Game Day: Lions at Colts

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KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX (Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick)

SERIES: 40th regular-season meeting. Colts lead, 19-18-2. Peyton Manning carved up the Lions on Thanksgiving 2004, throwing six touchdown passes in only three quarters in a 41-9 Indianapolis victory. Detroit is 2-3 vs. Colts since they left Baltimore. This is the Lions' first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Less than six weeks removed from suffering a fracture and torn ligament in his right thumb, QB Dan Orlovsky is forced back into the lineup for the Lions with Daunte Culpepper out. He understandably struggled with his accuracy during practice this week, and the Colts will load up to support their run defense and dare Orlovsky to hurt them through the air. If rookie RB Kevin Smith is going to be effective, he'll have to do it against eight-man fronts. ... Detroit is allowing 213.6 passing yards per game, but that number is respectable only because opponents routinely build big leads and grind out wins on the ground. The secondary is so soft that CB Brian Kelly, supposedly a key free-agent signing, was cut this week. The Lions don't rush the passer well and don't have nearly enough depth to contain all of Manning's downfield options.

KEY INJURIES: Lions: Culpepper (shoulder) is out; CB Leigh Bodden (groin) and WR Shaun McDonald (ankle) are uncertain. Colts: RB Joseph Addai (shoulder) is uncertain; SS Bob Sanders and C Jeff Saturday (calf) are expected to play.

FAST FACTS: The Lions have just four interceptions. The 16-game record low for a season was five by Oakland in 2005. ... The Colts clinch a playoff spot with a win and a loss by two teams out of New England, Miami and the Jets.

PREDICTION: Colts 34-16

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