what we were going to run. They executed it and stopped it, and it wasn't like it was just grabbing straws here."

Brissett said, "I thought I had the edge. I saw the sticks; that's why I reached the ball. I thought it was past it, but clearly not."

The Colts, who led 19-9 at one point, went from mixing the pass with the run in the first half -- which led to 119 yards passing and 67 yards on the ground -- to basically abandoning the run in the second half. The Colts ran for only 18 yards in the second half and didn't pick up their first down in the half until there was less than nine minutes remaining in the game.

The Titans, after touching Brissett only on a roughing-the-passer penalty in the first half, became aggressive by blitzing more often in the second half. Brissett was thrown off his rhythm, completing only 9 of 20 for 93 yards in the second half.

After going 4-of-4 for 40 yards and a touchdown against the Titans' blitz in the first half, Brissett was only 2-of-9 for 17 yards against the blitz in the second half.

"We had answers out there, and I just have to do a better job of finding them," Brissett said.

Brissett didn't get much help from his receivers. Tight end Jack Doyle had three drops and lost a fumble in Indianapolis territory, all in the second half. Receiver T.Y. Hilton had only one catch for 19 yards on four targets.

The Titans, with the running back duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry in the backfield, wore the Colts' defense down in the second half. Tennessee rushed for 124 of its 168 yards in the second half.

"We got out-executed," Colts safety Matthias Farley said. "We got to limit big plays and stop the run, all those things, tackle, eliminate penalties. We just got to be more sound overall and execute when we have the opportunity to put a team away."

The winning streak over the Titans is over, and the Colts are alone in last place in the AFC South.