The Detroit Lions Beat The Indianapolis Colts 24-10. Here’s How It happened.
On the first possession of the game, Detroit received the kickoff and started at their own 12 yard line. The offense looked in sync over the first few plays, as Matthew Stafford threw a 14 yard pass to Ameer Abdullah, then a 22 yard pass to TJ Jones.
The opening drive ended in disaster though, as Matthew Stafford had a pass intended for Marvin Jones deflected and intercepted by John Simon.
On Indianapolis’ opening drive, they went three and out, mustering only seven yards on three plays. The Lions and the Colts both punted on each of their next possessions.
After the slow start, Detroit’s offense would explode on the next possession, in particular Kenny Golladay would have a big impact. He caught two passes for 38 yards including a 23 yard touchdown reception.
The two teams traded punts throughout the rest of the first quarter.
Score: Lions 7, Colts 0
After a Lions punt early in the second quarter, the Colts put together their first scoring drive on a nine play, 37 yard possession led by a 25 yard reception from Troymaine Pope on a screen pass. The drive stalled for Indianapolis though, and they kicked a 42 yard field goal with 10:46 left in the quarter.
The Lions would answer this with a strong scoring drive of their own. Jake Rudock ran for 13 yards on a third down and three and Dwayne Washington rushed for 29 yards on the seven play drive that ended with a 15 yard touchdown pass from Rudock to Kenny Golladay.
The Colts then went three and out, quickly giving the ball back to the Lions. Detroit took advantage of this opportunity, and went on a methodical eight play, 40 yard drive culminating in a Matt Prater field goal from 28 yards out.
Indianapolis punted again on their next drive, giving Detroit one more chance at a score before halftime. Jake Rudock led the Lions into field goal range, but Matt Prater’s attempt at a 53 yard field goal came up short.
Score: Lions 17, Colts 3
In the third quarter, the Colts possessed the ball three times and the Lions had the ball two times. All of the possessions in this quarter ended in punts.
The best drive of the third quarter was an eight play, 18 yard drive by the Lions. However, it was derailed by penalties and Detroit ended up punting on 4th down and 22.
The Lions held the Colts to just 28 yards in the third quarter, allowing only one first down.
The third quarter was very uneventful for both teams.
Score: Lions 17, Colts 3
The Colts went three and out to start the fourth quarter, promptly giving the ball to the Lions. Jace Billingsley set the Lions up in good field position at the Colts 30 yard line with a solid 15 yard punt return.
The Lions took advantage of the great field position quickly, as third string quarterback Brad Kaaya completed an 11 yard pass to tight end Khari Lee then a 15 yard touchdown to rookie receiver Dontez Ford.
Each team then had two possessions that went nowhere, all ending either in punts or a turnover on downs.
The Colts would end the game with a really nice possession. They got the ball on their own 10 yard line and marched down the field over 14 plays. On the very last play of the game, Indianapolis scored a one yard rushing touchdown with Troymaine Pope.
Final Score: Lions 24, Colts 10
336 Offensive Yards for the Lions at 5.6 Yards Per Play
The Lions moved the ball very efficiently, earning an average of over five yards every play. Because of this, they were able to put together scoring possessions and control the clock.
230 Offensive Yards for the Colts at 3.6 Yards Per Play
The Colts offense was barely able to move the ball against the Lions defense. Detroit held them to just 230 yards on the day, 90 of which came on the last possession of the game after the Colts had already been surely defeated.
The Lions Sacked the Colts Five Times
The Lions were able to get pressure on Indianapolis all day as Jeremiah Valoaga, Alex Barrett, Paul Worrilow, Thurston Armbrister and Pat O’Connor all had a sack. After Kerry Hyder‘s injury, this is encouraging.
The Lions Allowed Just One Sack
After the injury to Taylor Decker, there was lots of concern that the Lions offensive line wouldn’t be able to hold up. On Sunday, both Greg Robinson and Storm Norton looked fine at left tackle.
The Colts Were Just 4 for 18 on Third Down Conversion Attempts
Throughout the game the Lions defense did a fantastic job of getting off of the field on third down. Three of the Colts third down conversions were on their last possession after the game was already lost.
11 Penalties for the Colts, 6 for the Lions
Penalties cost the Colts big time today. Lots of offensive and defensive penalties hurt them throughout the game, while the Lions had relatively few penalties.
Plays That Made The Game
Matthew Stafford’s 22 yard pass to TJ Jones looked just like the Stafford we saw from last season when he was an MVP candidate. Stafford faked the handoff to Zenner, then faced immediate pressure from the interior of the offensive line. Zenner did a decent job of picking up the block on the pass rush, and Stafford stepped up in the pocket to avoid the pressure. Stafford then delivered a beautiful 22 yard pass to the open TJ Jones.
Matthew Stafford’s interception ended the day for the star quarterback on just his third passing attempt. On the slant pass to Marvin Jones, the ball went right through the receiver’s hands and bounced off of the shoulder of Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. John Simon then intercepted the pass on the tip drill. This was a difficult ball to catch for Marvin Jones, but it’s a pass he has to be able to haul in going forward.
Kenny Golladay’s first touchdown was a difficult, falling catch that was made in between two defenders. Golladay just ran a go route down the sideline and Jake Rudock threw the ball up in his direction, just giving him a chance. Golladay made a fantastic adjustment to the ball and was able to locate it as he was going to the ground.
Kenny Golladay’s second touchdown was a beautiful back shoulder fade. This was a much more calculated play than Golladay’s first touchdown. Golladay knew to expect the pass to be short and behind him as the Colts had tight man coverage on him. Golladay did an excellent job of again finding the ball and reeling it in as he went to the ground.
Brad Kaaya’s touchdown pass to Dontez Ford was the final nail in the coffin for the Colts. Here, Brad Kaaya hit Dontez Ford with an accurate pass on a curl route at about the nine yard line. Ford then did an awesome job of making the cornerback who was covering him miss and broke two more tackles on his way into the endzone.
Player Of The Game
Kenny Golladay is the player of the game. In his preseason NFL debut, he hauled in three passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns. He looked every bit as good as he has been billed as in training camp. He made two difficult touchdown receptions today and looks like he could immediately be a great target in the redzone for Matthew Stafford.
Golladay looked very much like an NFL receiver in Indy. He embarrassed the Colts cornerbacks on both of his touchdowns. The biggest questions regarding Golladay coming out of college had to do with the physicality in his game, but he bullied Indianapolis defenders on Sunday.