Final

Colts 17

(1-2, 0-1 away)

Lions 18

(2-1, 2-0 home)

Coverage: NFL

1:00 PM ET, August 29, 2009

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 7 0 7 317
DET 0 10 0 818

Lions 18, Colts 17

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Daunte Culpepper and Matthew Stafford seemed to do enough Saturday to keep the Detroit Lions' quarterback competition wide open. Heck, even Peyton Manning thought they did well.

Culpepper threw for a touchdown and Stafford passed for 160 yards to help Detroit beat the Indianapolis Colts 18-17 in an exhibition game.

Three-time MVP Manning has said Stafford -- the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft -- would be best served to play right away as he did, but left Ford Field away impressed with Detroit's top two QBs.

"I thought both of them looked good," Manning said. "It seems like the race is going to go down to the wire."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz chose to begin the first and third preseason games with Culpepper under center, but wouldn't discuss plans for the exhibition finale Thursday night at Buffalo.

Schwartz did say, though, he is planning to use his top players more than most coaches do in the fourth exhibition.

"We're still in evaluation mode," Schwartz said. "We're going to approach it the same way we did these other three games."

Culpepper completed seven of 12 passes for 67 yards, deftly avoiding the rush to make some throws and showing enough poise to connect with his third option on the TD -- Bryant Johnson for a 3-yard score.

"I feel great," said Culpepper, who was a Pro Bowl-caliber QB in Minnesota before a knee injury in 2005. "I honestly feel like I did before I got hurt."

Stafford was 13-of-19 and threw an interception, which his coach blamed on Johnson for not being more aggressive.

The strong-armed QB made a 40-yard throw to fellow rookie Derrick Williams and a 37-yarder to Calvin Johnson, showing why Detroit drafted the former Georgia star.

"I feel like I've played well," Stafford said. "I don't know what they're going to do. It's not up to me."

Drew Stanton followed Culpepper and Stafford, and led Detroit (2-1) to the winning points with 4:13 left. He threw a 21-yard pass to rookie Dan Gronkowski and a 2-point conversion to John Standeford.

While Detroit's QB situation is murky, Manning is still in charge for the Colts, just as he's been since they drafted him first overall in 1998.

The reigning MVP was 12-of-15 for 123 yards, including a 6-yard TD to Dallas Clark, who had six receptions for 63 yards.

"Both drives at the beginning of both halves were quality," Manning said. "On the two drives where we did not get points it was more us than them. It was us self-destructing."

Colts rookie Curtis Painter, playing in place of sore backup Jim Sorgi, completed nine of 14 passes for 145 yards and an interception that should've been caught by receiver John Matthews.

Indianapolis (1-2) put several banged-up players on the inactive list, but coach Jim Caldwell wasn't in the mood to make excuses for the Lions' 412 yards of offense.

"Regardless of who goes in there and plays for us, we expect them to play as well as anyone else, whether he's a starter or not," Caldwell said. "For the most part, we just didn't get it done."

Caldwell was encouraged cornerback Marlin Jackson and safety Antoine Bethea were healthy enough to play.

"In both cases the guys haven't had an opportunity to play much at all this preseason," Caldwell said. "So, to get them out there was very important."

Game notes


Colts DE Rudolph Hardie (knee), TE Tom Santi (ankle) and Lions DE Jason Hunter (ribs) were injured during the game. ... Detroit's Kevin Smith had 50 yards on eight carries, including a 24-yard run. ... Joseph Addai ran for 22 yards on seven carries for the Colts. ... Calvin Johnson, who missed the first two preseason games with a sprained thumb, had four catches for 67 yards and Bryant Johnson played for the first time since getting in an accident with a golf cart.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IND
DET
1st Downs1725
Passing 1st downs
1317
Rushing 1st downs
37
1st downs from Penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
3-99-15
4th down efficiency
1-10-1
Total Plays5074
Total Yards299412
Yards per play6.05.6
Total Drives109
Passing249261
Comp - Att
21-2924-37
Yards per pass
8.67.1
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks - Yards Lost
2-192-22
Rushing50151
Rushing Attempts
1935
Yards per rush
2.64.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-31-3
Penalties7-496-75
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession25:3934:21

Passing Leaders

INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Painter9/1414510.4011-10
Manning12/151238.2101-9
DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Stafford13/191608.4011-13
Culpepper7/12675.6100-0

Rushing Leaders

INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Addai7223.1011
Brown5163.218
DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith8506.3024
Brown7375.3012

Receiving Leaders

INDRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Garcon28241.00633
Clark66310.51236
DETRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Johnson46716.80378
Williams46315.80404

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERINDDET
indTD05:36Dallas Clark 6 Yd Pass From Peyton Manning (Shane Andrus Kick) 70
SECOND QUARTERINDDET
detTD14:55Bryant Johnson 3 Yd Pass From Daunte Culpepper (Billy Cundiff Kick) 77
detFG03:21Billy Cundiff 21 Yd 710
THIRD QUARTERINDDET
indTD09:32Donald Brown 2 Yd Run (Shane Andrus Kick) 1410
FOURTH QUARTERINDDET
indFG07:31Shane Andrus 29 Yd 1710
detTD04:13Dan Gronkowski 21 Yd Pass From Drew Stanton (Drew Stanton Pass To John Standeford For Two-Point Conversion) 1718