Rivers' 3 TDs in 2nd quarter help Colts beat Lions 41-21

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

DETROIT – Philip Rivers picked apart Detroit's defense with short and accurate passes after it shut down the Indianapolis Colts on the ground early in the game.

Rivers threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to help the Colts surge past Detroit for a 41-21 victory Sunday following a first quarter in which they averaged a little more than 1 yard rushing on 10 carries.

Rivers completed 23 of 33 attempts, mostly short passes to the outside or over the middle, for 262 yards. The 38-year-old quarterback also showed he still has some arm strength to go along with his savvy touch, perfectly throwing a 29-yard pass to Nyheim Hines late in the first half.

Indy (5-2) has won two straight while the Tennessee Titans have lost two in a row, putting them in a first-place tie in the AFC South.

“We’re in a position where we have a chance," Rivers said.

Rivers threw passes to 11 teammates.

“It’s unusual, but we have such a variety of skill players,” he said. “It makes us tougher to defend because you don’t know where the ball is going.”

The Colts were healthy and looked rested and ready to roll after being idle last week and improved to 3-0 after a bye under coach Frank Reich.