On a scale of 0-16, here is how the Lions performed in each facet of their 48-3 shellacking over the Kansas City Chiefs.
After three years and three serious injuries later I’m finally sipping on the Stafford Kool-aid. I don’t know what was more impressive: his 294 passing yards and 4 touchdowns or the fact that he was chilling on the sidelines in the fourth quarter after a job well done. That is what elite quarterbacks do; they put in three quarters of “OMG” football and then take it easy, which is exactly what Stafford and his porcelain body need.
Not only was Stafford lethal, he had a plethora of options to throw his zip, quick passes to. Seven receivers caught the ball at least once against the Chiefs. Not just Calvin “Megatron” Johnson seven times but I’m talking about Nate Burleson with seven receptions for 93 yards and rookie Titus Young with five catches for 89 yards and running back Jahvid Best with six catches for 66 yards and a TD.
But no team is perfect and even though this seems like perfection for Lions fans there are still some things to clean up.
“Whenever you play a game, there’s always going to be corrections,” said linebacker Stephen Tulloch “No matter how well you think you played, you can always work on something.”
For the Lions offense, I would like to see a more dominant rush attack. The Lions were outgained 151-89 and you would think with Stafford’s arm stretching the D, the backs would have a little more room to navigate.
But lets be real…48 points. 54 years in the making, the Lions have finally handed a team a 45-point loss (last time we beat a team by 45 points was the 1957 championship game against the Cleveland Browns).
Total Yardage: 411 yards
Total points: 48
Stafford: Healthy and deadly
Drawing board: Stafford cut down on that one interception average would be nice, establish a sweeter run game (Best is best in the open field)
The D gets a perfect score if they hold Kansas City scoreless but nonetheless the Lions defense is as hungry and ferocious as I have ever seen (perhaps they should all get red contacts like defensive end Kyle VandenBosch).
In the first quarter, the Chiefs had some success on the ground but then All-pro running back Jamaal Charles went down (most likely an ACL injury) and defensive adjustments happened and that was pretty much that. The Chiefs were still able to gain 151 yards on the ground thanks to Dexter McCluster going eight rushes for 51 yards.
QB Matt Cassel threw for only 133 yards and had three interceptions giving him a rating of 44.5.
Overall, the defense forced the Chiefs offense to commit a whopping SIX turnovers. Three through the air and three on the ground.
One comforting stat is the leading tackler for the Lions was not in the secondary. In fact, it was Justin Durant, the linebacker picked up in the offseason from the Jacksonville Jaguars. He notched 11 tackles, eight solo. And the second leading tackler with seven? A healthy DeAndre Levy, another linebacker. All this too say that a better front seven automatically makes a better backfield.
Not comforting in the least bit was the Kansas City offense. After their first drive ending in a field goal it went as follows: punt, punt, pick, pick, punt, punt, fumble, fumble, pick, punt. Wow, that has a nice jingle to it.
Total yardage allowed: 267
Suh: 2 tackles, 1 sack
Points allowed: 3
Drawing board: better defense against outside rush, don’t let megaman performance result in a flop the next week especially with AP next.
Special Teams: 15
Another solid performance for the most underrated unit in football. Jason Hanson continues to amaze me with that golden leg of his. He was perfect going 2/2 on field goals with a long of 51 and 6/6 on extra points.
Punter Ryan Danahue stuck two of his five punts inside the twenty but given the game, Kansas City could have started on the Detroit 10-yard line and ended with a punt.
Not many opportunities in the return game which is the equivalent of kneeing the ball.
Special Team points: 12
Hanson: Golden foot
Drawing board: TBA after next week… no complaints except they should still move kickoffs back to 30–yard line… ok I’m done with that.
The Lions are finally off the cannon fodder shelf and have placed themselves in a “we actually have to prepare for this team” category. There is much excitement which can leave room for much letdown but these Lions seem to be humming on all cylinders. A tough test approaches in Minnesota where Detroit has not won in the Metrodome since 1997. Can they break it? Are the Vikings due for a huge game?
If the Lions hold true to form and we get some upsets they may be sitting at this place in the NFC North: 1