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Recap: Lions fall to Chiefs 34-30 for first loss of season

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
The Lions' Tracy Walker reacts after making a tackle in the first quarter.

Game summary

The high-powered Kansas City Chiefs were too much for the Detroit Lions to handle on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field, as Patrick Mahomes and Co. ripped Detroit's heart out by winning the game 34-30 on a touchdown run by Darrel Williams with 20 seconds remaining.

Final leaders


DET — Matthew Stafford: 21/34, 291 yds., 3 TDs

KC — Patrick Mahomes: 24/42, 315 yds.


DET — Kerryon Johnson: 26 atts., 125 yds.

KC — LeSean McCoy: 11 atts., 56 yds.


DET — Kenny Golladay: 5 recs., 67 yds., 2 TDs

KC — Sammy Watkins: 7 recs., 85 yds.

Lions' magic runs out on final drive

The Lions will start at the 25 with 20 seconds remaining and one timeout.

Matthew Stafford finds Marvin Jones over the middle for a gain of 25 that'll put the Lions at midfield.

Timeout #3 Detroit (0:13 4th)

Logan Thomas gets out of bounds at the 44 after pulling in a 6-yard reception. Stafford throws a deep pass to the end zone that falls incomplete. There's no time remaining, and Kansas City storms the field in victory.

The refs put more time on the clock. a Hail Mary is swatted to the turf. Chiefs win.

FINAL: Chiefs 34, Lions 30

Chiefs take 34-30 lead with 20 seconds remaining 

De'Anthony Thomas returns the kick to the 21. 2:20 left, Kansas City with two timeouts remaining.

Darrel Williams catches a screen and bounces it to the outside for a gain of 11 before going out at the 32.

Mahomes is forced to get rid of it before his receiver is ready on first down, leading to an incompletion. Tavon Wilson makes a great tackle on second down, limiting Williams to a 2-yard reception. It'll be third-and-8.

Two-minute warning

Mahomes overthrows Demarcus Robinson on third down. The Chiefs are going for it.

Timeout #2 Kansas City

The pocket collapses around Mahomes and he darts out to the 49 on a 15-yard run. 

He has all day to throw on the next play, which ends in a 16-yard completion to Travis Kelce.

Devon Kennard brings Mahomes down for a gain of 1, but Rashaan Melvin is called for defensive holding. It'll be first-and-10 at the 27.

Mahomes throws complete to Demarcus Robinson for a gain of 9 on first down. Mecole Hardman picks up the first down with a 2-yard reception.

Mahomes throws incomplete on first down. 40 seconds left. Byron Pringle gets to the 3-yard-line on a 13-yard reception.

Timeout #1 Detroit (0:30 4th)

Williams is stopped just short of the goal line on first-and-goal.

Timeout #2 Detroit (0:24 4th)

Williams gets in the end zone to give the Chiefs a late lead.

Chiefs 34, Lions 30 (0:20 4th)

Lions take 30-27 lead with 2:26 left 

The Chiefs' punt is downed at the 21. 

Kerryon Johnson is brought down for a loss of 3 on first down. J.D. McKissic catches a screen, dances through a handful of defenders, and sets up third-and-2 with an 11-yard gain. Matthew Stafford throws a 6-yard completion to Kenny Golladay to move the chains.

Stafford scrambles from the pocket, making something out of nothing and gaining 7 yards on first down. Johnson then gets a second-down carry and picks up 9 before stepping out of bounds at the Kansas City 49.

Ty Johnson gets the next carry, a 6-yard gain. Stafford makes a terrific back-shoulder throw to Marvin Hall for a 34-yard gain to make it first-and-goal from the 9.

Kerryon Johnson goes for a gain of 3 on first down. 

Golladay pulls down a pass near the pylon for a touchdown. The play will be reviewed to see if he got two feet down. It's going to be extremely close.

The ruling on the field stands. Touchdown, Lions. Holy jumpin'.

Lions 30, Chiefs 27 (2:26 4th)

Lions' defense makes biggest stop of game

LeSean McCoy rushes for 4 yards on first down. Travis Kelce hauls in a toss from Patrick Mahomes for a gain of 18.

Mahomes' pass on first down is incomplete, hurried by A'Shawn Robinson. Darrel Williams is wrapped up by Devon Kennard for a loss of 3, bringing up third-and-13. Mahomes is pressured from the pocket by Trey Flowers and throws an errant pass that falls incomplete.

Huge stop for the Lions' defense.

Chiefs 27, Lions 23 (6:44 4th)

Lions can't cut into Chiefs lead after Williams touchdown

Jamal Agnew takes the kickoff for a touchback.

Kerryon Johnson runs for 3 yards on first down. Logan Thomas catches a pass over the middle and then runs through a would-be tackler to make the line to gain.

Johnson catches a quick pass from Matthew Stafford and picks up 10 yards to keep the chains moving. 

Johnson then gets 3 on a first-down handoff. Stafford's pass to Golladay on second down is off the mark. Tyrann Mathieu explodes through the line of scrimmage and takes Stafford down for a loss of 14 on third down.

Chiefs 27, Lions 23 (9:16 4th)

Chiefs take 27-23 lead early in fourth

Injury update: Lions TE T.J. Hockenson is being evaluated for a concussion.

De'Anthony Thomas is brought down at the 25 on the kick return.

Travis Kelce is wide open over the middle on first down and catches a pass from Patrick Mahomes that's good for 16 yards.

Mahomes underthrows his receiver on first down from the 41. The Lions force an incompletion to Kelce on second down, but Tavon Wilson is flagged for roughing the passer.

Wilson throws down Darrel Williams for a loss of 2 on first down. It'll be second-and-12 from the Detroit 46.

END 3RD: Lions 23, Chiefs 20

Mahomes throws complete to Kelce on the first play of the quarter. Kelce then laterals to LeSean McCoy, who runs it all the way to Detroit's 13-yard-line.

McCoy is wrapped up for no gain on first down. Mahomes tucks it and scrambles for 4 on second down, then picks up a first down with a 7-yard scramble. It'll be first-and-goal at the 2.

Injury update: Lions TE T.J. Hockenson has been downgraded to OUT.

Mahomes throws it away on first down. Darrel Williams runs it into the end zone with ease on second down.

Chiefs 27, Lions 23 (12:09 4th)

Lions take 23-20 lead late in third quarter

Kerryon Johnson is on a tear today. He runs for 12 yards on first down, giving him 109 total on the day and giving the Lions a first down at Kansas City's 33.

Johnson gets a yard on the next play. Matthew Stafford tucks it with the pocket collapsing and gets to the 21-yard-line with an 11-yard run.

J.D. McKissic takes the end-around and picks up 4 yards to the right. T.J. Hockenson catches a pass on the next play, gets the first down, but is driven hard into the turf while trying to hurdle a defender. After several minutes of laying on the ground motionless, he's helped to his feet and onto the medical cart in an upright position.

First-and-goal from the 8 coming up. Stafford's throw to Nick Bawden is deflected and falls incomplete. McKissic loses a yard on second down. Stafford fits a third-down throw into an extremely tight window, and waiting on the other end is Kenny Golladay to give the Lions a lead.

Lions 23, Chiefs 20 (1:10 3rd)

Lions force third turnover of half

A holding penalty negates a 39-yard kick return by De'Anthony Thomas. The Chiefs will start at the 20.

Patrick Mahomes has Demarcus Robinson open for a 15-yard completed pass.

Mahomes goes back to Robinson on the next play, this time for a gain of 5. Sammy Watkins catches a pass from Mahomes and is then stripped. Justin Coleman recovers for Detroit at the 45.

Chiefs 23, Lions 16 (4:50 3rd)

Lions cut deficit to 20-16 with Prater field goal

Harrison Butker's kick goes for a touchback.

Kerryon Johnson catches a pass over the middle and skirts upfield for a 22-yard gain on first down.

Johnson is stopped after a gain of 2 on first down. Logan Thomas catches a pass near the sideline and heads out of bounds at the Kansas City 39 for a gain of 12.

Marvin Jones can't haul in a first-down throw from Matthew Stafford. Johnson is wrapped up for a loss of 1 on first down.

Injury update: Lions DB Quandre Diggs (hamstring) has been downgraded to OUT.

A throw to Jesse James on third down falls incomplete. Matt Prater will be out to try a 53-yard field goal.

It's good.

Chiefs 20, Lions 16 (6:19 3rd)

Chiefs run fumble back for touchdown, take 20-13 lead

Matthew Stafford takes a shot to Kerryon Johnson in the end zone, but the tight coverage leads to an incompletion. J.D. McKissic makes a number of defenders miss on his way to a 26-yard gain. A facemask penalty on the Chiefs will make it first-and-goal from the 1.

Johnson is swallowed up for a loss, officials never blow the play dead, and the Chiefs all of a sudden have the ball and are going the other way. It's ruled a touchdown for the Chiefs. The play will be reviewed.

The play stands. 

Chiefs 20, Lions 13 (9:08 3rd)

Lions force second fumble of half

Kansas City will get it at the 18 after the fumble.

LeSean McCoy is wrapped up for a gain of 1 on first down. Patrick Mahomes hits McCoy on a screen on second down, which goes for an 8-yard gain. It'll be third-and-1.

Timeout #1 Kansas City (10:51 3rd)

Mahomes picks up the first down with a keeper that's good for 2 yards.

Mahomes overthrows Travis Kelce on first-and-10 from the 29. A'Shawn Robinson recovers a fumble forced by Trey Flowers. The Lions again have it in Kansas City territory.

Lions 13, Chiefs 13 (9:55 3rd)

Lions fumble in red zone after fumble recovery on kickoff

The Lions catch a huge break coming out of the half. Jalen Reeves-Maybin recovers a Mecole Hardman fumble on the kick return, and Detroit will start with the ball at Kansas City's 36.

Kerryon Johnson gains 5 yards on first down. They go back to Johnson on second down, this time for a gain of 11. It'll be first-and-10 at the 20.

Johnson gets a pitch on first down, follows his blockers to the right, and gets all the way to the 7-yard-line for a gain of 13.

Johnson goes down at the 5 on first down. Kenny Golladay appeared to have given the Lions another lead, but it's called back. Stafford is stripped on the next play, and the Chiefs have it at the 18.

Lions 13, Chiefs 13 (12:03 3rd)

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is brought down after a first-quarter catch.

Halftime leaders


DET — Matthew Stafford: 9/14, 134 yds., TD

KC — Patrick Mahomes: 11/21, 160 yds.


DET — Kerryon Johnson: 12 atts., 65 yds.

KC — LeSean McCoy: 8 atts., 51 yds.


DET — Marvin Jones Jr.: 2 recs., 52 yds.

KC — Sammy Watkins: 2 recs., 49 yds.

Chiefs tie Lions at 13 before half

Sam Martin's kick is taken for a touchback.

Patrick Mahomes' first-down pass is beyond the reach of his receiver. Sammy Watkins is able to haul in a 19-yard reception on the next play.

Mahomes tosses a first-down throw away with Devon Kennard breathing down his neck. Mahomes throws a perfect pass in the seam to Darrel Williams for a gain of 30, setting up first-and-10 from the Detroit 26.

Mahomes throws incomplete on first down.

Harrison Butker's 44-yard field goal try is good.

Lions 13, Chiefs 13 (0:02 2nd)

Ty Johnson is tackled on the return.

END 2ND: Lions 13, Chiefs 13

Detroit takes 13-10 lead with 1:03 left to go in half 

Detroit takes over at the 21.

Kerryon Johnson flies through a massive hole up the middle for a gain of 14 yards on the first play of the drive.

Matthew Stafford's pass to Marvin Hall over the middle is complete for a gain of 15, setting up first-and-10 at the Detroit 48.

Ty Johnson gets the next first-down carry, a pickup of 5. Stafford hits Hockenson on a screen, which the rookie tight end quickly takes up the field for a gain of 13.

Two-minute warning

Kerryon Johnson breaks a tackle on his way to a 9-yard gain on first down. Stafford throws incomplete to Kenny Golladay in the end zone on second down. Johnson is stuffed for no gain on third down. The Lions will try for a field goal after committing an illegal snap before attempting a fourth-down conversion.

Matt Prater's 48-yard attempt is good.

Lions 13, Chiefs 10 (1:03 2nd)

Chiefs tie game near end of second quarter

LeSean McCoy gashes Detroit's defense on first down, running all the way to the Detroit 31 for a gain of 39 yards.

Travis Kelce hauls in a throw from Patrick Mahomes on second down for a gain of 14 at the Detroit 17.

Darrel Williams gets 5 yards on first down. Mike Ford is flagged for hitting Mecole Hardman with a suplex on second down, setting up first-and-goal from the 2.

McCoy is stuffed at the 1 on first down. He's somehow kept out of the end zone on a second-down carry. Third time's the charm: McCoy scores on a 1-yard run.

Lions 10, Chiefs 10 (4:13 2nd)

Detroit offense hitting bumps in road in second quarter

Detroit takes over at the 16.

Matthew Stafford is strip-sacked near the goal line on first down, a fumble recovered by Lions' right tackle Rick Wagner. The Chiefs are flagged for defensive holding, though, making it first-and-10 from the 21.

Kerryon Johnson picks up 6 yards on a first-down carry. Frank Ragnow receives a holding penalty on second down, making it second-and-14. Stafford's pass to Nick Bawden on second down goes for a gain of 4. Stafford can't connect with Kenny Golladay near the sideline.

Sam Martin's punt is fair caught at the 30.

Lions 10, Chiefs 3 (8:10 2nd)

Lions force three-and-out to maintain lead

Kansas City starts at the 26.

Patrick Mahomes throws a deep pass to Demarcus Robinson that falls incomplete on first down. He hits Robinson on second down for a gain of 6. Mahomes' throw to Mecole Hardman is just beyond the intended receiver.

Lions 10, Chiefs 3 (10:13 2nd)

Lions' offense stopped for no points 

Detroit will take over at the 25 after a touchback.

Some miscommunication on first down leads to an incomplete pass intended for J.D. McKissic. 

Injury update: Lions DB Quandre Diggs is questionable to return with a hamstring injury.

Matthew Stafford hits third-year receiver Kenny Golladay over the middle for a gain of 15 that'll make it first-and-10 at the Detroit 38.

Ty Johnson catches a screen pass on first down that goes for only a yard. Johnson's second-down carry goes for a gain of 2. Chris Jones gets into Detroit's backfield in a hurry on third down and sacks Stafford for a loss of 10.

Sam Martin's punt is fielded by De'Anthony Thomas; he's stripped by Jalen Reeves-Maybin, but the Chiefs are able to recover.

Lions 10, Chiefs 3 (11:17 2nd)

Lions' defense stands tall in red zone, forces field goal 

The entire special-teams unit wraps up Byron Pringle at the 14-yard-line on the kickoff.

LeSean McCoy gets 4 yards up the middle on first down. Patrick Mahomes throws a second-down pass into no-man's-land with A'Shawn Robinson breathing down his neck. Mahomes keeps on third down and runs all the way to the Kansas City 43 to give the Chiefs a first down with a 25-yard gain.

Darrel Williams gets to midfield with a 7-yard run on first down. The Lions have 12 men on the field on the next play, giving the Chiefs a free first down at the 45.

Sammy Watkins catches a pass on a crossing route and goes out of bounds at the Detroit 14 for a gain of 31.

Jarrad Davis is called for illegal use of hands on a 4-yard carry by McCoy. It'll be first-and-goal from the 4.

Travis Kelce catches Mahomes' quick throw, but loses 3 yards.

END 1ST: Lions 10, Chiefs 0

Second-and-goal from the 7 coming up to start the second quarter. McCoy picks up 2 yards. Justin Coleman makes a terrific play to knock away a throw to Watkins in the end zone. 

Harrison Butker's 23-yard field goal attempt is good.

Lions 10, Chiefs 3 (14:12 2nd)

Lions take 10-0 lead late in first quarter

First-and-10 at the Detroit 26 after the missed field goal.

Kerryon Johnson hits a hole up the middle and picks up 9 yards. His facemask is grabbed on the play, adding 15 yards to the end of the run and setting up first-and-10 from the 50.

Matthew Stafford's pass intended for T.J. Hockenson on the next play is incomplete, but there's a defensive holding penalty on the Chiefs. That'll make it first-and-10 from the Kansas City 45.

Stafford's throw to Marvin Hall on first down misses the mark. J.D. McKissic gains a yard on the ground on second down. Stafford has Jones over the middle on third-and-9, hitting the veteran wideout for a 33-yard pickup that'll make it first-and-10 at the 11.

Stafford's first-down throw to Jones falls incomplete. Johnson powers ahead for a 6-yard gain on second down. Hockenson catches a pass from Stafford in the end zone on third-and-4, giving the Lions a two-score lead.

Lions 10, Chiefs 0 (3:05 1st)

Chiefs miss chance to tie game with field goal

Sam Martin's kick is returned to the 26.

LeSean McCoy attempts to reverse field on a first-down handoff and is swallowed up by Tracy Walker for a loss of 1 on first down. Walker gets beat by Travis Kelce, who pulls in a pass from Patrick Mahomes for a gain of 12, on second down.

Mahomes dumps it off to Deon Yelder over the middle, and Yelder's able to get upfield for a gain of 24 before getting taken down at the Detroit 39.

McCoy catches a pass and is knocked out of bounds for a gain of 2 on first down. Mahomes hits Yelder again on second down, picking up 19 yards and a first down at the Detroit 18.

Mahomes' throw on first-and-10 is disrupted by Devon Kennard and waffles out of bounds. Mahomes is driven from the pocket and throws his second-down pass beyond the reach of Demarcus Robinson in the end zone. Trey Flowers drills Mahomes as he throws on third down to end the drive.

Harrison Butker's 36-yard attempt is no good. 

Lions 3, Chiefs 0 (5:39 1st)

Lions take 3-0 lead on Prater field goal

Kansas City has won the toss and will defer to the second half.

Harrison Butker's kick bounces in the end zone for a touchback. Lions will start at the 25.

Matthew Stafford gives to Kerryon Johnson for a gain of 5 on first down. Stafford then finds Kenny Golladay over the middle of the field for a gain of 33 that'll give the Lions a first down at the Kansas City 37.

Johnson rushes for a gain of 1 on first down and 8 yards on second down. The spot of Johnson's second run is being challenged, as the Lions clearly think he made the line to gain.

The ruling stands. Detroit has been charged with its first timeout.

Only a few inches to go here on third down. Johnson pushes the pile forward for a pickup of 2 that'll give the Lions a first down at the Kansas City 26.

Stafford drops back, hits Marvin Jones Jr. for a gain of 19 to set up first-and-goal from the 7. 

Johnson is tripped up at the 5 on first down and is stuffed at the 2-yard-line on second down.

Timeout #1 Kansas City (10:09 1st)

Stafford has nowhere to go with the football and is sacked for a loss of 5 on the play, the first sack of Stafford since Week 1.

Matt Prater's 25-yard field goal try is good.

Lions 3, Chiefs 0 (9:38 1st)

Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. pulls in a reception during warmups.


The Detroit Lions are host to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a battle of unbeaten teams. Follow the action here throughout the game with live updates and analysis by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.


Lions: CB Darius Slay, WR Danny Amendola, DT Mike Daniels, DL Da'Shawn Hand, RB Paul Perkins and OL Oday Aboushi and Beau Benzschawel are inactive for Detroit.

Chiefs: WR Tyreek Hill, RB Damien Williams, DT Khalen Saunders and OL Greg Senat, Eric Fisher, Nick Allegretti and Martinas Rankin are inactive for Kansas City.


Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit

TV/radio: Fox/760

Records: Lions 2-0-1, Chiefs 3-0

Line: Chiefs by 6.5


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