Detroit knew they had a tough task ahead of them Sunday trying to score points on an Indianapolis defense that ranked second in the NFL in overall defense, fourth in points allowed, second against the pass and third against the run coming into today's contest.
The Colts' defense proved to be the difference Sunday as they stymied the Lions' offense early and often, and helped the Colts to a 41-21 victory Sunday at Ford Field.
Detroit managed just 80 yards of offense and five total first downs in the first half as Indianapolis built a 20-7 lead at halftime. Detroit trimmed the lead to 20-14 with a nice eight-play, 68-yard scoring drive to open the second half, capped off by a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to running back Kerryon Johnson, but Detroit would never get within a touchdown in the second half with the Colts' offense and defense working on all cylinders.
A Stafford fumble recovered by the Colts in the third quarter led to an Indianapolis touchdown, and Stafford's second turnover of the day, a pick-six by cornerback Kenny Moore II early in the fourth quarter, pushed the Colts' lead to 35-14.
Detroit got to within 35-21 on Stafford's second touchdown pass of the game to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., but Indianapolis came right back with a 12-play, 73-yard touchdown drive to push the lead to 41-21 and end any chance for a Lions comeback.
View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts Week 8 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 in Detroit
Key moment: The Colts faced a 3rd and 4 at the Lions' 34-yard line with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter. Lions veteran defensive tackle Danny Shelton got to Colts quarterback Philip Rivers for a sack at the Detroit 41-yard line that likely would have forced a Colts punt, but Shelton was called for a personal foul after the whistle for bringing Rivers down to the ground after the whistle had blown. It was a questionable call, because it looked like Shelton just lost his balance and didn't do it maliciously, but it was still called.
The game was tied 7-7 at the time and just three plays after the penalty, with new life, the Colts' offense scored on a Rivers 7-yard pass to tight end Jack Doyle to give them a 14-7 lead, a lead they'd never relinquish.
QB Comparison: Stafford and the Lions passing game came alive in the second half with the Colts playing a bit softer with a big lead. Stafford finished 24-of-42 passing for 336 yards with three touchdowns, an interception and a lost fumble. He finished with a 96.9 passer rating.
Rivers was very efficient, completing 23 of his 33 passes for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no turnovers for a 123.5 rating.
Promising trend: Veteran wide receiver Marvin Hall had to step into a bigger role this week due to injury, and he finished with his first career 100-yard game with 113 yards off four receptions, including a 73-yard reception that set up Detroit's last touchdown.
Worrisome trend: The Lions haven't won a football game at Ford Field in more than a year. The Lions are 0-3 at home this season and haven't won at home since Oct. 27 of last year against the New York Giants.
Injury report: Pro Bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay suffered a hip injury in the third quarter and did not return to the game. The severity of the injury is currently unknown. Golladay was targeted four times but didn't have a catch before suffering the injury.
Detroit also lost receiver and return man Jamal Agnew in the second half to a rib injury. He also did not return to action.
Right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai injured a foot in the fourth quarter and also did not return.
Next week: at Minnesota (2-5)