Sydney McKinney-Williams, Staff Writer
Lions safety Brian Brunch (32) intercepts a pass and returns it for a touchdown. Photo/Ed Zurga/AP
You know the saying, “How ‘bout those Lions?” After the Lions’ first game of the 2023 season on Thursday, Sept. 7, the phrase became even more commonplace than ever before.
The Detroit Lions got the clutch win against the Kansas City Chiefs with a score of 21-20, making it a great way for the team and the fans to kick off the season.
There had been a lot of talk about how this new Lions team wasn’t like previous years’ teams. Their declarations proved true in this game, snapping the Lions’ three-season-long opening game losing streak.
While the Lions have struggled over the past few seasons, their victory against the defending Super Bowl champions brings a lot of hope and excitement for the future.
The Lions put up the first touchdown of the game when quarterback Jared Goff hit a nine-yard pass to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, capping the first quarter with a score of 7-0 in favor of Detroit.
In the second quarter, Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes started to heat up. The Chiefs offense moved the ball up the field to set up a one-yard passing touchdown to rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice. This tied the game 7-7. Near the end of the quarter, Mahomes found tight end Blake Bell for a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
The Lions defense came out ready to play in the third quarter, as the Chiefs got the ball to open the half. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson forced pressure on Mahomes, forcing him to throw the ball away on third down. This resulted in the Chiefs punting the ball, but the Lions just as quickly had to punt the ball back after a quick three-and-out.
Things then began to look up for the Lions. A Mahomes pass to receiver Kadarius Toney deflected off of his hands and into the waiting arms of Lions rookie safety Brian Branch, who intercepted the pass and returned it for a 50-yard touchdown to the game 14-14. The Chiefs later responded with score in third the quarter on a 35-yard field goal, giving KC the 17-14 edge going into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Kansas City tacked on another field goal to extend their lead by six. The Lions responded by marching up the field in a sustained drive, capped off by an eight-yard touchdown run by new signee David Montgomery with 7:06 left to go in the game.
Both teams traded possessions, with the Chiefs final offensive drive being a turnover on downs with just over two minutes left in the game.
Mahomes tried his best to carry the Chiefs to a win with 226 passing yards and two touchdown, but Kadarius Toney's crucial drops were the difference maker. The Chiefs were also missing their star tight end Travis Kelce with a knee injury.
Jared Goff performed well as the winning quarterback with 253 passing yards and one touchdown.
The season opener had a draw of nearly 27 million viewers, and was the most watched game since Super Bowl LVII earlier this year.
The Lions now have great momentum, as they now face the Seattle Seahawks (0-1) in their first home game on Sunday, Sept. 17. For more information about the Lions and their schedule, click here.
Lions Defensive End Aidan Hutchinson, celebrates win with Lions Fans. Photo/Jamie Squire/Getty Images