The Detroit Lions defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on “Thursday Night Football” 21-20 to kick off the season. The victory is the biggest the Lions have had in quite some time, the type that can make a locker believe in one another swiftly.
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson told Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter that the game was all about momentum, and when the final whistle sounded the Lions did just enough to scratch and claw out a victory at Arrowhead Stadium.
“We’re just fighting,” Hutchinson said. “We’re a gritty team.”
The grit went a long way and Mahomes had one of his worst performances in recent memory. The Chiefs had multiple drops, including one by Kadarius Toney that resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown.
Mahomes was 21-of-39 for 226 yards, two touchdowns and the interceptions. A major reason why Mahomes’ timing was disrupted resides in what Hutchinson and Detroit’s defense was able to do. Hutchinson, despite not recording a sack, was credited by Pro Football Focus with four QB hurries and three QB hits.
Last season the Lions were 9-8, with five of their losses being by one-score. Hutchinson wants that narrative to change, they no longer want to be the hard luck Lions. Beating the Chiefs was a great first step.
“We’re tired of losing, man. We’re tired of being on the poor side of things, you walk away from these games and it’s a close one, but you lose,” Hutchinson said. “We’re tired of it. I think we’re coming this season, dude. Even though K.C. was a little shorthanded on defense, I don’t care dude. A win is a win. We’re gonna carry this momentum and keep going.”
The Lions will look to keep that momentum going next week against the Seattle Seahawks, a team a who made the playoffs last season. It’ll be a home opener at Ford Field, a place that gets all the louder and rowdier when the Lions field a good team. It appears they’re pretty darn good in 2023.