Lions Break 6-Game Losing Streak

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- It was an ugly game, perhaps fittingly for two teams that combined for a 13-game losing streak.
The Detroit Lions, though, are not in the position to get picky.
T.J. Duckett ran for a season-high 102 yards and a touchdown, helping Detroit hold on for a 25-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and snap a six-game losing streak.
Detroit had a 19-point lead in the first half, but the victory wasn't sealed until Chiefs receiver Samie Parker went down on his own at the Lions 30 after getting a lateral with no time left.
"A win like this, you've got to take it," Lions center Dominic Raiola said. "But it wasn't pretty."
The Lions (7-8) surpassed the most victories they've had in seven seasons under team president Matt Millen. Detroit also guaranteed it won't be the first NFL team to finish 6-10 after winning six of its first eight games.
"We missed out on a lot of opportunities," defensive tackle Cory Redding said. "But the one thing we said we were going to do is fight. Seven wins is four more than we had last year, but it's not good enough."
Kansas City (4-11) has dropped eight straight, the franchise's worst skid since losing nine in a row in 1987.
The latest loss followed a 26-17 setback at home to Tennessee after giving up the final 13 points.
"We've had some opportunities," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "We've had them every week, but we just can't get it done."
The Chiefs made Sunday's game relatively interesting after it looked as though they were going to be routed.
Detroit led 19-0 early in the second quarter before Kansas City suddenly showed a pulse when quarterback Brodie Croyle was injured and replaced by Damon Huard.
Playing for the first time since Week 11, Huard efficiently led 80- and 77-yard drives toward the end of the first half to pull the Chiefs within five points.
Huard's 34-yard pass -- on a rope -- to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone converted a fourth down and made it 22-20 early in the fourth. It snapped a six-game scoreless streak in the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion failed.
Then, the Lions struggled to put Kansas City away.
After Jason Hanson kicked his third field goal with 43 seconds left, the Chiefs got the ball back one more time with a chance to score a go-ahead TD.
Kansas City's final drive started at its 17 with 39 seconds left, and Parker ended any chance for a remarkable game-ending play by going to the turf with no time on the clock.
"It's tough when you battle back like we did and to get as close as we did, and then to come up short there in the fourth quarter," Huard said. "It's very frustrating."
The Chiefs' misery started back at home, where a winter storm delayed their flight by several hours.
Once in Detroit, Kansas City shook up its halftime routine hoping to reverse its poor play in second halves.
"The players said, `Hey, Coach, we want to stay out,"' Edwards recalled. "I said, `Just like high school, we'll go and use the bathroom and then as soon as we're done, we'll go back out. That's what we did. We gave up three points and got back into the game and made it competitive."
The Chiefs had 25 first downs, more than doubling Detroit's total, and outgained the Lions 407-236.
But the difference proved to be a safety Detroit scored off Casey FitzSimmons' blocked punt and linebacker Paris Lenon's 61-yard TD off Croyle's interception on a play that knocked him out of the game with an injured right hand.
"It's not broken," Edwards said.
Duckett filled in well for Kevin Jones after he was sidelined with a right knee injury late in the first half, adding to the injury woes that have plagued his career.
"It's pretty serious," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said.
Detroit's Jon Kitna threw just 16 passes for 115 yards and an interception.
Huard was 24-of-36 for 305 yards and two TDs, including one to defensive end Jared Allen, who lined up as a tight end and scored for the second time this season.
Tony Gonzalez had 10 receptions for 137 yards, giving him 23 100-yard games in his career to trail only Kellen Winslow's total of 24 among tight ends in NFL history.


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