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.”
COULD THE LIONS CONTEND IN THE NORTH?
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.
|Passing 1st downs||11||10|
|Rushing 1st downs||8||6|
|1st downs from penalties||0||1|
|3rd down efficiency||5-15||5-14|
|4th down efficiency||1-3||0-1|
|Yards per Play||5.3||5.1|
|Yards per pass||6.9||5.8|
|Yards per rush||3.5||3.9|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-3||2-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|