Final

Lions 21

(0-14, 0-7 away)

Colts 31

(10-4, 5-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 14, 2008

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 3 7 3 821
IND 7 14 0 1031

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 318 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: K. Smith (DET) - 20 CAR, 88 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Clark (IND) - 12 REC, 142 YDS, 1 TD

Colts falter, but Manning good enough to keep Lions winless

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Apparently, winning is still too complex for the Detroit Lions.

Fast Facts

• The Lions are 0-14. They're the first 0-14 team since the 1980 Saints and the third team to start 0-14 since 1970. They've lost 15 straight overall, dating back to last season, and 21 of their last 22 games.

• The Colts have won 10 games for the seventh straight season, tied for the second-longest stretch in NFL history (Cowboys, 1975-81).

• Detroit has allowed 31-plus points in nine of 14 games this year.

• Dallas Clark had a career-high 12 catches and a touchdown. His previous best was eight.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

Two turnovers, short fields and playing against a worn down, short-handed Colts defense wasn't the answer, either.

Peyton Manning led the Colts on two fourth-quarter scoring drives, delivering another blow to Detroit's psyche with a 31-21 victory Sunday and keeping the Lions on track for a winless season.

"No one wants to be part of that. No one wants to have their name involved with that," quarterback Dan Orlovsky said. "It's tough to swallow, everybody says we stink. We don't have much debate with that."

Indianapolis (10-4) might quibble with that now, but nobody can argue the dreadful numbers.

Detroit (0-14) has lost 15 straight and 21 of 22. The Lions are two defeats away becoming the first NFL team to finish 0-16.

The Lions have been close, losing five times by eight points or fewer. It would have been six if Adam Vinatieri hadn't made a last-minute field goal Sunday, but close isn't good enough.

Manning was 28-of-37 for 318 yards and one touchdown, and although the Lions did a respectable job defending receivers, they allowed tight end Dallas Clark to roam free.

Clark finished with 12 receptions, a single-game franchise record for tight ends, 142 yards and one acrobatic touchdown catch. He broke his single-season record for receptions by a tight end and set a career high with 684 yards.

"I don't think you can ever have the perfect game," Clark said. "That's what you love about this game, it keeps you driven."

The Colts fumbled four times, had a potential scoring drive derailed by a holding penalty and the defense struggled to get off the field in the second half.

Yet they clicked when it mattered most.

Indy (10-4) has won seven straight, earned double-digit victories for a seventh straight season, and can clinch a seventh straight playoff spot with a win Thursday at Jacksonville.

"We weren't as sharp as we'd like to be. We couldn't make the plays we needed to put the game away, but it's something we expected," coach Tony Dungy said. "You obviously can't mishandle two punts and give them short fields. Those are situations that usually get you beat."

Except against Detroit.

While the miscues made the game more competitive than expected, the Lions couldn't capitalize.

They settled for field goals after twice starting drives inside the Colts 40, and couldn't stop Manning.

Indianapolis Colts Detroit Lions

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Indianapolis Colts' 31-21 win over the Detroit Lions.

Dominic Rhodes, who replaced Joseph Addai (shoulder) in the lineup, ran 20 times for 86 yards and two TDs including the winner with 8:39 left. Rookie Chad Simpson scored the first touchdown of his career, and Reggie Wayne caught seven passes for 104 yards.

And against a defense missing three starters -- safety Bob Sanders, middle linebacker Gary Brackett and defensive tackle Keyunta Dawson -- Orlovsky hooked up with Calvin Johnson nine times for 110 yards and one score. Orlovsky took over for Daunte Culpepper, who couldn't throw Sunday because of a right shoulder injury.

"We're getting better," coach Rod Marinelli said. "We've got to keep working hard, find a way to win. If I could do anything different to get a win, whether it's our first game or 50th game, I would do it."

After falling into a 21-10 halftime deficit, the Lions fought back.

Keiwan Ratliff fumbled a punt early in the third quarter, setting up Jason Hanson's 31-yard field goal. Kevin Smith followed that by looping around the left side for a 1-yard TD run with 12:52 left in the game. Orlovsky tied it at 21 with a 2-point conversion pass to Casey FitzSimmons.

It was all Manning after that.

He methodically marched the Colts 88 yards, finally giving to Rhodes for a 1-yard TD run and a 28-21 lead, and he closed it out by grinding out nearly all of the final 5 minutes before Vinatieri's 30-yard kick sealed it with 39 seconds left.

"I thought we played good enough to win," Lions cornerback Travis Fisher said. "I'm just trying to get a win. Who care's about being close? Who cares about any of the other things? The only pressure on us is we need to get a win, period."

Game notes


Hanson's 51-yard field goal in the first quarter broke a tie with Morten Andersen for the most in league history. Hanson has made 41 field goals of 50 or more yards. He's also the first kicker in league history to be 8-of-8 on 50-yarders in a season. ... In the second quarter, Manning passed Vinny Testaverde for sixth on the NFL's career completions list. Testaverde had 3,787, Manning has 3,803. ... Detroit safety Dwight Smith fractured his ankle in the second quarter, and cornerback Keith Smith left with a groin injury. ... Johnson's 10 TD receptions are the most by a Lions player since Herman Moore had 14 in 1995. ... Wayne topped 1,000 yards for the fifth straight season. ... Colts receiver Marvin Harrison had two receptions to move past Tim Brown for third on the NFL career list. Harrison has 1,095 catches and needs seven to pass Cris Carter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DET
IND
1st Downs1828
Passing 1st downs
819
Rushing 1st downs
87
1st downs from penalties
22
3rd down efficiency
4-106-12
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays5667
Total Yards323421
Yards per play5.86.3
Total Drives99
Passing233315
Comp-Att
23-3428-37
Yards per pass
6.98.3
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-01-3
Rushing90106
Rushing Attempts
2229
Yards per rush
4.13.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-24-5
Penalties6-485-31
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
22
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:1932:41

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Orlovsky23/342336.9100-0
INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning28/373188.6101-3

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith20884.4125
Johnson221.002
INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rhodes20864.3210
Simpson7172.416

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson911012.2133
Gaines23919.5033
INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Clark1214211.8131
Wayne710414.9039

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETIND
indTD7:41Dominic Rhodes 1 Yard Run (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 78 yds, 7:22
07
detFG4:50Jason Hanson 51 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yds, 1:15
37
SECOND QUARTERDETIND
indTD5:34Chad Simpson 2 Yard Run (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 56 yds, 3:13
314
detTD3:42Calvin Johnson 33 Yard Pass From Dan Orlovsky (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 69 yds, 1:53
1014
indTD0:53Dallas Clark 3 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yds, 2:49
1021
THIRD QUARTERDETIND
detFG10:04Jason Hanson 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 10 yds, 2:15
1321
FOURTH QUARTERDETIND
detTD12:58Kevin Smith 1 Yard Run (Dan Orlovsky Pass to Casey Fitzsimmons For Two-Point Conversion is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 91 yds, 7:39
2121
indTD8:43Dominic Rhodes 1 Yard Run (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 88 yds, 4:13
2128
indFG0:44Adam Vinatieri 31 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 67 yds, 4:42
2131