Sack City Temporarily Invades London; Dominates Lions

The pressure came early and often from Bob Sutton’s crew

It may have been 4,000 miles away from its usual home, but "Sack City" temporarily invaded the United Kingdom as the Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon in London with 6 sacks from the defense.

The pressure came early. The pressure came often—and Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton didn't take his foot off the gas as he sent players from every which way to harass Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford all game long.

"[Sutton] has done a nice job," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game. "The players upped it and they're flying around. They seem to have great communication out there and they keep battling.

"They're in attack mode."

The Chiefs had five different players record at least a share of a sack against the Lions as safety Ron Parker led the team with 2, linebacker Justin Houston added 1.5, linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive lineman Dontari Poe each had 1 and Tamba Hali added a half-sack as well. Hali also had another sack that was negated because the Chiefs accepted a holding penalty on the play.

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The 6 sacks by the Chiefs were the most so far this season and marked the 56th time in franchise history they've put up at least 6 sacks in a single game.

Since 2013, the Chiefs have seven games with 6 or more sacks and they're 7-0 in those contests.

"We're focused on the mission," Hali said after the game. "We want to get something done, something special."

The Chiefs ability to get pressure on Stafford was particularly special on Sunday, and it allowed them to be in a position to take the ball away a couple of times, something the Lions have allowed a lot of this season.

Coming into the game, Stafford had already thrown 9 interceptions, which was among the most in the NFL.

Detroit's 18 total turnovers coming into Sunday's game led the NFL.

In true team fashion, both of the turnovers the Chiefs defense forced on Sunday were thanks to multiple players on the defense, not just a great individual play.

The first came midway through the second quarter and with the Lions facing a third-and-short deep in their own territory as they trailed 14-3. 

Stafford dropped back to pass as Hali, who was coming off the right edge, put a fantastic double-move on the Lions left tackle and got him off balance, which in turn created a clear lane to Stafford.

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He had to move off his spot to avoid the sack and then Stafford attempted an off-balance throw that went straight into the hands of Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith, who was in the right place at the right time.

Smith gets credit for the interception, but Hali made the bigtime play that won't go noticed in the traditional box score.

On that next Lions offensive drive, safety Ron Parker jumped in front of a first-down pass intended for tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The ball flew through the air and into the hands of Houston, who picked up the first interception of his season and the second of his career.

Once again, a player was in the right place at the right time.

"It was just a great team performance," Houston said after the game. "That's something coach Reid preached all week long. It starts up front and any time our line can play well, it helps us out and gives us a great chance to win the game."

Before either of these key interceptions, which ultimately led to 10 points for the Chiefs, the Lions offense had looked pretty good on their first offensive drive.

Their 10-play, 63-yard opening drive that led to a field goal, which started with the first two plays going for 11 and 32 yards, got the attention of the Chiefs defense.

"The Lions traditionally start very fast," Reid said. "They have explosive players and it's a great challenge for you defensively. They were mixing it up and moving it around but we were able to make big plays."

One of the biggest plays early came from veteran safety Husain Abdullah, who helped the Chiefs defense force a Lions three-and-out on their second offensive drive.

With the Lions facing a third-and-short, their new offensive coordinator, Jim Bob Cooter, who was appointed just this week to call plays for the first time in his career after serving as the quarterbacks coach before their former OC was fired, went with an empty backfield.

Stafford saw rookie running back Ameer Abdullah break to the outside and thought he had thrown a pass to result in a first-down completion, but Husain had other plans.

"Actually, I didn't trust myself," Abdullah said of that play after the game. "I thought I was a step behind. I should have picked it there, it would have been a walk in."

The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London

In any case, the Chiefs defense buckled down after that play and it was the first sign of momentum that wouldn't leave the Chiefs side for the rest of the game.

The Lions would gain just 213 yards of total offense after that opening drive, finishing just 2 of 12 on third down.

"I thought we had a great game," Abdullah said. "We were out there having fun and flying around as always."

After 6 sacks, 2 turnovers and dominant third-down play, the Chiefs defense was clicking on all cylinders Sunday.

"We're playing as a team," Houston said after the game. "It's not just the defense, but the offense and special teams too.

"When you get them all on the same page then things will come together, that's what's going on right now."

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