Start with the offense:
"They did something they didn't show," coach Jim Schwartz said of the Chiefs' defense. "We expected two things: that they would play the way they did in the preseason and in Week 1, or, they would play a lot of Cover-2 like we saw in Tampa. They chose C."
The Chiefs loaded the box to stop the run and they kept extra protection over the top to keep receiver Calvin Johnson from beating them deep. Mission accomplished. Johnson had three catches (though two went for scores) and the Lions had just 89 yards rushing.
Yet, the Lions still managed six offensive touchdowns in their 48-3 win. They went to more three-receiver sets and utilized running back Jahvid Best more in the passing game.
The result: Nate Burleson had 93 yards receiving, Titus Young had 89, Best had 66 and tight end Tony Scheffler caught a 36-yard touchdown.
"Scheffler's catch was directly related to the attention Calvin got on the other side," Schwartz said. "It's easier when you are built for a lot of situations. No matter how somebody tries to play you, there are consequences."
Defensively, the Lions knew the Chiefs wanted to run the football, and they did run the football. But they ran it out of different looks. They suckered the Lions' aggressive defensive line with trap blocks and misdirection, then ran the ball at their exposed flanks.
"They were pulling different [blockers], trying to do different things to get to the edge, running reverses, not typical plays and things you see that often," said defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. "It was stuff we didn't get a chance to work on during the week and didn't really expect."
The Chiefs rolled up 65 yards on the ground in their first series. Dexter McCluster rambled 24 yards on a reverse. Both Vanden Bosch and outside linebacker DeAndre Levy appeared to bite on the fake. Jamaal Charles bolted off left tackle – Ndamukong Suh was trapped – for another 24-yard gain.
Charles, though, wound up sustaining a season-ending knee injury just a few plays later and the Chiefs settled for a field goal. By the time the Lions' defense got back on the field, adjustments were made.
"We didn't really change our game plan," Schwartz said. "We went to some different calls within the game plan because of their perimeter runs. Their plan was not to try us in the middle. Their plan was to try us on the outside. We strengthened our outside and were able to hold up on the inside.
"It was all in the game plan, just a different item on the menu."
After gaining 65 yards in the first series, the Chiefs managed just 68 yards rushing the rest of the game. The Lions forced the Chiefs to play one-dimensional, pass only, offense. It was game over pretty much from that point on.
"That team threw just about everything at us yesterday," Vanden Bosch said. "Teams are trying to find new ways to attack us and it doesn't seem to work."