Friday, September 08, 2023

An Explanation of How/Why the Lions Beat the Chiefs Last Night

They scored more points.

Yes, it's really that simple.

I always "bet on" the Chiefs to win, and I thought they probably would last night, but the outcome is not shocking or bizarre. They just got out-played.

After a terrible start last year, the Lions improved dramatically toward the end of the season, and they used their draft picks and other acquisition techniques wisely in between seasons.

When I was a kid, the inevitable Thanksgiving dinner after-joke was "so, who are we going to watch beat the Lions tonight?"

Not anymore. They've got a head coach (Dan Campbell) whose total focus is building a winning team and he's doing exactly that. He's also willing to take big risks, as with the fake punt early in the game from inside the Lions' own 20-yard line. Goff is a first-rate quarterback and the Lions have been busy acquiring players whose strengths match his own (and a great defensive line).

Yes, the Chiefs had Travis Kelce out with a knee injury and Chris Jones pouting from the stands because he's unhappy with contract negotiations. That did hurt them, but the Chiefs were up against a worthy opponent either way.

I was pleasantly surprised by the officiating. I recall a missed (in my view) pass interference call, but I don't remember which team was affected how. There was also a case where, last year, "roughing the quarterback" would have been called, and wasn't. In this case, the "victim" was Mahomes, and he was pissed that there was no flag on the play, but the contact was clearly unintentional and I think the decision not to call a foul was correct. Hopefully they're going to get a little less inclined to yell "roughing the passer" every time a drop of another player's sweat lands on his cleats.

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