|Denver 7||Detroit 44|
|November 04, 2007||Ford Field-Attendance: 60,783 (65,000)||Time: 3:23|
|DET||FG||7:06||Jason Hanson 43 yard field goal attempt is good.||0||3|
|DET||FG||14:09||Jason Hanson 53 yard field goal attempt is good.||0||6|
|DET||TD||4:59||Jon Kitna pass completion to the middle to Mike Furrey for 15 yards for a touchdown.||0||12|
|DET||PAT||4:59||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||0||13|
|DET||FG||0:35||Jason Hanson 38 yard field goal attempt is good.||0||16|
|DET||TD||11:07||Patrick Ramsey fumbles. Detroit recovers, Dewayne White returns 3 yards for a touchdown.||0||22|
|DET||PAT||11:07||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||0||23|
|DET||TD||6:35||Jon Kitna pass completion to the left to Shaun McDonald for 49 yards for a touchdown.||0||29|
|DET||PAT||6:35||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||0||30|
|DET||TD||8:03||Patrick Ramsey pass to the middle intercepted by Shaun Rogers and returned 67 yards for a touchdown.||0||36|
|DET||PAT||8:03||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||0||37|
|DET||TD||5:20||T.J. Duckett rush to the left for 3 yards for a touchdown.||0||43|
|DET||PAT||5:15||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||0||44|
|DEN||TD||2:31||Patrick Ramsey pass completion to the right to Brandon Stokley for 2 yards for a touchdown.||6||44|
|DEN||PAT||2:31||Jason Elam extra point attempt is good.||7||44|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||9-18||6-15|
|4th down efficiency||1-2||0-0|
|Yards per pass||4.7||7.7|
|Yards per rush||2.9||4.5|
They're not alone now because people outside their locker room are believing in them, too.
Jon Kitna threw two touchdown passes and the Detroit Lions scored twice on defense, leading to a 44-7 rout over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Lions (6-2) have established themselves as a legitimate contender in the NFC and perhaps the surprise team in the entire league at the midway point of their season. They are one game behind Green Bay (7-1) in the NFC North.
''This is real,'' defensive tackle Cory Redding said. ''This is a different team. It's not the same-old Lions anymore.''
In the Super Bowl era, 76 percent of the 146 teams that started 6-2 made the playoffs. The Lions haven't won six of their first eight games since 1999, the last season they made the playoffs.
''I hope we keep playing one snap at a time,'' coach Rod Marinelli said. ''The rest of that is too far down the road. I know that's boring. I'm boring.''
At this point, Detroit already has twice as many wins as last year, Marinelli's first season, and matched the most victories in any year under team president Matt Millen. It was also the third straight win for Detroit, which also more than doubled its largest margin of victory since Millen took over in 2001.
Denver (3-5) was handed its most-lopsided loss in nearly two decades, dropping it below .500 halfway through the season for the first time since its last losing season in 1999.
''If you play at the level we did, you get embarrassed,'' Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. ''I've been embarrassed a couple of times this year. Now, we find out what we're made of.''
The banged-up Broncos took more hits when quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Travis Henry were sidelined with injuries. Cutler left the game with a lower leg injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Patrick Ramsey.
''I'll get an MRI,'' he said. ''Hopefully, it's just a bruise.''
Henry did not play in the fourth quarter after hurting his left knee, but said he felt fine.
Denver scored with 2 1/2 minutes left to avoid being shut out for the first time since 1992.
The Broncos were about to add another meaningless score in the final seconds, but receiver Brian Clark fumbled into the end zone.
''We're not a good football team right now,'' said cornerback Dre' Bly, who played in Detroit the previous four seasons. ''We've got to look in the mirror and see if we're doing our jobs.''
The Lions started slowly, scoring only once in the first quarter on Jason Hanson's first of three field goals. They led 16-0 at halftime.
''Then, every phase just took over,'' Hanson said.
It became a blowout in the third when defensive end Dewayne White picked up Ramsey's fumble and returned it for a TD and Shaun McDonald was untouched on a 49-yard reception.
Adding to the laugher, Shaun Rogers intercepted a screen pass and the 340-pound defensive tackle rumbled 66 yards, scoring after stiff-arming Selvin Young to make it 37-0 in the fourth quarter. Rogers also had 2 1/2 sacks, broke up a pass and was credited with four QB hits.
''He's making big-time plays for a down guy,'' Marinelli said.
Detroit is the only team in the NFC undefeated at home, starting 4-0 for the first time since moving back downtown in 2002.
''The 12th man was awesome,'' linebacker Boss Bailey said.
Kitna was 16-of-31 for 252 yards, two scores and no turnovers. Kevin Jones ran for 71 yards and four receivers caught at least three passes.
Ramsey completed 29 of 46 passes for 262 yards with a TD pass to Brandon Stokley, an interception and a fumble. Brandon Marshall caught nine passes for 96 yards, but dropped three passes on one drive alone.
Notes: Detroit, which had won two games by 18 points under Millen, enjoyed its biggest win since beating Jacksonville 44-0 in 1995. ... Denver was handed its worst loss since losing 42-0 to New Orleans in 1988.
Defense: --- A+. What more can I say? If not the best defensive performance in the Millen era. Shaun Rogers is such a force it is sickening. Two and half sacks along with a interception return for a touchdown? Every single week he shows up - he is the one player that makes a difference when he is on the field. Corey Smith stripped the ball from Broncos backup Ramsey and Dwayne White took it in for the touchdown. The Defense also stopped the Broncos cold at their goal line and two plays later the Offense scored a touchdown. They had five sacks which was their most of the year. It certainly helped knocking Jay Cutler out of the game early. The Defense shut down Denver's rushing game giving up less than 50 yards. Travis Henry was a non factor the entire game. By forcing four turnovers, the Defense continues to lead the NFL in take aways. This is eerie similar to what the Bears did last year. Hopefully the Defense can keep it going since the schedule is going to get much tougher down the stretch.
Special Teams: --- A-. The first quarter surprise on side kick was gutsy but the bottom line is Denver got no points out of it. Hanson was his usual self and had three field goals including a 53 yard bomb. Nick Harris had two great puts and pinned the Browns inside the ten twice.
Coaching: --- A. It is becoming clear after each win that the players are definitely buying into Marinelli's system. I also have to give the coaching staff credit for learning from their mistakes. The last three games they have made the running game a big part of the Offense and that has paid off in dividends. You cannot be a successful team if you cannot run the ball. John Barry has done a phenominal job coaching the Defense this year. No one ever would have imagined the Lions Defense being this good.
Overall: --- A+. The Lions are off to their best start since 1999 and had their biggest route since 1995. That speaks volumes with how well things are going right now for the honolulu blue and silver! At 6-2 they still find themselves one game back from the Packers. Up next is a trip to the desert to play a bad Arizona team. For some reason the Lions always find a way to lose down there, but I have a feeling this year is going to be different. If the Lions want to keep pace with the over achieving Packers, they will need to win this game. A win would put them at 7-2 heading into the brutal part of their schedule. I can only imagine how crazy the atmosphere will be at Ford Field for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers with first place at stake. Although a repeat peformance like we witnessed against the Broncos is unlikely, if the honolulu blue and silver continue to play with the same level of intensity they will definitely find themselves playing football in January!