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Detroit Victorious Over Denver in First Preseason Game

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TEAMS 1 2 3 4 OT F
Denver 0 6 7 0 - 13
Detroit 3 7 7 3 - 20
Visitor GAME STATS Home
350 Total Yards 246
23 First Downs 15
120 Rushing Yards 123
32-2 Rushes-Fumbles 25-2
0 Rushing TD 1
230 Passing Yards 123
23-33-1 Completions-Attempts-TD 12-20-1
1 Interceptions 1
8-14 3rd Down Conversions 5-10
35:56 Time of Possession 24:04
The start of football season. A time when everyone sees if the changes made during the offseason were smart or stupid, and if the new coach will make a cellar dweller into a playoff-caliber team. Yes, that and a lot more comes with the start of the football season. Although it is only preseason, it's the first NFL games we've seen since February.

The official regular season of NFL football isn't here quite yet, but the second best thing is: preseason football. The preseason is a hot topic when it comes to how many games should be played or how long it should last. More on that debate later this month. Preseason football is used as a tune-up for veterans to get ready for the actual season. For the younger players looking to make the roster, it's used as a way to make an impression on coaches to show you deserve a spot on the final roster.

The Lions opened their 2006 preseason on Friday against the Denver Broncos. This was the first meeting between the two teams in the preseason since the Hall of Fame Game many years ago. For Lions fans, the first series on offense would be what everyone wanted to see. After the Joey Harrington era ended in the offseason, fans hopes were put on the arm of Jon Kitna and coordinator Mike Martz. With a coordinator like Mike Martz, who is said to be an offensive genius, the expectations are pretty high in the minds of most Lions fans. Let's get into the action and see what happened in the very first game of the season.

Detroit got the ball first, and came out with run after run after run. Something that surprised me personally. Mike Martz was trying to establish a running game early-on, and did so successfully. A few third down conversions later and the Lions had moved the ball into Denver territory. The drive ended with a Jason Hanson field goal instead of a touchdown, but it was still good to see a long-sustained drive by the Lions.

Once the Lions got the ball back after a Denver fumble, they went right down the field to score a touchdown. Dan Orlovsky completed a 20-yard pass to Arlen Harris across the middle of the field for the TD. All Denver could do the rest of the half is kick two field goals. At the half, Detroit leads 10-6.

To open up the second half, Jay Cutler and former Lions receiver David Kircus hooked up for a 26-yard touchdown. Cutler showed that Denver made a good draft pick by leading the Broncos down the field 78 yards on 11 plays to cap the drive off with the touchdown. Denver leads 13-10.

The next string of events were very out of the ordinary. On the kickoff following the Kircus touchdown, Denver had some problems keeping the ball upright. Right as the Broncos went to kick the ball off it fell off the tee and ended up being a squib kick. Shaun Bodiford returned the ball all the way to midfield and gave the Lions great field position. This all led to Detroit getting the go-ahead touchdown. The biggest play of this drive occurred when Mike Williams brought down a 24-yard pass from Josh McCown between two defenders to put the ball on the Denver 2-yard line. The very next play was a touchdown run by Artose Pinner to give the Lions a 17-13 lead.

From then on Detroit never looked back. Matt Prater converted a field goal in the fourth quarter, and sealed the deal. The Lions would go on to win by a score of 20-13. Although it may not mean that much since it's just the preseason, this is good news for Lions fans. Rod Marinelli gets his first win as a head coach and the Lions showed that they can win close games. Next-up, Detroit heads to Cleveland for the annual preseason game with the Browns. 7:30 p.m. ET start time, don't miss it.