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Stafford outduels Luck in Lions' late win over Colts

*Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck went score for score in a quarterback duel in Indianapolis, but the Lions star had the last laugh. Stafford led a late four-play drive to set up Matt Prater for the game-winning kick with four seconds left, securing a 39-35 Lions victory. *

  1. Matt Prater escaped "goat" status with a game-winning 43-yard field goal with four ticks to go to secure the Lions' victory in Indianapolis. On Detroit's previous score to take the lead, Prater pushed the extra point right, which allowed Indy to take a one-point lead with a score with 43 seconds left. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford went to his bread and butter on the ensuing four-play final drive, tossing a 19-yard pass out of the backfield to Theo Riddick, a nine-yarder to tight end Eric Ebron and a 22-yard shot to new acquisition Marvin Jones. It was refreshing to see Stafford show heroics and poise throughout the contest, qualities of his game that were quite absent last season.
  1. Andrew Luck's shoulder is just fine, sheeple; he carried the Colts on it all day. Indianapolis' franchise quarterback showed no sign of wear or tear in his first start since Week 9 last season, tossing 385 yards and four touchdowns. After a slow start through 28 minutes of play, Luck led four scoring drives of 75-plus yards, including a 94-yarder early in the fourth. Sans the departed Coby Fleener, he made stars out of his remaining tight ends, Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle, who combined for seven catches, 88 yards and three touchdowns. In the fourth quarter, Doyle caught Luck's final two scores after beating Detroit's linebackers in the red zone.
  1. Lions running backs are flourishing in Jim Bob Cooter's system. All three of Detroit's tailbacks scored touchdowns against the Colts, including two from Theo Riddick (12 touches for 108 total yards). Not to be outdone, Ameer Abdullah racked up 120 total yards, the first time he's gone over that century mark in his career. Abdullah and Riddick paired well together, each taking Stafford passes out of the backfield for six in the second half.

The Lions quarterback picked up where he left off last season, looking comfortable with Cooter as an offensive coordinator. Stafford finished 28-for-35 with 340 yards and three touchdown passes, while connecting with six different receivers for three completions or more. One of those receivers? Ebron, who picked up five catches for 46 yards and an early touchdown. Yes, this season-opening performance came against an injury-riddled Colts secondary, but it may be time to buy stock in Detroit's offense.

  1. An already thin Colts' secondary lost more bodies on Sunday. Coming into the season opener with just four healthy cornerbacks, two of which were signed in the past week, Indy lost starter Patrick Robinson to a concussion and fill-in starting safety T.J. Green to a knee sprain. Stafford took advantage of Indy's thin backline on Detroit's game-winning drive. Look for the Broncos, Chargers and Jaguars to do the same thing in the upcoming weeks.
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