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INDIANAPOLIS – The Detroit Lions were hit with the type of “one-one’’ running back punch Frank Reich has envisioned since the April NFL draft.

But they weren’t KO’d by Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor.

It was Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines – fast friends since coming in as members of the Indianapolis Colts’ impactful 2018 draft class – doing the heavy lifting, with some serious body blows from Philip Rivers and an opportunistic Indy defense, of course.

“I always thought it was a heckuva running back room collectively,’’ Rivers said Sunday on a Zoom conference call. “Each guy brings kind of a little different attribute, different style.

“Today, Jordan stepped up big and Nyheim was obviously huge.’’

Rivers had his second straight crisp game: 23-of-33 for 262 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second quarter.

The NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense yielded 326 yards and allowed Matthew Stafford to complete four passes that chewed up at least 23 yards. But it made those stats irrelevant by piling up a season-high five sacks, including a nifty sack-strip by Darius Leonard, hitting the Lions with nine tackles for loss, and getting a third pick-6 of the season, this one returned 29 yards by Kenny Moore II.

But it’s hard not to hand out a couple of game balls to Wilkins and Hines following the Colts’ 41-21 win that pushed them to 5-2 and into a first-place tie with the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South.

They offered quite a one-one punch.

Frank Reich scripts the first 15-20 plays each game, and makes certain to sprinkle in a few handoffs for Wilkins and Hines while giving Taylor the heaviest workload. When the second-round draft pick’s first half yielded just 22 yards on 10 carries, there was a definite change in focus. Mack, obviously, hasn’t been in the mix since rupturing his Achilles in the season opener.

“Jordan got the hot hand so we rode him,’’ Reich said.

Rode him until he had 89 yards on 20 carries, both career highs, and one touchdown. He also added 24 yards on one reception.

While Wilkins brought the heavy hand to Ford Field, Hines was poetry in motion. And we’re not talking about 8 yards on five rushing attempts.

We’re talking about his 22-yard and 29-yard touchdown catches, both in the second quarter.

“Obviously Nyheim made a couple of big plays,’’ Reich said.

The second was the longest reception of Hines’ career.

The first deserves mention among ESPN’s Top 10 plays, perhaps near the top of the list.

“Made a great catch, run, spun . . .’’ Rivers said.

And great play design. Initially, Hines went in motion to the left before quickly pivoting and heading to the right flats where he ran under Rivers’ rainbow pass. Picking up steam as he navigated the right sideline, Hines pirouetted at the 5-yard line to make safety Duron Harmon whiff on the tackle and dove into the end zone.

That was followed by the first of two Olympic-level celebration moves: a handspring into a twisting backflip.

“I’ve seen him do that a number of times so I don’t have any problem with it,’’ Reich said. “We like our guys showing emotion when they’re celebrating. They’ve got to do their thing.’’

Hines finally got to do his thing.

He first practiced the gymnastics move on a trampoline while in the seventh or eighth grade, then took it to the ground after mastering it.

“I actually talked about it this week,’’ Hines said with a wide grin. “I’ve been saying I was going to do it since my rookie year. Sometimes when I score I just forget. I just start screaming.

“I remembered today. I had a good feeling about this week. I thought I might have a chance.’’

As Hines and Wilkins know all too well, you never know when that chance might present itself. Theirs has been a wait-your-turn journey in the NFL.

In the season opener at Jacksonville, Hines handled a career-high 15 touches – seven rushing attempts, eight receptions and was on the field for 53% of the offensive snaps. The next week against Minnesota, his play time dwindled to nine snaps and he had zero rushes and zero catches.

Wilkins? Before Sunday’s breakout against the Lions, he was on the field a total of four plays against Cincinnati before the bye.

“It’s not even really about waiting your turn,’’ Wilkins insisted. “It’s like coach (Tom) Rathman says, you can’t count the plays, you’ve got to make them count.

“As long as you keep doing that, hopefully you’ll keep a job. Jordan made the most of those opportunities today and I like to think I did that, too.’’

Hines and Wilkins have cemented their spots in Indy – and developed a kinship – since entering the NFL as a pair of mid-round ’18 picks. Hines was a fourth-rounder out of North Caroline State and Wilkins came in round 5 out of Ole Miss.

“Being on the same team for a couple of years now, especially in the same room, you’re going to grow a lot of chemistry and grow close to each other,’’ Wilkins said.

Hines added he and Wilkins first met at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indy, and their relationship took off after each was selected by the Colts.

“I got drafted and I saw Jordan was drafted, I immediately found him on Twitter and hit him up,’’ he said. “We’ve been pretty good friends since then.’’

Hines and Jordan are members of a 2018 draft class that includes a slew of notable selections: All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson, All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, offensive tackle Braden Smith, defensive end Kemoko Turay, defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis, linebackers Matthew Adams and Zaire Franklin.

“I can tell you we think very highly of Jordan,’’ Reich said. “Sometimes it’s a question of Jordan just getting a hot hand. I was thinking Jordan would contribute and play well, but it wasn’t like we were saying, ‘Hey, if we don’t run the ball well early, let’s switch it up.’

“That was never discussed. It just kind of happened.’’

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.