In Britain, getting “sacked” means getting fired from your job. The Kansas City Chiefs defense sacked Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford six times and intercepted him twice in route to a 45-10 win in London, England, and may have set the stage for Lions head coach, Jim Caldwell, to get sacked during the Lions upcoming bye week. While the defense was shutting down the Lions, the KC offense rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns on the ground to complete the blowout.
Playing in front of a packed house at London’s famed Wembley Stadium, Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 early lead on their first series. But then the Chiefs offense scored 38 unanswered points in what was easily the team’s best effort of the season, raising their record to 3-5 going into their bye week. Embattled quarterback Alex Smith had one of the four touchdowns on the ground and threw for two more to put the icing on the cake of what had to be one of his most satisfying days as the Chiefs QB. For complete game statistics, click here for the box score from NFL.com.
For the first time in franchise history, Kansas City got a rushing touchdown from four different players in a game where they dominated the Detroit defensive line from the opening drive. After the Lions opened the game with a field goal, the Chiefs almost effortlessly marched downfield on their first series. De’Anthony Thomas ran for a 10-yard touchdown for the first of many touchdowns on the day for KC on a perfectly executed sweep. After a rare three-and-out on their next drive, Smith started Kansas City’s third series with a 49-yard scamper that was the longest run ever by a Chiefs quarterback. Fittingly, Smith ran the final 12 yards of the drive for a touchdown to put the Chiefs up 14-3 and they never looked back from there. Eventually, Smith would set another franchise record for most rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback with 78 yards on five carries.
Charcandrick West continued to show that he can be a capable substitute for the injured Jamaal Charles, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and adding another 25 yards receiving on four catches. Even running back Spencer Ware, who was on the practice squad until being activated after Charles had his season-ending injury three weeks ago, got in on the scoring. Ware bulled into the end zone from four yards out with 6:44 left in the game to finish the Chiefs best offensive output of the year.
Smith ended his day on the bench with an ear-to-ear grin while Chase Daniel did mop-up duty in the fourth quarter. Smith completed 18-of-26 pass attempts for 145 yards. He threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce (6 catches, 45 yards) in the third quarter that put the Chiefs up 31-3, and then hit Jeremy Maclin (3-35 yds) in the end zone for a gorgeous 17-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that increased the lead to 38-3 and allowed Reid to put Daniel in for some work.
But while the Chiefs were enjoying themselves on offense, the same couldn’t be said for Stafford and the Detroit sideline. Detroit (1-7) fired three assistant coaches last Monday, including the offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi. If the Motor City Kitties were hoping for immediate dividends against the Chiefs, they were disappointed. After gaining 43 yards on their first two offensive plays, the offense bogged down in the Kansas City end of the field and had to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Matt Prater. After that, the Chiefs defense completely clamped down on Detroit.
After the field goal, Detroit’s next eight drives gained 7 yards, minus-four yards, eight yards, 29 yards, 24 yards, 1 yard, 45 yards and 6 yards. Included in that were six Kansas City sacks and two interceptions of Stafford. Five players – Ron Parker, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, Dontari Poe and Tamba Hali – all got a piece of Stafford in the pocket while Sean Smith and Houston came up with interceptions.
Outside of Detroit’s first two plays, the only disappointment for the defense was a 7-play, 77-yard scoring drive by Detroit with 7:21 left in the game and the Chiefs holding onto a 38-3 lead. However, even that won’t ruin their good mood on the long flight home to Kansas City. England is America’s staunchest ally in the political world, but for a Chiefs team that suddenly has light at the end of the tunnel after a disappointing start to their season, England was a very, very nice substitute for the home cooking of Arrowhead.
The Chiefs will use their bye week to get over their jet lag and heal up with a date looming with the first-place Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field on Sunday, Nov. 15th. You know KC would like to atone for the devastating last-second loss in Week 2 at Arrowhead where an uncharacteristic five turnovers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and set the Chiefs off on their five-game losing streak.