DETROIT - It was an official Detroit beat down.
And it should have been. After all the Lions had the lowly Kansas City Chiefs to use as fodder on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field.
The Lions? 48-3 victory over the Chiefs was the largest margin of victory in franchise regular-season history and matches their 59-14 victory over the Browns in the 1957 NFL Championship game. The Lions beat the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, 44-0, in 1995.
The Lions (2-0) have now beaten two bad teams (Tampa Bay (1-1) and Kansas City (0-2). The Chiefs lost their opener at home to Buffalo, 44-7. That means KC has lost their first two games by a total of 79 points.
That?s why you can?t make out a parade route or start printing playoff tickets just yet. There?s no question that the Lions, who were 6-10 last season, are improved, you just aren?t sure how much yet.
For sure, you never pooh-pooh winning. Those teams are on the schedule and the Lions have to beat them if they want to have a chance to make it to the postseason for first time since 1999. So there?s no shame in embarrassing KC.
You can?t blame fans for rejoicing and believing the tide has finally turned after a decade of the worst football the NFL had ever seen. It?s understandable.
``That was great because that?s what the fans want,?? Lions? kicker Jason Hanson said. ``What looks like a good team, come in, roll.
``I?m not sure Kansas City was playing its best. I think the guys know that. But that?s the kind of score you get, hopefully, if the other team isn?t. So everyone is excited.??
And for good reason. The Chiefs had six turnovers. QB Matt Cassel was terrible, throwing three interceptions. KC also fumbled the ball away three times, including their first fumble of the game that came after they picked off a Matthew Stafford pass. It set the tone for the afternoon they would have and set up the Lions for their first touchdown of the game.
``Our defense played unbelievable, got turnovers,?? said Stafford, who finished with 294 yards and four TD passes. ``When we get the ball on the short field like that, when they?re getting huge momentum swings we?re able to put points on the board after that.
``It?s tough to come back from (from that). It was fun to be a part of it.??
The first scoring drive ended with a 15-yard pass from Stafford to Calvin Johnson, who appears so far to be taking the next step into full-fledge stardom. Everybody knew he had all the tools. But there were way too many games in the past when he was missing in action.
Johnson would finish with just 29 passing yards, but had two touchdowns. It?s the first time in his NFL career that he?s scored two touchdowns in back-to-back games. ``That?s just working together,?? Stafford said. ``I?ve been doing it for a while now and Calvin kind of knows what I?m thinking and you know, I?m the same way with him, so he had another great game.??
The Lions led, 20-3, at the half. The game turned into a laugher in the fourth quarter when the Lions scored 21 points. ``Our offense did very well as they always do and have been doing since the preseason,?? said DT Ndamukong Suh, who got his first sack of the season.
The Lions, who announced a sellout of 60,040, although many club sets and suites were empty. Still, the Lions are thrilled about the fan support early on. ``The crowd was amazing,?? Suh said.
Dating back to last season, the Lions have now won their last six games. But a closer look reveals that just one victory came against a quality opponent. That was their 7-3 victory at Ford Field against the Green Bay Packers who played without Aaron Rodgers in the second half.
Next Sunday, the Lions head to Minnesota. The Vikings are 0-2. This will be a telling game because it comes against a desperate, division rival on the road. If the Lions can go in there and win, the first two victories look even better.
``We?re either going to be good or we?re going to be really good,?? Hanson said. ``We?ll find out in the coming weeks.
``There?s still a lot to prove.??
Copyright 2003 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.