Ford Field was rocking. Everyone was standing, cheering, clapping, and laughing. The Wave was in full effect, circling the sold-out stadium three, four, five times. Me, my seven-year-old, my five-year-old, and my father-in-law had long since blown out our voices cheering, screaming, ‘SUUUUUUH’-ing, and yes—singing Gridiron Heroes so many times we lost count.
Said Dominic Raiola:
"In the years I've been here, it is never been like that in the stadium."
Said Ndamukong Suh:
"The crowd was amazing, as they always are," defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. "I love to see our field continue to be sold out - no empty seats anywhere in that stadium. I appreciate it fans, and look forward to the next time we get back here."
Said Kyle Vanden Bosch:
"It was loud out there. It was difficult for (Kansas City) to make adjustments, to run audibles, and even get the snap counts. We have a definite advantage at home, and we can feel the crowd's energy."
The thing that impressed Vanden Bosch the most was how long the fans stayed despite the score.
"It was nice to see - I don't know how many touchdowns we were up late - that the fans were still there supporting us," he said. "They weren't in a hurry to get home, they wanted to finish this thing out with us."
Of course. Of course! Who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t want to see this through to the end? Who wouldn’t want to stay to the final whistle, to lap up every minute, to savor every second? Who wouldn’t want to let the warmth of the big blue bonfire wash over them, bathe them in its glow, and laugh and cheer and high five along with 65,000 of their closest friends?
Said Nate Burleson:
"We said before the game that we wanted to give the crowed what they've been wanting," he said. "Some of the coaches said in a meeting last night, 'There's no better place to throw a party than at your own house.' We had a pretty good party today."
That’s exactly what it was: a party. From the second half on, the Detroit Lions hosted an enormous coming-out party, with everyone in attendance or watching at home or seeing highlights of it later or reading about it this morning invited. It was an announcement and celebration of the time of the Detroit Lions having arrived.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were just too good to stop, adding another two touchdowns to their mutual total. Besides Calvin, Stafford hit six other receivers at least once. The not-Calvin skill position triumvirate of Nate Burleson, Titus Young, and Jahvid Best combined for 18 catches, 246 yards, and a touchdown. Tony Scheffler had one catch—but it was a 36-yard touchdown grab.
None of this counts the 43-yard pass to Burleson or 24-yarder to Calvin Johnson (that would have put the Lions on the Chiefs' 1-yard-line) that were called back on penalties. Add in Best’s 57 yards and touchdown, and Keiland Williams’ 25 yards and touchdown, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an offensive explosion.
On defense? The Lions held the Chiefs to three points, 267 total yards, 18% third-down conversion percentage, forced six turnovers and eight penalties. The Lions are now #3 in the NFL in scoring defense, #2 in scoring offense, and #1 overall in points differential—by a long shot.
As I said in the Fireside Chat, the party didn’t get started right away. The Chiefs moved the ball on the ground well early, and the Lions struggled with a few just-out-of-reach passes and an inability to get two yards on the ground when they need it. But that can’t be the takeaway from this incredible win.
The Lions’ offense is nothing short of spectacular, and when this defense plays with a lead, it’s not much less so. The much-maligned secondary played its tail off, and the Lions looked It’s true that the Chiefs are anything but stiff competition—but an honest-to-God blowout is a rare treat in today’s NFL. Let’s take this one at face value, shall we? Let’s bask in the national attention the Lions’ six- (kinda ten-) game win streak is getting. Let’s have another round of cider, and bask in the glow of the big blue bonfire.