Andrew Luck-led Colts rally to beat Lions 35-33

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2012 at 3:23 am •  Published: December 3, 2012

DETROIT (AP) — Andrew Luck scrambled a bit to his right, saw nobody open in the end zone and decided to take his chances.

He flipped the ball to Donnie Avery and hoped his 5-foot-11 receiver could win a race to the end zone.

"I had no choice but to score," Avery said. "It was the slowest 11 yards that I ever felt like I ran."

It may have felt like it took forever, but Avery crossed the goal line standing up on the final play, giving Indianapolis a 35-33 win over Detroit on Sunday. The Colts scored two touchdowns in the final 2:39 to hand the Lions another excruciating loss.

"Some teams find ways to win," Indianapolis interim coach Bruce Arian said. "Others don't."

With the final seconds ticking away and the ball at the Detroit 14, Luck took the snap, moved up in the pocket and tossed a short pass to Avery, who made the catch around the 10. With Detroit's secondary focused on covering receivers in the end zone, Avery was scamper in.

"You always hesitate throwing the ball not in the end zone, for fear of the clock running out with a guy inbounds," Luck said. "Took the calculated risk that Donnie could get there in the end zone, and he did."

Luck has won more games (eight) than any rookie quarterback drafted No. 1 overall in the Super Bowl era.

The Colts (8-4) stayed in control of the AFC wild-card race by winning for the sixth time in seven games. Luck helped them move a step closer toward a 10th playoff berth in 11 seasons, this time without Peyton Manning.

Luck also threw a last-minute touchdown pass in October to beat Green Bay. His transition from Stanford to the NFL has looked pretty smooth so far.

Detroit, on the other hand, has regressed this season after an exciting playoff appearance a year ago. The Lions (4-8) became the first team since at least 1983 to lose three straight games — all at home — after leading each with 2:00 remaining in regulation, according to STATS, LLC.

The Lions are the third team since at least 1940 to lose three in a row — all at home — after leading each in the fourth quarter.

Detroit led 33-21 when Luck threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to LaVon Brazill with 2:39 left. On the ensuing possession, the Lions were facing third-and-5 near midfield and called a run, hoping to drain the clock if they didn't gain enough yards.

Mikel Leshoure was stopped, and punter Nick Harris failed to pin the Colts back. His 25-yard effort gave Indianapolis a manageable situation — the ball at its own 25 with 1:07 remaining.

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