Who: The Indianapolis Colts vs the Detroit Lions
What: Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season.
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI.
When: 1:00 PM Eastern, Sunday, November 1st. TV: CBS. We get the dynamic duo of Andrew Catalon and James Lofton, and by dynamic duo I mean…I don’t know what I mean. Hey, did you know James Lofton’s in the Hall of Fame?
Bottom line: this is a must win for the Colts. As of today, they’re on the outside looking in for the playoffs, and the schedule is about to get much tougher. Remember the infuriating loss to the clowns in Jacksonville? Detroit stomped them 34-16 in Jacksonville. They’ve won 3 of 4, including a 26-23 win on the road against an Arizona squad who is better than anyone the Colts have faced to date.
There’s good news though: Darius Leonard (will be back), Michael Pittman Jr (most likely back), and Kemoko Turay (probably a week or two away) all returned to practice today.
More good news: The Patriots are 2-4 and just suffered their worst home defeat in the Bill Belichick era. You just hate to see it.
Why the Colts will score more than the other guys:
1. Those were the days
The Colts and Lions have met four times since 2002, when the NFL went to its current rotating schedule with four divisions in each conference.
2004: Peyton Manning absolutely obliterates the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, throwing 6 TD passes. He probably could’ve thrown 10, and I’m not kidding.
2008: The Lions, in the 14th game of an eventual 0-16 season, gave Indy everything they could handle and then some. The score was tied at 21 until just under 9 minutes to play, when a Dominic Rhodes TD pushed the Colts to an eventual 31-21 win. Random fact: Dan Orvlosky threw a TD pass to Calvin Johnson in this game.
2012: Andrew Luck led the Colts to two TD’s in the last 5 minutes, with the winner coming on a 4th down, 16 yard buzzer beater to Donnie Avery. This is one of my favorite wins of the Luck era. Random fact for Colts fans: Both Coby Fleener and Vick Ballard scored the first TD’s of their careers in this game.
2016: Ugh. The infamous “Charles Pagano called a stupid timeout which helped his team lose” game. Detroit led 34-28 and the Colts had the ball with a first down at the Detroit 12. Clock ticking. At this point all the Colts needed to do was take their time to score. What does Charles do? Calls a timeout with 1:15 left. Indy scored two plays later for a 35-34 lead, but Charles’ mistake gave Matt Stafford 43 seconds and all of his timeouts to win. Five plays later, the Lions were 37-35 winners after Matt Prater hit a field goal. History says the final score was 39-35, because on the ensuing kickoff, the Colts tried one of those stupid lateral plays that never works (Sorry, Rutger) and the result was a safety.
The Pagano faux pas was bizarrely ironic, since the Lions coach was Jim Caldwell. Caldwell’s timeout error may have been the dumbest in NFL history, as he gave the Jets enough time to kick a field goal to knock the Colts out of the 2010-11 playoffs.
Let’s move on from the past before I break something.
Things don’t start well for the Colts. A terrific punt by Jack Fox pins them inside the 5. On the next play, newly acquired Everson Griffen breaks through the Colts line. With nowhere to go, Rivers rolls right and runs right out of the end zone. Safety. Dan Orvlosky trends on Twitter. Later, Rivers reports he lost focus right before the snap due to 4 of his 9 kids suddenly asking for help with their homework through his helmet speaker.
Detroit uses this fortune to tack on a TD on the ensuing possession, with rookie D’Andre Swift punching it in from 4 yards out. The Colts respond with a scoring drive culminating in a 47 yard field goal by Hot Rod Blankenship.
It’s 9-3 Lions, but they’re not done. Sandwiched in between a quick 3 and out by the Colts, Stafford hits Kenny Golladay with scoring strikes of 17 and 8 yards.
23-3 now, and things look grim for the Colts, but they put together a drive in the final 2 minutes. Other than a 32 yard strike to Marcus Johnson on the first play, it’s all short to intermediate passes. With 5 seconds left, Rivers hits Nyheim Hines for a TD. 23-10 at halftime.
The teams trade scores in the 3rd quarter, which ends with the Lions leading 30-17.
Rivers leads the Colts inside the 30, but the drive stalls when Hilton drops what would have been a TD. Hot Rod’s field goal cuts the margin to 30-20. After a Detroit punt, Rivers goes to work again. The 9 play drive lasts 4 minutes. Jack Doyle hauls in a 16 yard pass to bring the score to 30-27.
After a 38 yard field goal by Prater extends the Detroit lead to 6, the Colts take over on their 25 with 4 minutes remaining. There’s no rush, and Rivers hits Zach Pascal with a 6 yard strike. Suddenly the Colts lead, 34-33.
With 43 seconds remaining, Stafford has plenty of time to pull this out. He hits Swift for 19, then TJ Hockensen for 9 to the Colts 47. After using his second timeout, Stafford finds Golladay for a 22 yard gain to the 25.
Timeout, Lions. 12 seconds remaining.
Stafford throws incomplete to Golladay, stopping the clock with 5 seconds left. Out comes Prater, the record holder for the NFL’s longest field goal
because he played in Denver. He would never hit one that far otherwise. I said what I said. for a 43 yarder to win it.
Right at the snap, the officials signal another timeout for the Lions. The problem is they don’t have any. The delay of game penalty pushes Prater back 5 yards.
The kick is up, and….it’s wide right. Colts win 34-33.
Matt Patricia looks like he just swallowed a footlong from Subway in one bite because Bill Belichick told him to.
2. The offspring
That’s a lower case “o” here, so we’re not talking about the 90’s band. When I asked one of the kids why the Colts would score more than the Lions, I was told “because they’re faster.” I have no idea what that means, but once again acknowledge my failure as a parent.
3. THE world according to Isaac
I’m thrilled Andy agreed to be part of this article. I’ve followed him for years on social media, and you should too. He’s a fan of Michigan State and Detroit sports, but he’s also a big fan of food. His video reviews are hilarious, and indeed, he brought up food in his prediction for the game. When you’re the Sausage King of Detroit, this is what you do:
“Are the Lions the best 3-3 team in the league? That’s what people are saying. And by people, I mean me after several cocktails and far too much Halloween candy. Am I delusional? Yes. Am I probably right? No. Am I asking myself really stupid questions? Most certainly.
Here’s a fun fact that’s interesting to me and no one else: The Detroit Lions are undefeated when I eat a Costco hot dog the day of the game. In an era where people scream “fake news” this might sound too good to be true. And it probably is. But I don’t care. When you’re a Lions fan you need to find hope somewhere. I’ve found it at the Costco food court.
Unrelated, BRING BACK SAMPLES COSTCO!
Lions 31 Colts 24″
Great stuff. You can follow Andy on Twitter here.
It’s possible he’s right, but by law I always pick the Colts to win.
Colts 34, Lions 33, Andy 17 hot dogs.