As the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions, each team will hope to catch their prey sleeping. Detroit has defeated playoff teams from last year in consecutive weeks. They are hoping to make it three in a row here. Meanwhile, the Chiefs hope to continue to build and grow what they have started and bring the Lions back down to earth. Let’s get things going now, with this Chiefs-Lions preview.
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The pass defense has been the Chiefs strength compared to the run defense so far. They will be tested this week, though. Detroit has been confident in stretching the field and utilizing all of the weapons to their disposal. Kenny Golladay has the ability to run past almost any defender on any given route. Also, Marvin Jones is a swift route runner. He tends to find a sneaky way to get open on the sidelines multiple time in games. Both are big targets, who are aggressive at high pointing the football.
On the other hand, the underneath targets in Danny Amendola, TJ Hockenson and Jesse James are poised route runners. They won’t go down easily, and Kansas City needs to be persistent in their tackling. If Matthew Stafford is as accurate as he’s shown he can be, this defense cannot get caught sleeping downfield.
Spread The Love
For Patrick Mahomes, there’s no doubt he has some of the best skill position depth to work with in the league. We’ve seen Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman all enjoy explosive outings at this point. The offensive output has not slowed down without Tyreek Hill either. This week, the Kansas City weapons are looking to wreck Detroit’s secondary and end their early season mojo.
The Lions defense may give up a lot of yards, but results are prettier in the points allowed department. However, we know the Chiefs are one of top scoring offenses in the league. It is also important to note how everyone has stepped up and responded to opportunities. Once again, Mahomes will look to get everyone involved and try to frustrate a young, improved defense.
Something’s Got To Give
Kerryon Johnson has had a slow start to his sophomore season. To boot, he has yet to pass 50 rushing yards in single game this year. On the other hand, Kansas City has allowed at least 65 rushing yards to one player in every game this season. In fact, Mark Ingram had 103 yards on the ground last week. His legs carried him to the end zone three times, and that was just on 16 carries. Kansas City’s 27th ranked run defense hopes to see better results as the season goes on.
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The Chiefs scheme has set them up well to make stops, but missed tackles and hesitation has hurt them. Darron Lee has a bit more speed to work with, compared to Anthony Hitchens or Damien Wilson. Hitchens and Wilson have played well, but they must be ready for the tough style of Johnson on Sunday.
Matchup To Watch: Chiefs Pass Rush vs Lions Offensive Line
Sacks have not been a consistency for the Chiefs yet. Through three weeks, Kansas City has seven sacks. Additionally, the Lions have allowed just three sacks so far. While sacks haven’t been coming, the Chiefs have been close. Pressures are creating just as much success right now for Kansas City up front. We saw Emmanuel Ogbah provide nine pressures last week, all by himself. Despite the success of the Detroit offensive line, it feels like the Chiefs are so close to getting a rhythm going in sacking the opponent. Look for Frank Clark to provide a constant push and slow down the Lions.
Chiefs-Lions Series History: The Chiefs were able to throttle the Lions in their last meeting. But, the game was one where Kansas City lost a home game to London. Believe it or not, the Chiefs have not defeated the Lions in Detroit since 1996. Yes, these two teams don’t meet that often. Though in that victory, it was Rich Gannon at quarterback for the Chiefs. Marcus Allen also had two rushing touchdowns. Also, that game in 1996 was the last time the road team won in this Chiefs-Lions series history.
Kansas City does well at scoring on long touchdowns. But, this Lions defense has been stout in the red zone. They have allowed a touchdown just 45.5% of the time, once opponents have reached the red zone.
This is Andy Reid‘s 100th game as Chiefs head coach.
Reid is 4-1 all time against the Detroit Lions.
That will conclude our Chiefs-Lions preview. Be sure to stay tuned to Full Press Coverage for more Chiefs-Lions, sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.