In a meeting of two first-round quarterbacks, one lived up to his draft standing while the other looked completely overwhelmed.
Matthew Stafford bounced back to form with his most efficient outing of the year. He posted a 130.8 quarterback rating by completing 21 of 30 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. On the other side, Tim Tebow was constantly harassed by the Detroit Lions defensive line and completed just 18 of his 39 passes for 172 yards, one garbage-time touchdown and an interception that Chris Houston returned 100 yards for a touchdown.
The game hardly had the look of a 45-10 blowout in the making after the game’s first drive. The Broncos churned out big chunks of yards to move into Lions territory in what looked like a continuation of the previous two games for the Detroit Lions defense. Eric Decker beat Chris Houston for what initially looked like the game’s first touchdown but the play was ruled incomplete on the field and was not overturned following a challenge by John Fox. Matt Prater‘s 39-yard field goal gave Denver a 3-0. Little did they know those would be the only meaningful points they would score all day.
The Lions responded with a drive that concluded with a wide open Titus Young standing in the end zone for the easiest 41-yard touchdown many fans have ever seen. Whether it was the defense stiffening to hold the Broncos to a field goal or the easy big play on offense that put the Lions on top, the game took a definite turn after the first quarter.
The Broncos suffered through a rash of three and outs while the Lions offense got rolling. A comfortable halftime lead of 24-3 turned into a rout by the time the third quarter ended with the score at 38-3. No one is going to pretend that the Lions beat a great team on Sunday but any road win in the NFL is worth celebrating to a certain extent. In just one game the Lions were able to end their two-game losing streak and crush the legend of Tim Tebow by limiting his big plays and sacking him seven times. The Lions did what they were supposed to do and then some. They now head into their bye week for some much deserved rest.