Studs and Duds for the Lions victory over the Chiefs

USA Today

The Detroit Lions have been telling everyone they’re ready to win and compete, but most people wrote them off, saying they haven’t proved anything. However, they proved the doubters wrong with a massive 21-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Lions demonstrated their grit and no-quit attitude, showing the world they’re ready to walk with the big boys. Although their game wasn’t the cleanest, they didn’t let their mistakes affect the outcome. The team received contributions from all players, and it showed on the big stage. Unfortunately, some players weren’t fully prepared when it mattered most.

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Here are this week’s Lions Studs and Duds for their win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Stud: Aidan Hutchinson

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – SEPTEMBER 07: Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Detroit Lions celebrates their win over the Kansas City Chiefs with fans at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 07, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

With his parents in the audience, Hutchinson put on a show for them and the crowd. It seemed like the entire night, he was finding ways to get into the backfield, especially with that relentless motor. It got to a point where the Chiefs’ right tackle, Jawaan Taylor, was basically cheating to get a head start against Hutchinson. Even though he didn’t end up with a sack, he had seven pressures and was in Patrick Mahomes’ face the whole time. He also had a couple of great stops in the run game. The sophomore edge rusher has taken his game to the next level, and that is dangerous for anyone in his way.The sophomore edge rusher has taken his game to the next level and that is dangerous for anyone in his way.

Dud: Rest of the pass rushers

Lions defensive end Josh Paschal celebrates a tackles against Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice during the second half of the Lions’ 21-20 win on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Last night, when Hutchinson was playing exceptionally well, one would expect the other edge rushers to perform just as well. However, that was not the case – they were relatively quiet. Although John Cominsky made a great tackle against Mahomes and Josh Paschal destroyed a Chiefs gadget play, apart from these instances, the other rushers were struggling. Hopefully, it was just a matter of rust that they need to shake off, but the Lions will require the other rushers to step up because even though Hutchinson is a great player, he cannot do everything alone.

Stud: Josh Reynolds

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) talks to wide receiver Josh Reynolds (8) during minicamp at Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

It was interesting to see who would step up in the Lions receiver corps in the absence of Jameson Williams, other than Amon-Ra St. Brown. Josh Reynolds became that security blanket for Jared Goff and came in clutch, especially in the late part of the game. He connected with Goff on a 3rd-12 play that led to the go-ahead score. Reynolds, a veteran, has a special connection with Goff since their time with the Los Angeles Rams, and it showed against the Chiefs, especially when they needed to make something happen. The veteran has a special connection with Goff ever since their time with the Los Angeles Rams, and it showed against the Chiefs especially when they needed to make something happen.

Dud: Marvin Jones

Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. catches a pass during OTAs on Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Allen Park.

Marvin Jones was a well-known player during his time with the Lions and now, in his second stint in Detroit, fans were hoping he could recreate the same magic he had the first time around. Unfortunately, Jones had a bad start to the season. He was targeted six times but only caught two passes, one of which turned into a fumble, the first of his career, that resulted in ending a Lions red-zone drive. After a few drops and mistakes, it seemed like Goff was avoiding throwing the ball to Jones. Hopefully, the experienced player can learn from this game; otherwise, his role in the team could be reduced.

Stud: Offensive Line

Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view at the line of scrimmage as the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs ready for the snap during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Watching the Lions’ first-team offensive line play together for the first time was an incredible experience. They provided Goff with the necessary protection to make his throws while also creating gaps for David Montgomery and Jahymr Gibbs to exploit. The amount of pulls they performed and the way they got in front into the second level demonstrated their athleticism. It was truly enjoyable to watch the offensive line handle their responsibilities in such a professional manner. Their reliability will undoubtedly lead to greater achievements for the Lions.

Dud: Secondary Miscues

Lions safety Brian Branch runs for a touchdown after making an interception from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the second half of the Lions’ 21-20 win on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Lions secondary had a tale of two halves in their recent game. They struggled in the first half, making several mistakes that led to big gains for the opposing team. Although there were opportunities for C.J. Gardner-Johnson to intercept the ball, he missed them. However, the Lions were fortunate that some of the Chiefs’ receivers dropped the ball at crucial moments.

In the second half, the Lions made some adjustments and cleaned up their act, which ultimately led to their victory. Going forward, they hope to continue improving and avoid making the same mistakes.

Meh: Ben Johnson

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson watches practice during minicamp in Allen Park on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

It’s not to say that Ben Johnson called a bad game, but it was definitely not his best performance with that play sheet. Although the offense was efficient in moving the ball, some of the calls left you feeling a bit confused – like abandoning the run on the first drive of the game after a great gain, or calling for a screen pass that needed six yards to get the first down. The hype didn’t quite meet expectations, which could be partly due to what we’ve seen from Johnson so far.

However, Johnson will surely go back to the drawing board and analyze what worked and what didn’t. This shouldn’t become a trend because Johnson has repeatedly proven that he can work wonders with the Lions offense, and he should be able to make a comeback.

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