Denver at Detroit

Lions maul Broncos, nearly hand Denver first shutout defeat since '92 wire reports

DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions had confidence in themselves back in training camp, when Jon Kitna boldly declared he would be disappointed with anything short of 10 wins.

They're not alone now because people outside their locker room are believing in them, too.

Kitna threw two touchdown passes and the 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 legitimate contenders 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 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 2½ 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 2½ 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.


  • 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.
  • White (left arm) was injured on his score.
  • Broncos free safety John Lynch was inactive with a pinched nerve in his neck.
  • Denver cornerback Champ Bailey played against his brother, Boss, for the first time.
  • Hanson became the 11th player in NFL history to score 1,600 points, moving past ex-Lion Eddie Murray on the career scoring list.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Cory Redding and Shaun Rogers celebrate one of the Lions' five sacks of Denver quarterbacks.
Cory Redding and Shaun Rogers celebrate one of the Lions' five sacks of Denver quarterbacks. (AP)


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Sun. Nov. 4Final
Scoring Summary
FGJason Hanson 43 Yd, 7:06. Drive: 12 plays, 65 yards in 5:51.
FGJason Hanson 53 Yd, 14:09. Drive: 10 plays, 26 yards in 4:18.
TDMike Furrey, 15 Yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good), 4:59. Drive: 12 plays, 83 yards in 6:15.
FGJason Hanson 38 Yd, 0:35. Drive: 10 plays, 60 yards in 2:20.
TDDewayne White, 3 Yd fumble return (Jason Hanson kick is good), 11:07.
TDShaun McDonald, 49 Yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good), 6:35. Drive: 2 plays, 95 yards in 0:59.
TDShaun Rogers, 66 Yd interception return (Jason Hanson kick is good), 8:03.
TDT.J. Duckett, 3 Yd run (Jason Hanson kick is good), 5:15. Drive: 4 plays, 34 yards in 2:37.
TDBrandon Stokley, 2 Yd pass from Patrick Ramsey (Jason Elam kick is good), 2:31. Drive: 9 plays, 60 yards in 2:44.
Players of the Game

J. Kitna
Att 31
Comp 16
Yds 252
TD 2

P. Ramsey
Att 46
Comp 29
Yds 262
TD 1
P. Ramsey29/4626211
J. Cutler3/42000
T. Henry931022
S. Young61206
P. Ramsey1404
B. Marshall996016
T. Scheffler646015
D. Graham342021
B. Stokley432118
G. Martinez327012
S. Young21509
T. Henry21307
B. Clark2905
C. Sapp1202
J. Kitna16/3125220
K. Jones1771012
T. Duckett548122
A. Cason2805
S. McDonald1606
J. Kitna1505
J. Bradley1101
J. O'Sullivan1-10-1
R. Williams1-80-8
S. McDonald578149
C. Johnson347020
S. McHugh146046
R. Williams344021
M. Furrey332115
K. Jones1505
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
BAL 7 Final
PIT 38
DAL 38 Final
PHI 17
HOU 24 Final
OAK 17
NE 24 Final
IND 20
SEA 30 Final
CLE 33
CAR 7 Final
TEN 20
ARI 10 Final
TB 17
WAS 23 Final
NYJ 20
JAC 24 Final
NO 41
SD 17 Final
MIN 35
GB 33 Final
KC 22
CIN 21 Final
BUF 33
SF 16 Final
ATL 20