Despite walking away without a win, the Detroit Lions’ resilient performance against a powerhouse team earned respect from some national sports analysts.
In what many expected to be a blowout, the Lions stood toe-to-toe with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon, eventually falling short in a heartbreaking 34-30 loss. But the national sports landscape was watching.
Sports Illustrated’s Gary Gramling wrote Monday morning that the Lions don’t deserve your disrespect.
“Make no mistake, this is a playoff-caliber team led by a superstar quarterback. If not for two lost fumbles around the goal line (the second one returned from the three-inch line for a touchdown), they would have handled the Chiefs and been in full control of the NFC North.”
Elsewhere in the piece he said the Lions gave Patrick Mahomes too much time to score on their final drive, which they did, but said he didn’t fault the Lions for going for the touchdown whenever they could.
Jason La Canfora with CBS Sports says he’s “buyin’ the Lions.”
“Even in defeat, and a tough loss to swallow at that after playing the Patrick Mahomes/Andy Reid Chiefs offense about as tough as anyone could have hoped for, there are signs of life in Detroit, and the makings of a more interesting season than many would have anticipated. I like the spirit this team plays with, I like its aggression and I believe they can be a factor in what threatens to be a jumbled up NFC North.”
La Canfora said the Lions have shown him enough to believe they can be a factor in the division.
In Albert Breer’s Monday Morning Quarterback, he writes the Lions didn’t make things easy for the Chiefs.
“Maybe I’m alone here, but I think the Lions’ loss to the Chiefs might be just as encouraging regarding where Matt Patricia’s program is as last week’s win over the Eagles was. They fought through a mess of turnovers, they made things hard on Patrick Mahomes, they ran the ball (186 yards on 35 carries), and they got a very efficient game out of Matthew Stafford. The Lions are going to be a pain for other teams to deal with.”
And onto the rest of your notes.
- When it comes to local media coverage, there seems to be somewhat of a split in takeaway. One side, as expressed by several players, is largely summed up by The Athletic’s Chris Burke: there are no moral victories in the NFL. (Subscription required)
- The Detroit Free Press’ Mitch Albom felt the same way, saying the loss is “nothing to be happy about.”
- However, Wojo felt a little differently. Glass-half-full, Bob Wojnowski writes for The Detroit News what perhaps the other half of Detroit fans are feeling—the Lions walked away with some credibility.
- Matthew Stafford fought hard for a win, refusing to back down. It would be hard to argue his heart wasn’t 150% in this game all game long. Some highlights:
- Here’s what our SB Nation family over in Kansas City is saying.
- Kerryon reached 100 yards rushing for the third time Sunday. The first time was Week 3 against the New England Patriots at 16 carries for 101 yards averaging 6.31 yards per carry, and the second was Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins at 19 carries for 158 yards, averaging 8.32 yards per carry. Against the Chiefs, he ended up with 125 yards in 26 carries, averaging 4.81 yards per carry.
- Deion Sanders weighs in on whether the Lions created a blueprint to contain Mahomes.