On Thursday night, numerous Detroit Lions players, coaches, and fans had an unforgettable evening. Securing a victory against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium marked another significant milestone on the franchise’s path to recognition. While Lions supporters filled Arrowhead Stadium and reveled throughout the night, and players celebrated enthusiastically in the locker room, there was no one who savored the evening more than the general manager, Brad Holmes.
A video shared by a local news station, WXYZ, captured Holmes enthusiastically celebrating with lingering Lions fans at the stadium after the game. While some might criticize an NFL general manager for such exuberance following a regular-season win, Holmes has every reason to revel a bit. He dedicated decades to building up the roster of the Los Angeles Rams, only to witness them win a Super Bowl the year after he departed for Detroit.
Thursday night once again demonstrated that Holmes is on the right track. The standout performers for Detroit—Aidan Hutchinson, Brian Branch, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jared Goff—all were either draft picks or acquisitions that he passionately advocated for. Despite facing criticism for his 2023 NFL Draft selections during the offseason, Holmes received significant contributions from all four of his top picks this year. Jahmyr Gibbs accumulated 60 yards from scrimmage, Jack Campbell executed a brilliant pass breakup and made a couple of tackles. Sam LaPorta caught all five of his targets for 39 yards, while Branch made the game-changing interception return for a touchdown.
Historically, the Chiefs had never suffered defeat in a season opener with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid at the helm. Likewise, the Lions had yet to secure a victory in this scenario under the leadership of Dan Campbell and Holmes. On the evening when the Chiefs unveiled their Super Bowl banner, the Lions unveiled their aspirations.
They surged ahead, fell behind, and even equalized the score through a rookie’s interception return for a touchdown. Falling behind once more, they persevered and ultimately clinched victory with a series of pivotal plays contributed by the entire roster. Trailing 20-14 in the fourth quarter, the Lions methodically strung together crucial snaps, including tackles, blocks, and pivotal conversions. When they reclaimed the lead with a determined drive with seven minutes remaining, they refused to relinquish it.
After the game, General Manager Brad Holmes effusively praised the team’s performance on the field, emphasizing it as a complete team victory. He commended the synergy of special teams, defense, and offense, highlighting their ability to shine when it mattered most.