Coach Dan Campbell’s Lions are 1-0 with no asterisk required, and they look like a playoff contender
The Detroit Lions can bask in the afterglow of one of their biggest wins in years before getting back to work.
Detroit beat the Kansas City Chiefs 21-20 Thursday night and don’t play again until hosting Seattle on Sept. 17.
“It’s crucial,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Friday. “I think it’s big to rest the body for about three days before we get ready for Seattle.
“I think it’s huge and I think it worked out perfect for us.”
The Lions matched, or perhaps exceeded, the hype about their ascending franchise with a road win over the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
“Not the same old Lions, the 1-0 Lions,” NBC’s Mike Tirico said during the broadcast.
Tirico went on to mention Kansas City’s win over the defending champion New England Patriots several years ago on the road in an opener that announced the Chiefs would be a factor.
Campbell was asked a day later about what Tirico said with a question that didn’t include the rest of the broadcaster’s sentence.
“Well, is there an asterisk by the 1-0?” Campbell asked.
Tirico, who lives in Michigan, was inundated with interview requests on Friday,
“If you listen to the entirety of what I said, it’s much more in context with just lifting half the quote,” he said. “I understand the disappointment with the word asterisk, and that’s OK.”
General manager Brad Holmes, in his third year, looks like he hit more than he missed in this year’s NFL draft.
Brian Branch, the No. 45 selection overall, picked off Patrick Mahomes and returned the interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to help the Lions pull into a 14-14 tie.
First-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs and second-round selection Sam LaPorta combined for 99 yards of offense. Gibbs, a dynamic running back, had 42 yards on seven carries. LaPorta caught two passes for 18 yards and was a key blocker on some plays. Linebacker Jack Campbell, drafted No. 18 overall, had two tackles.
“They settled in and the stage wasn’t too much for them,” Campbell said.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Campbell said at the top of the team’s to-do list is improving the offense’s tempo.
“We can be so much better,” he said.
Campbell. The gutsy coach called for a fake punt in the first quarter and converted for the seventh time in eight fake punts in his three seasons. Campbell has seemed to make all the right moves on and off the field, leading the Lions to nine wins in 11 games dating to last season.
Marvin Jones was targeted six times and had two receptions for 8 yards and lost a fumble deep in Kansas City territory late in the first half. It was the wide receiver’s first fumble in his 12-year career.
Offensive tackle Taylor Decker had an ankle injury early in the game, but the ailment didn’t prevent him from playing.
359 — The number of passes Goff has thrown without an interception, trailing streaks by Aaron Rodgers (402) and Tom Brady (399) in NFL history.
Host the Seahawks on Sept. 17.
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