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FINAL SCORE: Chiefs survive, beat Lions 34-30 in Detroit

The Kansas City Chiefs are 4-0 for the third straight season.

Kansas City Chiefs v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs started 4-0 for the third straight season, beating the Lions 34-30 on the road in Detroit. Andy Reid’s unit found a way to win despite the Lions holding Patrick Mahomes without a touchdown, while the Chiefs fumbled the ball on four separate occasions, losing it three times.

The Chiefs got off to a slow start for the third week in a row, allowing the Lions to take a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Chiefs managed a field goal and running back LeSean McCoy scored a touchdown at the goal line. The Lions and Chiefs exchanged field goals, and it was 13-13 at half.

Mecole Hardman fumbled the opening kickoff in the second half, leading to a short field for the Lions, but Lions quarterback Matt Stafford fumbled at the KC 6, giving the ball back to the Chiefs. Then running back Darrel Williams fumbled, returning possession to the Lions.

The unique sequence of events became even more so when the Lions took the ball to the Chiefs goal line, and as Kerryon Johnson tried to break the plane, he fumbled the football. Bashaud Breeland scooped up the ball and ran it 100 yards to give the Chiefs a 20-13 lead.

The Lions hit a 53-yard field goal and on the ensuing possession, Sammy Watkins fumbled it back to Detroit. On third-and-goal at the Kansas City 9-yard line, Stafford threw a perfect pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay in the back right of the end zone to give the Lions a 23-20 lead.

The Chiefs pushed the ball on their next possession in large part due to Travis Kelce 10-yard catch and lateral to LeSean McCoy that went for 23 yards. Williams scored a 1-yard touchdown for the Chiefs to retake the lead, 27-23.

Late in the fourth quarter, Stafford connected with wide receiver Marvin Hall on a 24-yard pass to bring the Lions to the Kansas City 9. Two plays later, Stafford found Golladay, and Golladay, guarded by Charvarius Ward, dragged two feet in the end zone for the touchdown to give the Lions a 30-27 lead with just under two and a half minutes to go.

The Lions pushed the Chiefs to fourth-and-8 with under two minutes left in the game, and Andy Reid opted for his second timeout of the half. After the timeout, Mahomes scrambled 15 yards to keep the Chiefs alive in the game. Mahomes connected with Kelce on the next play for 18 yards. Passes to Demarcus Robinson for 9 yards and Hardman for 2 yards brought the Chiefs to the Detroit 16.

On second-and-10 with less than a minute to go, Mahomes dialed up wide receiver Byron Pringle for a 13-yard gain, bringing the Chiefs to the 3-yard line. It took two goal-line handoffs to Williams for the game-winning score.

Chiefs stat leaders

  • Patrick Mahomes: 24 of 42 for 315 yards
  • LeSean McCoy: 11 carries for 56 yards and 1 touchdown, 2 receptions for 33 yards
  • Darrel Williams: 8 carries for 13 yards and 2 touchdowns, 3 receptions for 43 yards
  • Damien Wilson, Derrick Nnadi, Kendall Fuller: 8 tackles apiece
  • Chiefs defense: 4.0 sacks (Derrick Nnadi, Tyrann Mathieu, Alex Okafor, Chris Jones)

Rapid reaction

So many things went wrong for the Chiefs on Sunday — Patrick Mahomes was held without a touchdown, the Chiefs fumbled the ball away three times and they lost Alex Okafor and Damien Wilson to injury. The Lions picked on Charvarius Ward late in the game and prevented Frank Clark from making much of an impact. Detroit looks like a legitimate potential playoff contender in the NFC.

The positive for the Chiefs was that despite not playing all that well, they found a way to win.

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