Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck hit Donnie Avery with a 14-yard touchdown pass as time expired as the Indianapolis Colts bounced back from a 12-point deficit en route to a 35-33 win over the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field.
Down 33-28 with 67 seconds left, Luck led the Colts’ 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by a short pass to Avery, who ran 11 yards untouched for the game-winning score.
With their sixth win in seven games, the Colts improved to 8-4, second in the AFC South and first in the conference’s wild-card race.
Luck completed 24 of 54 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns. By leading the Colts to their eighth win, he became the winningest rookie quarterback drafted No. 1 overall in the Super Bowl era.
He also has a chance to break the rookie passing yards record with four games left. He’s third all-time with 3,596 yards. Standing in his way are Peyton Manning, the quarterback he replaced, with 3,739 and Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (4,051).
Avery hauled in two of Luck’s touchdown passes, finishing with 91 yards on five catches while LaVon Brazill and tight end Coby Fleener were the recipients of the other two.
Running back Vic Balliard tallied 41 yards on nine carries and accounted for the team’s fifth touchdown.
Matthew Stafford hit 27 of 46 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns while wide receiver Calvin Johnson grabbed 13 catches for 171 yards and a score for the Lions, who slipped to 4-8 after losing four straight.
The Lions grabbed a 33-21 lead in the fourth quarter as their defense kept the Colts at bay for much of the second half.
However, Luck found his touch, hitting wide receiver LaVon Brazill for a 42-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 33-28, with 2:39 remaining.
After forcing the Lions to punt in the ensuing play, the Colts took over at their own 25-yard line and started the game-winning drive.
On the third play of the drive, wide receiver Reggie Wayne hauled in a critical 26-yard catch in traffic and Luck followed that with a 16-yard scramble two plays later.
Following an incompletion, tight end Dwayne Allen hauled in a 10-yard reception that set up the game-winning play.