The Lions opened up with a nice broken tackle gain by Amon-Ra St. Brown for 19 yards, but two plays later they were faced with a third and six where Goff would miss a pass outside that likely would have been well short of the sticks anyway to bring out the punt unit. Despite rushing for 115 or more yards in six straight games, the Lions came out with five straight passes and a punt to start the game.
Russell Wilson immediately found Jerry Jeudy streaking across the middle of the field where Jeudy would break a few ankles on his way to a 40 yard gain to open the game up.
Marvin Mims then ran and end around for a gain down to the Lions 20 yard line. Disaster struck after that with Russell Wilson having the ball stripped and scooped by a defensive lineman who returned it all the way down to the Broncos 37 yard line.
Fortunately for Denver, the Broncos defense forced a quick three and out culminating with a D.J. Jones sack on Jared Goff to put the Lions out of field goal range to keep the game scoreless in the first quarter.
After forcing the Broncos into a three-and-out, the Lions finally decided that maybe running the ball against a suspect Broncos run defense would be a good idea. Jahmyr Gibbs opened up with an eight yard gain, but a holding call on Graham Glasgow brought back a big run on second down to bring a second and 12 instead.
Goff would wind a wide receiver wide open in the middle of the field after having a ton of time in the pocket. The 14-yard gain would give Detroit a first down at their own 39-yard line. After another first down pass across midfield, the Lions drive began to stall. Faced with a third and 10, Goff went deep but overthrew an open wide receiver to end the drive.
A nice punt pinned the Broncos at their own 16-yard line. Back to back runs by Javonte Williams picked up five total yards. Then on third and five, Mike McGlinchey picked up a pretty flagrant false start penalty. Wilson would scrambled around on third and 10 and found an open Courtland Sutton for a 22 yard gain and a big first down.
Then after back to back runs for six yards set the Broncos up with another third down near midfield. Wilson fired a pass to Adam Trautman past the first down marker, but he had the ball jarred loose to end the drive.
The Lions streaked out to midfield to close out the first quarter.