After a slow start scoring-wise for both teams, the Lions broke the ice with a T.J. Duckett touchdown just past he halfway point of the 1st quarter. Duckett got into the endzone from 11 yards out to put Detroit up 7-0. The TD was set up by two 20+ yards passes to Calvin Johnson, giving the hometown fans a chance to see the #2 overall pick rack up some stats.
Following the TD, the Chiefs went three and out, and the Lions took full advantage of the defensive stand. On the ensuing punt, Lions tight end/fullback Casey FitzSimmons broke through the offensive line and blocked the attempted punt. It was such a forceful deflection that the ball bounced out of the endzone for a safety, putting the Lions on top 9-0.
Although the Chiefs were able to hold the Lions to a field goal when Detroit got the ball following the safety, it would be another big non-offensive play that put more points on the board. Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle was intercepted by Paris Lenon, who had a great game overall. Lenon took the INT back 61 yards for the touchdown and put Detroit ahead 19-0, leading most to think this game would be a blowout, which would have been similar to the last Lions victory. To add to that feeling, Croyle injured himself trying to make a tackle on the interception, so with the backup coming in, all signs pointed to an easy Lions victory.
Croyle's replacement, Damon Huard, really can't be considered a backup in the sense that he and Croyle have been fighting for the starting job all season long. Although he was the backup in this game, it's not like he had no in-game experience like many backups in this league. With that in mind, Huard came out and successfully led the Chiefs down the field in his first drive. Kansas City scored on a short run after Huard got the Chiefs' offense moving, cutting the lead to 19-7. To continue to show off what he's got, Huard again led the Chiefs down the field for a touchdown after a Lions three and out, this time getting into the endzone in just over 2 minutes. The second TD came right before the end of the half and cut the deficit down to 19-14.
Something that should be noted is that on the second to last play of the half (Detroit got the ball back with 23 seconds left in the half), Kevin Jones was injured. He spent this past offseason rehabbing a foot injury to get ready for this current season, and it appears he may be doing something similar in the upcoming offseason. Jones didn't return after the injury, and his season is done considering there's only 1 game left anyways. Check an above post for an update on his status.
The third quarter was pretty uneventful other than a Jason Hanson field goal, but the Chiefs did start to get their offense rolling again as the third came to an end. Once the fourth quarter arrived, Damon Huard hit rookie Dwayne Bowe from 34 yards out for a spectacular catch in the endzone just a minute and a half in. With a chance to tie the game as they only trailed by 2 points, the Chiefs unsuccessfully attempted a 2-point conversion. It was unsuccessful because Jared DeVries got pressure on Huard quickly and knocked down an ill-advised pass, keeping Detroit in the lead at 22-20.
Following this latest score that really made things close, neither team could get things going. Detroit would eventually add a field goal to force Kansas City to score another touchdown, but other than that it was a defensive struggle. The Chiefs did start to get the ball moving again on the final drive of the game, but simply ran out of time. Thankfully this time around, the Lions were able to keep their opponent out of the endzone in this situation long enough until the clock ran out to preserve the 25-20 win.
I can't say that it was pretty considering a big lead was blown, but the Lions got the win, and after losing 6 straight before this victory, that is all that matters. Finally, a Detroit Lions season won't end in double digit losses, which is something we all can be thankful for, even if this season ends up being disappointing. Regardless, my preseason expectations of a 6-10 record have been exceeded, so at least that happened.
Detroit finishes out the season in Green Bay this coming Sunday, hoping to win at Lambeau Field for the first time since the Brett Favre era began. The Lions' quest for .500 and final game of the season kicks off at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.