Lions Shut Down Colts and Dickerson, 33-24 : Interconference: Sanders rushes for 179 yards, and Lions hold Dickerson to career-low 17 yards in 13 carries.
The Detroit defense didn’t need magic. They simply made the Indianapolis Colts’ running game all but disappear.
Barry Sanders rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns, and the Lions held the Colts to a franchise-low four yards rushing in Sunday’s 33-24 victory.
“This team is maturing,” Lion Coach Wayne Fontes said. “I’ve said we’ve had problems in the past with interceptions, fumbles. But that’s in the past, because we are now playing excellent as a team.”
Rodney Peete completed 17 of 23 passes for 167 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Lions (3-1). Peete’s backup, Erik Kramer, completed each of his two pass attempts for 27 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown to Willie Green while Peete was in the locker room for an equipment adjustment.
Detroit lost the ball three times on first-half turnovers as the winless Colts (0-4) took a 10-0 lead. But the defense in the second half forced the Colts to rely almost totally on the passing of Jeff George, who completed 29 of 40 passes for 348 yards. A tackle of Indianapolis punter Rohn Stark by Bennie Blades set up a third-quarter touchdown that turned the momentum to the Lions.
Sanders said he knew the Lions were still in the game, even with the Colts’ early lead.
“We fought back and we knew we were going to win,” he said. “I think the momentum really shifted in the second half. We were blowing them off the ball and just felt that we were going to win.”
Eric Dickerson scored the first two Colts’ touchdowns but was held to a career-low 17 yards in 13 carries. Dickerson, whose previous career low was 19 yards against Buffalo in 1987, has 12,121 career yards, moving him past Franco Harris into fourth place on the NFL rushing list. The previous record for fewest yards rushing by the Colts was 19 against the Rams in 1954.
“I don’t know what happened today,” Dickerson said. “We had a good game plan. I felt fine, and then nothing worked.
“Any time I got the ball, it seemed like there were two or three guys right on me. I tried to make some cuts, but there was just nothing there.”
The Lions had two passes intercepted in the first half, including one by Chris Goode on the third play after Dickerson’s touchdown run that helped set up Dean Biasucci’s 20-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.
Leading 23-10 after three quarters, the Lions got a 19-yard field goal from Eddie Murray before the Colts drove 80 yards and scored on a one-yard pass from George to Dickerson with 4:53 left.
Sanders added a 23-yard scoring run with 2:57 remaining, and George passed six yards to Jessie Hester for the final touchdown with 43 seconds left.