Colts score off blocked punt, yield pick-two vs. Titans

NASHVILLE -- With 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter Sunday, one of the most bizarre sequences this season played out when Indianapolis Colts safety Nick Cross blocked a punt by the Tennessee Titans' Ryan Stonehouse, which linebacker Grant Stuard recovered and returned for a touchdown.

On the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt, Titans safety Amani Hooker intercepted a tipped pass near the goal line and returned the ball the length of the field for a 2-point play.

After all the dust settled, the Colts led 22-19 and then extended the lead with a field goal.

With star running back Jonathan Taylor out after thumb surgery, the Colts went to the air early and dialed up a deep shot to Alec Pierce, with quarterback Gardner Minshew hitting the second-year receiver for a 36-yard touchdown pass on a play-action throw in the first quarter.

Pierce got behind two defenders down the middle of the field, and the play action to Zack Moss froze the pass rush just long enough to give Minshew enough time to take the deep shot.

The play was Pierce's second-longest reception of the season and his first touchdown in 2023.