The Kansas City Chiefs demolished the Detroit Lions on Sunday morning at Wembly Stadium in London, England with outstanding offense. Leading the 45-10 win for Kansas City was Alex Smith, who combined for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
To start the game, quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions (1-7) marched all the way down the field to allow Matt Prater to hit a 35-yard field goal with 9:13 left in the quarter to take a 3-0 lead.
Joique Bell was dealing with an ankle injury during the week, but he was active and made his presence felt early. The 29-year-old carried the ball for 32 yards on the second play from scrimmage to help set up the score.
It was an impressive first drive for the Lions, who fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on October 26 because of a very poor start to the season. While it was an impressive first drive, the game in whole was rough. The team also fired offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan.
Jim Bob Cooter took over as the offensive coordinator and started to prove himself with an early score, but struggled the rest of the way. Head coach Jim Caldwell promised that Stafford would improve and return to top form, which he did not do on Sunday morning.
"Jim Bob called a good game," Stafford said, "but we just failed to execute."
Stafford finished the game 22-of-36 through the air with 217 passing yards and a touchdown, but his interceptions turned into two scores for the Chiefs. The first draft pick of the 2009 NFL Draft was sacked six times for a loss of 32 yards. The starter was replaced by Dan Orlovsky, who completed one pass for 10 yards.
The second career rushing touchdown for De'Anthony Thomas gave the Chiefs (3-5) the 7-3 lead on their first drive of the game. It was a 10-yard carry into the end zone with 4:07 to play in the quarter. The rushing touchdown was his first since Week 5 of 2014, which was the first career game for the former Oregon Ducks running back.
Smith, the quarterback for the Chiefs, went for a 49-yard carry and then added a 12-yard score to give Kansas City a 14-3 lead over Detroit with 12:00 to play before halftime. Just a few minutes later, Cairo Santos cashed in on a 33-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 17-3 lead. Sean Smith picked off Stafford to set up the field goal.
"He had some very positive yards for us at needed times," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "We know he can run. We don't really want him to run, but if it works out that way that's OK."
With 3:26 left to go in the first half, Kansas City added another score. Running back Charcandrick West found the end zone from eight yards out to give his team a 24-3 lead before heading to the locker room. The touchdown was set up by an interception from Justin Houston, which was the second pick thrown by Stafford.
West carried the ball 20 times for 97 yards and a touchdown with a long of 32 yards in the victory over the Lions.
Caldwell and the Lions were looking to improve, but they continued their defensive and offensive struggles.
Smith came out firing as he found Travis Kelce for a two-yard score. Besides the touchdown from Smith to Kelce, both teams could not find much momentum. The third quarter ended 31-3 in favor of the Chiefs.
Veteran wide receiver Jeremy Maclin got on the board to start the fourth quarter. Smith found him down field to give Kansas City a 38-3 lead over Detroit.
Smith finished 18-for-26 with 145 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The first draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft carried the ball five times for 78 yards and a score.
The Lions finally scored a touchdown on a pass from Stafford to Lance Moore, another veteran in the London game. The Lions were down by 28 with 7:21 left in the game.
Throughout the season, Detroit has struggled to get the run game on point. On Sunday, the topic was the same story as Bell led the team with seven carries for 56 yards. Meanwhile, rookie Ameer Abdullah, who was expected to be a top game changer coming into the season, was given one carry for three yards.
Detroit could not complete a miracle comeback as Kansas City added their final touchdown. Spencer Ware carried the ball for a four-yard score to make it a 45-10 lead for the Chiefs to end the game.
"Not a good outing, obviously. An understatement," Caldwell said. "We ran the ball decently early on, but we reached the point where we wouldn't be able to regain lost ground quickly enough to keep running."