I proposed five things to watch ahead of the Lions game against the Chiefs. Now I’ll take a look at those five things in hindsight to see how they played out.
1. Lions Pass Rush
The Lions were a little over aggressive to start the game as Kyle Vanden Bosch left the backside open for big gains. It didn’t take long for them to settle in, however, and they managed to sack Matt Cassel twice and hurry him a bunch more. The Chiefs couldn’t contain the pass rush enough for Cassel to get comfortable and the three interceptions showed it.
2. Chiefs Running Backs
The Chiefs gashed the Lions for large chunks on the ground during their opening drive but that mostly came to an end when Jamaal Charles left with a knee injury. The danger of the Chiefs running backs is that they are active in the passing game. Charles left the game before he could catch a pass but the Lions held Dexter McCluster to negative two yards on his four catches with a long of just six yards. They didn’t give him room to run and made sure tackles when they got their hands on him.
3. Lions Offensive Gameplan
Once again, the Lions showed enough in the running game to keep the opposing defense honest but used the passing game to do their damage. The Lions spread out the Chiefs defense and Stafford spread the ball around. He found Calvin Johnson in the red zone and Titus Young, Nate Burleson and Jahvid Best about everywhere else. Stafford did have some questionable decisions and some errant throws – that was about all that slowed down the offense on Sunday.
Chiefs six, Lions one. Game over. Seriously though, the Chiefs played so poorly even without the turnovers that I have no doubt that the Lions would have won a turnover free game. What the turnovers cost the Chiefs was the chance at leaving Detroit with any dignity.
5. Home Field Advantage
One misplaced “let’s go Lions” chants aside, the crowd was very good today and the team rewarded the Ford Field faithful with a performance worthy of making some noise making.The Detroit Lions received a standing ovation as the teams switched sides at the end of the third quarter. With the game’s result no longer in doubt it was as if the crowd used the opportunity to salute the team then because so many would be gone long before the final whistle.