Here are five winners and four losers from the game.
- Quarterback Patrick Mahomes had his first opportunity to lead a game-winning drive this season — and he did not fail to execute. With a little over two minutes left and his team down by three points, he took over at his own 21-yard line. It started with a fourth-down scramble to convert the first-down. Then he found his favorite target of the game — tight end Travis Kelce — to get deep into Detroit territory. With under a minute left, he fired to reserve receiver Byron Pringle to get inside the five-yard line. Running back Darrel Williams finished it off to with a one-yard touchdown run. Mahomes may have not had his best statistical game, but he played at his best when it mattered the most. The MVP quarterback continues to add to his legacy.
- Running back LeSean McCoy is continuing to prove that he was a great signing. After his first carry resulted in negative yardage, he turned the rest of his attempts into positive runs. He looked great picking up blitzers in pass protection. He may have had a receiving touchdown on the first drive, but pressure on Mahomes caused an inaccurate throw. McCoy showed his electric open-field running ability on a 39-yard rush that set up his touchdown run in the second quarter. He finished with 56 rushing yards (and a touchdown) plus 33 receiving yards.
- Defensive tackle Chris Jones wreaked havoc on the Detroit interior offensive line. He started off on the initial drive with interior pressure that helped defensive end Alex Okafor get his first sack of the season. Then he got a sack of his own by cleanly beating a Lions’ guard on a third-down in the second quarter. He continued dominating with a strip-sack that was negated by a defensive holding penalty — and then another quick penetration that led to a tackle for loss by linebacker Darron Lee. He added to his productive game with a fumble recovery on the first drive of the second half. Jones continues to prove that he is the best player on the defense.
- Cornerback Beshaud Breeland may have made the most heads-up play of the game. With the Lions on the edge of scoring a touchdown in the third quarter, a goal line pile led to the ball being loose on the ground. While the rest of the players on the field figured the play was over, Breeland picked it up and took it to the length of the field for a go-ahead touchdown — and the first defensive touchdown of the year for the Chiefs. He also made a nice pass breakup on the following drive.
- Tight end Travis Kelce may not have had his best statistical game — but he seemed to be the consistent target for quarterback Pat Mahomes in a game where nothing was easy; Mahomes found him over the middle for first downs on multiple occasions. Kelce also had a smart play to set up the Darrel Williams touchdown: Kelce went up for the grab and recognized he was going to get tackled immediately, so he quickly pitched it to McCoy. The play ended up gaining about a dozen additional yards. Kelce also had a crucial gain on the game-winning touchdown drive. He finished with seven catches and 85 yards — his fourth straight game with 80 or more receiving yards.
- The Chiefs secondary looked very confused throughout the first half. There were multiple wide open receivers on the Lions’ first two scoring drives — including tight end T.J. Hockensen for a touchdown; it looked like rookie safety Juan Thornhill should have gotten over to cover him in the back of the end zone. Later in the half, cornerback Kendall Fuller was playing zone in the middle of the field, but could not get under a deep post that set up Detroit for another score. The failures continued into third quarter with a touchdown catch by receiver Kenny Golladay between safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Dan Sorensen. During the Lions late-game touchdown drive, Charvarius Ward had tight coverage but still gave up two huge catches — plays that has been a theme throughout the 2019 Chiefs season.
- The run defense may have been even worse than the secondary’s pass coverage. Lions running back Kerryon Johnson shredded the Chiefs front seven early and often with 125 yards on 26 carries. The other Detroit backs got in on the action for a total of 186 yards. Whether it was up the middle or off-tackle, there were tons of chunk plays coming out of the backfield — and there was little resistance from the Chiefs defense. The lone bright spot in the front seven seemed to be linebacker Damien Wilson, who flashed multiple times coming up for run stuffs.
- Wide receiver Sammy Watkins has cooled down quite a bit since his incredible first week. While he made some important plays in Week 4, he also had some crucial mishaps. The Chiefs had to settle for a field goal on their first scoring drive after Watkins was not able to hang onto a pass in the end zone — although it would have been negated because of offensive pass interference elsewhere on the field. He also had a crucial fumble in the third-quarter that led to a Lions touchdown. He finished with 54 yards on three receptions — a season low in both categories.
- Rookie receiver and returner Mecole Hardman had a rough day. It didn’t look like he and Mahomes were on the same page; he only had one short catch in the first half. On the opening kickoff of the second half, he looked to have a big return until he was stripped of the ball and gave it up to the Lions. Luckily, the defense caused a turnover on the ensuing Lions drive. Hardman only had two catches on five targets and nine yards.