INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning changed the script for victory No. 21.
It still worked.
Instead of another patented comeback or another 300-yard day, the three-time MVP took control early and played keepaway from Tennessee, leading the Colts to a 27-17 victory for their 21st consecutive regular-season win. Only New England, from 2006-08, has won that many games in a row, and Indy can break the record at home next week against Denver.
The victory also extended the Colts' league mark for most consecutive 12-win seasons to seven, ended the Titans' five-game winning streak and tied Indy with the 1990s San Francisco 49ers for most victories in a decade (113).
But unlike November, when Indianapolis (12-0) needed five straight fourth-quarter rallies to keep winning, the Colts spent the second-half Sunday holding off the Titans (5-7).
Chris Johnson became the second running back in franchise history with seven straight 100-yard games, joining Earl Campbell. He carried 27 times for 113 yards but failed to become the first player in league history with seven straight 125-yard games.
Tennessee had chances. Twice in the second half, the Titans went for it on fourth down in the Colts' red zone and failed both times. Tennessee also recovered an onside kick after scoring a late TD, but turned the ball over on downs.
That put Manning in ball-control mode during a rare second half in which the Colts managed only three points.
It was that kind of day.
Indy, which hasn't lost in the regular season since Oct. 27, 2008, at Tennessee, had its best rushing day of the season. Joseph Addai ran 21 times for a season-high 79 yards and two touchdowns. Manning was 24 of 37 for 270 yards and one TD, and Pierre Garcon caught six passes for a career-high 136 yards.
But it was Manning's ability to use most of the clock in the fourth quarter that sealed the win.
Manning took Indy on a 15-play, 7:23 second drive, setting up Matt Stover for a 36-yard field goal with 3:14 left to seal it.
During the week, Manning said he wanted a fast start – and he wasted no time in making it happen.
He opened the game by taking the Colts 75 yards in 1:58, giving the ball to Addai for an 8-yard TD run.
After Tennessee got a 20--yard field goal from Rob Bironas, Manning took the Colts 77 yards in 3:56 with Addai scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 14-3.
Then after failing to convert on Tennessee's first turnover, Manning took advantage of a second chance. Vince Young was picked off by Jacob Lacey with 5:43 left in the half and Manning responded with a 4-yard TD pass to Austin Collie for a 21-3 lead with 1:55 left in the half.
Young finally got the Titans back into it with a 6-yard TD pass to Kenny Britt.
But 20 seconds was too much time for Manning. The three-time MVP quickly got the Colts into field-goal range, thanks to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Tony Brown that moved the ball to the Titans 30. Addai's 5-yard run set up Stover for a 43-yard field goal to make it 24-10 at the half.