DENVER -- The Broncos got on the board first against the visiting Lions today with an eight-play opening drive and a field goal conversion to take a 3-0 lead.
From there, however, the Lions seized control, responding on the ensuing possession with a 41-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Titus Young en route to 45 unanswered points and a 45-10 win over the Broncos.
“I can speak for the whole team. I think we basically just got whipped,” Head Coach John Fox said. “We got outcoached and outplayed and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
At first glance, it appeared to be a perfect start for Denver.
Behind solid gains on the ground from both
On second down from the Detroit 21-yard line, Tebow lofted a pass to the back of the end zone for Decker, who seemed to haul in a reception that would have given the Broncos a 7-0 advantage. But Decker was ruled out of bounds -- a ruling that was confirmed after Fox challenged the call.
Tebow’s third-down pass then fell incomplete and
“We had a good first drive,” Tebow said, “but we’ve got to sustain that throughout the first half.”
The Broncos couldn’t and the early lead was short-lived.
Six plays later, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford found Young all alone in the end zone, giving the Lions a lead they never relinquished.
Jason Hanson converted a 50-yard field goal to extend the Lions’ lead to 10-3 at the start of the second quarter and after the Broncos failed to answer with back-to-back three-and-outs, Detroit tight end Tony Scheffler sparked another Detroit scoring drive.
On third-and-goal, Stafford found Scheffler again for the score and a 17-3 lead.
A Maurice Morris rushing touchdown pushed the Detroit advantage to 24-3 at halftime and at the start of the third quarter the Lions defense got to Tebow for the game’s first turnover.
Cliff Avril knocked the ball free from Tebow as he was getting set to throw, forcing a fumble that he then recovered himself and took to the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown.
Later in the third, Lions wideout Calvin Johnson caught a deep pass down the sideline and broke free of cornerback
“It was just one of those games where one thing went bad and then another. After that it all snowballed on us,” linebacker
The Broncos put themselves in a position to score with a substantial drive at the start of the fourth quarter, but on third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Tebow’s pass intended for Decker was intercepted by Chris Houston and returned 100 yards the other way for another Lions touchdown.
Tebow -- who finished 18-of-39 passing for 172 yards -- found Decker for a 14-yard score on the next drive, but by then the contest was out of reach.
“We feel like we’re a better football team than that,” Bailey said. “The only way you prove it is by playing better.”
“It can turn around,” he added, “but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”