Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Lions shock Chiefs 21-20 on opening night

The Detroit Lions made the first statement of the NFL season with a 21-20 win over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

On a night that was part celebration of last year for the Chiefs, and part kickoff of their new campaign the Chiefs WR failed to turn up dropping 8 passes and all failing to top 50 yards.

Not to say Mahomes doesn’t shoulder his share of the blame, with only 64.9% of his passes graded as on target (per SIS). But the Lions defence kept him off balance and never made things easy.

But it was the Lions defence that turned this game from probable loser to a chance to win. Second round rookie Brian Branch picking off a deflected pass 50-yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 14-14 in the third quarter as the Chiefs tried to build a double digit lead.

While most will see this as a surprise result, Lions HC Dan Campbell had other thoughts, “We expected to win this game,” said Campbell, “We came in here, knew what we needed to do, knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and we did that. We won.”


It’s only one game, but the Lions already look like they could be a threat in the NFC North. It was an impressive defence performance, and while the offense still doesn’t exactly look potent, it offers enough to suggest the Lions are on the right path, and have the ability to challenge any team.

On this night there’s no doubt it was the defence that won them this game, and as they say defence wins championships. Keep an eye on Detroit this season.

Detroit LionsKansas City Chiefs
1st Downs1917
Passing 1st downs1110
Rushing 1st downs86
1st downs from penalties01
3rd down efficiency5-155-14
4th down efficiency1-30-1
Total Plays7062
Total Yards368316
Total Drives1111
Yards per Play5.35.1
Yards per pass6.95.8
Interceptions thrown01
Sacks-Yards Lost1-30-0
Rushing Attempts3423
Yards per rush3.53.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-32-3
Fumbles lost10
Interceptions thrown01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10

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