Colts use Mack attack, defense to shut down Cowboys 23-0

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack kept his eyes down the field and his legs churning Sunday.

Posted: Dec 16, 2018 9:51 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack kept his eyes down the field and his legs churning Sunday.

His teammates took the cue.

The offensive line created enough space for Mack to run for a career-high 139 yards and two scores, an improving defense smothered the league’s hottest offense and the Colts rolled past Dallas 23-0 to stay in the AFC playoff hunt.

“When I saw those holes, I was like ‘Yeah, it might be a good day,’” Mack said. “Holes like that don’t come often.”

If Mack continues to exploit the creases, there’s no telling what the Colts (8-6) could do if they earn a postseason trip.

Since losing five of their first six, Indy has won seven of eight. Andrew Luck continues to play the best football of his career and Mack appears ready to thrive with starting center Ryan Kelly back in the lineup.

The Colts’ vastly improved defense has allowed 27 points over the past three weeks including two games against division leaders, Houston and Dallas, and has its first shutout since a 27-0 victory over Cincinnati on Oct. 19, 2014.

“Against that team, with the guys they have, it’s tough,” coach Frank Reich said. “They have some of the best (offensive) guys in the NFL.”

While the Colts (8-6) celebrated, Dallas was dismayed.

The Cowboys (8-6) came out flat on offense, wore down on defense and failed to clinch the NFC East title as a five-game winning streak ended.

Ezekiel Elliott ran 18 times for 87 yards and caught seven passes for 41 yards. Amari Cooper had four catches for 32 yards and Dak Prescott was 24 of 39 for 206 yards with one interception.

But Mack set the tone with a physical 19-yard run on his first carry, ran 22 times and matched his career best for scoring runs — all against the league’s No. 3 run defense.

The result: Dallas gave up its first 100-yard game since Week 9 and endured its first shutout since losing 12-0 to the Patriots on Nov. 16, 2003.

“Obviously, we didn’t play well enough in any phase of our game to win,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We can’t allow them to run the ball the way they want to run it.”

That wasn’t the only problem.

The Colts repeatedly took advantage of Cowboys’ miscues.

When Denico Autry blocked a Dallas field-goal attempt , Mack capitalized with a 1-yard TD plunge. Luck cashed in on a defensive holding call against Anthony Brown on third down to set up Adam Vinatieri for a 43-yard field goal to make it 10-0 at the half.

Mack opened the second half with a 6-yard scoring run and Vinatieri sealed it with two more field goals.

Defensively, the Colts made big play after big play, too.

Elliott lost 2 yards and the ball on fourth-and-1 from the Colts 3, Dallas was knocked out of field-goal range on Tyquan Lewis’ sack on the Cowboys’ final chance in the first half, Pierre Desir and Darius Leonard each ended drives by breaking up passes in the second half and George Odum capped it with a late interception.

Mack took care of the rest.

“He ran well, he does all the little things really, really well,” Luck said.

STAT PACK

Cowboys: Dallas lost its first game in the series since 2002 and finished with no sacks and only three quarterback hits. ... The Cowboys finished with 292 yards, their lowest total since acquiring Cooper in a trade.

Colts: Luck was 16 of 27 for 192 yards while T.Y. Hilton caught five passes for 85 yards despite not practicing all week because of an ankle injury. ... Lewis had two of the Colts three sacks.

INJURY REPORT

Cowboys: Right guard Zack Martin missed the first game of his career with an injured left knee. Dallas improvised by moving left guard Connor Williams to right guard and inserting Xavier Su’a-Filo at right guard. But Su’a-Filo left early in the second quarter with an eye injury and did not return.

Colts: Veteran backup Joe Haeg replaced right guard Mark Glowinski (ankle) in the starting lineup and defensive tackle Al Woods left in the third quarter with an injured leg and did not return.

THEY SAID IT

Cowboys: “The field goal just before halftime seemed to demoralize our team,” team owner Jerry Jones said.

Colts: “Zeke doesn’t get stopped too much in that situation,” Reich said of the goal-line stand. “I don’t know what the numbers are but it was a huge play.”

UP NEXT

Cowboys: Get a second chance to clinch the division title next Sunday when they host Tampa Bay.

Colts: Close out their home schedule next weekend when Eli Manning and the New York Giants return to Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since winning the Super Bowl after the 2011 season.

West Lafayette
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 69°
Rensselaer
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 67°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
Turning Warmer & More Humid, Then Big Cool-Down
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76522

Reported Deaths: 3086
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16194731
Lake7742281
Elkhart495586
Allen4040163
St. Joseph361083
Hamilton2887104
Vanderburgh205313
Hendricks1943108
Cass18069
Johnson1794119
Porter136239
Clark130750
Tippecanoe124511
Madison103066
LaPorte93530
Howard92065
Kosciusko87212
Floyd82249
Bartholomew82147
Marshall79423
Monroe76732
Delaware76052
Vigo71411
Dubois71312
Boone69746
Noble69029
Hancock68839
Jackson5975
Warrick58830
Shelby56828
LaGrange56610
Grant53130
Dearborn51628
Morgan48934
Clinton4504
Henry41820
Wayne38810
White37711
Montgomery36021
Lawrence35727
Harrison35224
Decatur34232
Putnam3218
Daviess27920
Miami2772
Scott27310
Jasper2572
Greene25434
Franklin24715
DeKalb2384
Gibson2334
Jennings22812
Steuben2153
Ripley2138
Carroll2003
Fayette1957
Perry18713
Posey1800
Starke1807
Orange17824
Wells1782
Fulton1732
Wabash1715
Jefferson1662
Knox1640
Whitley1566
Tipton14912
Washington1441
Sullivan1411
Spencer1393
Clay1315
Huntington1273
Randolph1274
Newton12110
Adams1172
Owen1051
Jay920
Rush894
Pulaski821
Fountain762
Brown752
Blackford662
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike620
Vermillion590
Parke551
Switzerland530
Martin500
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0208

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events