From Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan
Last week in the opener against Buffalo it was Dexter McCluster’s fumble on the opening kickoff that set the tone for the day.
Bills 41, Chiefs 7.
A week later, it was another fumble early in the first quarter that set the tone for Game No. 2 against Detroit. SS Jon McGraw had an interception, but turned around and gave it right back to the Lions on a fumble.
Lions 48, Chiefs 3.
“It was the same as last week and it was a big play,” McGraw said after the game. “It was my fault. I don’t know what happened.”
The Chiefs won the opening coin toss and deferred their selection until the second half. So they kicked off to the Lions, and QB Matt Stafford led them to pair of first downs. It was 2nd-and-5 at the Chiefs 44-yard line. Stafford was in the shotgun, took the snap and looked to his right.
McGraw saw that in his role as a linebacker in the Chiefs sub-defense and stepped that way as well. Stafford quickly had a problem, because in his face was DE Wallace Gilberry. As the Lions quarterback let go of the ball, he was hit by Gilberry and that took some steam off the throw.
“I saw it coming and saw that it was hanging in the air and I caught it,” said McGraw. “Then I got up â€¦”
What happened next was one of those moments the 2011 Chiefs cannot afford. McGraw got to his feet and was about to run when the ball squirted out of his hands.
“I had it and then I didn’t have it,” McGraw said. “I don’t really know what happened. Nobody touched me that I could tell.”
That’s correct, he got touched after the ball was already out, but no member of the Lions knocked it out of his possession. Detroit TE Tony Scheffler fell on the fumble and his team had the ball back.
In the end, the interception and fumble cost the Lions 10 yards in field position, but it was first down. They score the first of six touchdowns three plays later when Stafford found WR Calvin Johnson for the score. Johnson beat CB Brandon Flowers who was expected some help over the top from McGraw.
“We needed to play better this week and I can tell you that I did not play better,” McGraw said. “I failed to do that.”