INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Dominic Rhodes put Indianapolis in front midway through the final period Sunday and the Colts held off the winless Detroit Lions 31-21.
Indianapolis (10-4) moved within one victory of reaching the playoffs as a wild-card team. This was the Colts' seventh straight victory and marks the fifth consecutive year they have had a winning streak of at least seven games.
Detroit, meanwhile, became the first team since the 1980 New Orleans Saints to lose its first 14 games of the season. The Lions have two remaining chances to avoid a winless campaign -- at home against New Orleans next Sunday and then at Green Bay Dec. 28.
A 1-yard scoring run by Kevin Smith and a two-point conversion allowed the Lions to forge a 21-21 tie with 12:52 remaining in the game.
Indianapolis then drove 88 yards in seven plays, with Rhodes scoring on a 1-yard surge for his second touchdown of the day. Adam Vinatieri added a 31-yard field goal with 39 seconds remaining.
Rhodes gained 86 yards on 20 carries while filling in for Joseph Addai, who missed the game with a shoulder injury. Peyton Manning threw for 318 yards and tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark that gave the Colts a 21-10 lead with 47 seconds left in the first half.
Marvin Harrison caught two passes from Manning, giving him 1,095 receptions for his career. That moved him into third place on the all-time list ahead of Tim Brown.