How does one go about recapping the game with the largest margin of victory in Detroit Lions history? Honestly, I’m not quite sure. The game had a little bit of everything. Some milestones thanks to Jason Hanson (most starts with one team in NFL history, seventh player to reach 1,900 points in a career), more great offense and a playmaking defense. Whether you were watching from Ford Field or the comfort of your couch, that was fun.
The ball was bouncing the Lions way from just about the beginning. Matthew Stafford chose to avoid the Chiefs rush by throwing an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Jon McGraw who returned the favor by coughing up the ball for the Lions to recover. With their second drive essentially a continuation of the first, the Lions were in the end zone three plays later. The fumbled interception wasn’t the only mistake the Chiefs defense committed. A rash of personal foul calls proved the Chiefs wouldn’t be in for a bounce back performance after being blown out last week and aided the Lions to their opening score.
The Lions defense didn’t open as impressively. The Chiefs mixed Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster for large gains and six straight running plays to drive into the red zone for a field goal. It was on Charles’ second rushing attempt that he went down with a knee injury (presumed to be a season ending ACL injury) that changed the face of this game. Less Jamaal Charles meant more Thomas Jones. Not a trade any Chiefs fan would like to make.
The Chiefs’ problems on the day went far beyond missing Jamaal Charles. Matt Cassel threw three interceptions and didn’t make anything out of the passing game when going to anyone other than Dwayne Bowe. Add in three more fumbles lost by the Chiefs and rout was as much about the Chiefs playing poorly as it was the Lions playing well.
The Chiefs found some early success running some misdirection, especially early when Kyle Vanden Bosch was rushing down vacating the backside of the defense. The Lions made the necessary adjustments without sacrificing the pressure they were putting on Cassel and the Chiefs offense started to sputter.
45-point victories are rare in the NFL and today’s game showed the kind of perfect storm it takes for one to occur. The Chiefs played uninspired ball from the very beginning and looked ragged trying to defend the pass on defense and throw the ball on offense. The Lions had their way for the second time this season. I could get used to this.