Anyone from the Detroit Lions trying to talk Barry Sanders out of retirement should hide this game film from him.
Detroit's patchwork offensive line spent much of the day getting whipped by Kansas City's defense as the Chiefs seized a 17-point lead en route to a 31-21 victory today that kept the Lions from their first 3-0 start since 1980.
"We played well. We played with a lot of emotion," said defensive lineman Ty Parten, whose hit on quarterback Charlie Batch caused an interception that led to Kansas City's last touchdown.
For the first time, the Lions (2-1) appeared to miss their superstar running back, who unexpectedly retired at the beginning of training camp.
On their first six possessions, the Lions were sacked three times, had a pass batted down, were penalized twice and punted five times. Detroit's offense only seemed to come to life on a few big plays that led to its three touchdowns, including one with only 2 minutes 11 seconds to play.
"We came in here anticipating they would put pressure on us, and that's what they did," Batch said. "It really was up to us to go out there and make it happen, and we didn't do it."
Elvis Grbac threw two touchdown passes as the Chiefs (2-1), who were down to their third-team halfback throughout the second half, won their second in a row and got touchdowns from four different players.
"I think everybody is getting comfortable," said wide receiver Joe Horn, whose diving fingertip catch of Grbac's 25-yard scoring pass put the Chiefs on top 24-7 with five minutes left in the third quarter. "We know we are capable of doing anything we set out to do."
With two new starters on the offensive line, Batch was sacked four times, intercepted twice and had two passes batted away. Batch wound up 16 of 34 for 213 yards.
"They've got four great pass rushers out there. Derrick Thomas, Chester McGlockton, Leslie O'Neal and Dan Williams," Detroit Coach Bobby Ross said. "All of them number one draft choices and none of them young kids. They all know what's going on out there."