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Recap: Lions get mojo back with dominant 42-17 win over Broncos

The Detroit Lions are officially out of their slump with their first blowout win in nearly two months—and over a team with a winning record.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions had earned some doubters over the past few weeks, and it was hard to blame them. Detroit had played uninspired ball for most of November and had dropped two consecutive divisional games. But against the Denver Broncos on Saturday night, the Lions looked like the dominant team that had jumped to a 5-1 start to the season.

After a slow start from the offense, the Lions then scored touchdowns on five consecutive drives against a Broncos defense that seemed to have turned a corner. The Lions were able to control the game on the ground, rushing for 185 yards. And Jared Goff played a near-perfect game outside of the first quarter, finishing with five touchdowns—the most he’s ever had in a Lions uniform.

Defensively, the Lions were spectacular in the first half, holding the Broncos scoreless and creating a turnover. That was more than enough for Detroit to walk out of Ford Field with a big 42-17 win.

First quarter

The Lions won the toss and for the first time all season, they chose to receive the opening kickoff. Amon-Ra St. Brown got the offense moving with an impressive catch and run for 21 yards. But on third-and-6 at midfield, Jared Goff couldn’t find David Montgomery and the Lions punted.

Denver immediately threatened to score. The first play was a 40-yard pass play to Jerry Jeudy.

But the Lions defense stepped up with a big play of their own. On a blitz, Ifeatu Melifonwu got to Russell Wilson and forced the fumble. Defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs picked up the ball and ran it all the way down to the Broncos’ 37-yard line.

Unfortunately, Detroit couldn’t get it going on offense. Jared Goff took a tough sack on third down, and pushed Detroit out of field goal range. But Detroit would get the ball right back after forcing a three-and-out thanks to a couple of pressures from Aidan Hutchinson.

The Lions offense again quickly pushed it to midfield with passes to Jameson Williams and Kalif Raymond for 14 and 12 yards, respectively. But, again, the Lions stalled right there. Goff missed Williams downfield, and the Lions punted for the third time in the first quarter.

Denver got out of the shadow of their own end zone thanks to a third-and-9 pass from Wilson to Courtland Sutton for 23 yards. But the drive stalled after Brian Branch made a huge hit on Broncos tight end Adam Trautman, forcing an incompletion of third-and-4.

Again, the Lions quickly moved to midfield with a pair of Montgomery runs and a 17-yard pass to Sam LaPorta. That play would end the first quarter scoreless.

Second quarter

LaPorta kept the chains moving with an 8-yard gain on third-and-6. Then Goff hit Josh Reynolds for a 21-yard strike down to the Broncos’ 19-yard. LaPorta cashed in the drive with a great catch and run for a 19-yard touchdown and an early 7-0 Lions lead.

The Lions defense continue its impressive half. A blitz by Kindle Vildor forced an incompletion, then on third-and-long, Josh Paschal got loose for Detroit’s second sack of the game.

Starting at their own 39-yard line, Detroit had the opportunity to add to their lead. The drive got off to a strong start with a jump-ball catch from Josh Reynolds for 20 yards, and a 21-yard run from Jahmyr Gibbs. Despite a 7-yard loss on a screen play, Williams made it all up with an 18-yard gain thanks to a catch and a nice shake of the defender, setting Detroit up first-and-goal at the 9-yard line.

Two plays later, Goff hit Gibbs for the score. 14-0 Lions.

On the opening play of the Broncos next drive, Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes went down and appeared to be holding his shoulder/pec area. He went straight to the locker room, and was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. He would return in the second half.

Denver got a bit risky early in the drive, going for it on fourth-and-inches at their own 30-yard line, but Wilson dove over the line and picked it up. That’s all the Broncos would get, though, and Detroit would force another punt.

Amon-Ra St. Brown got the next Lions possession going. First, with an 8-yard gain to pick up a first down and again with a 29-yard gain that moved Detroit into Broncos territory. The Lions would continue to bleed most of the remaining clock with a solid run game. Then to cap off the drive, Goff hit St. Brown for a 15-yard touchdown pass and a 21-0 Lions lead.

Third quarter

The Broncos got the ball first in the second half and immediately found themselves in a third-and-12. But a pass interference call on Alex Anzalone gave the Broncos 44 free yards on a deep shot. Denver worked their way into first-and-goal situation from the 6-yard line. Two plays later, Wilson finally got the Broncos on the board with a 3-yard touchdown to Lil”Jordan Humphrey. 21-7 Lions.

The Lions looked to answer with a 26-yard strike to St. Brown to start the drive. The Lions then converted on a third-and-9 with a nifty draw play to Gibbs. The rookie running back followed that with an electric 34-yard down to the Broncos’ 4-yard line.

On third down, Goff found LaPorta for the rookie tight end’s second touchdown of the game. 28-7 Lions.

The Broncos wouldn’t go away, though. A 23-yard dump-off to Trautman helped Denver cross midfield. They then converted a third-and-1 to Jeudy to move just outside the red zone. Denver got into a goal line situation, but the Lions held just strong enough. The Broncos appeared to finally score on fourth-and-goal, but an offensive offsides negated the play.

The Broncos opted to kick a field goal to make it 28-10 Lions with seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Fourth quarter

Williams kicked off the final quarter with an impressive grab to move the chains and earn 14 yards. Then it was all about the Lions rushing game. Montgomery hammered home rushes of 4, 9, and 13 yards before Gibbs came in the game and capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 35-10 Lions.

The Lions would get a defensive stop that would essentially end the game. The Broncos would tack on a late touchdown to make the score. But Detroit would answer with a touchdown of their own—the third to LaPorta on the day.

The final score was 42-17 Lions.

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