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Detroit Lions let game against Kansas City Chiefs slip away

Chiefs come back to win 34-30

Kenny Golladay #19 and Logan Thomas #82 of the Detroit Lions try to pull in a last second touchdown in front of Jordan Lucas #24 and Juan Thornhill #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT – It was a highly anticipated matchup that didn't disappoint: The Kansas City Chiefs needed a comeback to beat the Detroit Lions 34-30 on Sunday at Ford Field.

The Lions played well, showing they're up to the task and capable of beating one of the NFL's best teams.

They did lose, though, after making mistakes and failing to take advantage of Kansas City's miscues.

Here are three takeaways from Sunday's game.

Two crucial fumbles overshadow great offensive game

The Lions' offense moved the ball well all game. Kerryon Johnson had his best game of the season -- 26 carries for 125 yards -- as the Lions found lanes in the running game.

Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions runs for a first down during the first quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford had a great game, going 21-for-34 for 291 yards and three touchdowns. He made some amazing throws, moved around the pocket and even scrambled for positive yards despite a hip injury.

While the offense moved the ball steadily, it struggled in the red zone. The Lions were just 3-for-6 in the red zone, with both Stafford and Johnson losing fumbles -- one of which was returned for a Chiefs touchdown.

We knew coming into the game the Lions would have to score to have a chance against the Chiefs, and scoring only a field goal on the game's first drive, along with those two fumbles, proved costly.

Defense bends, ultimately breaks

Detroit's defense played well overall. It held Patrick Mahomes without a passing touchdown, limited Kansas City's big plays and forced turnovers.

Darrel Williams #31 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a 1 yard touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter in the game at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

But in the end, the defense couldn't come up with the game-winning stop. An apparent miscommunication on fourth down and 8 late in the game allowed Mahomes to scramble and pick up a first down on KC's eventual game-winning drive.

Lions compete, but can't get over hump

The Lions came into the game knowing it would take their best performance to win. Looking back at the game, they probably did play their best game of the year.

It still wasn't enough. The turnovers, especially Johnson's fumble that was returned for a touchdown, made things more difficult than they needed to be for the Lions.

There are a lot of good things to take from this game and the first month of the season. Now the Lions head into their bye week to get healthy and work on the areas in which they've struggled before a matchup with Green Bay on "Monday Night Football."

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a late fourth quarter touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)