Dallas Rallies Past Detroit; Indianapolis Drubs Cincinnati in NFL Playoffs
The Detroit Lions' season ended in the wild-card round, with the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts moving on to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs with victories on Sunday.
Dallas 24, Detroit 20
Tony Romo threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams with 2:32 left to play, and the Dallas Cowboys came back to beat the Detroit Lions, 24-20, in the NFC wild-card game in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday. As a result of the victory, Dallas advanced to play at Green Bay in the NFC divisional round next Sunday.
Detroit had time left to rally after Williams’ touchdown reception, but their final drive stalled near midfield when Cowboys rookie DeMarcus Lawrence sacked and stripped Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on fourth down with under a minute to play. Lawrence had recovered another Stafford fumble earlier in the same drive, but Detroit maintained possession when Lawrence lost control of the ball while running with it.
Dallas’ game-winning drive was made possible by several penalties on the Lions. On Detroit’s prior possession, officials inexplicably reversed a defensive pass interference call against Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Lions punter Sam Martin then shanked a punt to set Dallas up for the drive that helped them win the game.
The Cowboys defense aided the late rally by holding the Detroit offense to just three points in the second half. The Lions led 17-7 at halftime. Dallas’ only early highlight was when Romo and Williams connected on their first score of the game: a 76-yard catch-and-run.
Romo finished with 293 yards passing and the two touchdown tosses to Williams, who had three catches for 95 yards. DeMarco Murray carried 19 times for 75 yards and a score.
Stafford completed 28 of 42 passes for 323 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Detroit’s most recent postseason victory came over the Cowboys after the 1991 season.
Indianapolis 26, Cincinnati 10
Andrew Luck threw for 376 yards and a touchdown, and the Colts pounded the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-10, in the AFC wild-card game in Indianapolis on Sunday. The defeat extended Cincinnati's playoff futility; the Bengals haven’t won a postseason game since beating the Houston Oilers after the 1990 season.
The Colts led 13-10 at halftime, and they put the game away with a solid second half effort. Luck threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief in the third quarter, and Adam Vinatieri kicked two of his four field goals in the second half to account for the final margin of victory.
With the win, Indianapolis (12-5) advanced to the AFC divisional round. The Colts will face the Broncos in Denver next Sunday.
Andy Dalton lost his fourth straight opening-round playoff game at quarterback for Cincinnati. He completed 18 of 35 passes for 151 yards with a fumble.