DENVER – The road hasn't been kind to the Detroit Lions this season, and that continued Sunday in their regular-season road finale in Denver.
Detroit jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but as we've seen all too often this season, the Lions couldn't hold the advantage, and ultimately fell to the Broncos, 27-17, at Empower Field at Mile High.
The Lions end the road portion of their schedule 1-6-1 for the year, with their only win in Philadelphia Week 3 and then a tie against the Cardinals in the regular season opener in Arizona.
Detroit falls to 3-11-1 on the year with their eight consecutive defeat.
The Lions jumped out to a double-digit lead thanks to an 11-play, 68-yard opening drive capped off by a 26-yard Matt Prater field goal, and then a 64-yard Jamal Agnew punt-return touchdown early in the second quarter.
The Broncos responded with 10 points to end the half, and took their first lead, 13-10, with a field goal early in the third period.
Detroit retook the lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback David Blough to wide receiver Kenny Golladay with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. It was Golladay's league-leading 11th touchdown reception of the season.
That lead was short lived, however, as the Broncos went 75 yards on 11 plays on their next possession and took the lead for good on a 3-yard touchdown pass of their own from quarterback Drew Lock to wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton. Denver would add another late touchdown on running back Phillip Lindsay's 27-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to put the game away.
QB comparison: It was the battle of rookie quarterbacks in this one.
Lock, a second-round pick by Denver, completed 25 of his 33 pass attempts for 192 yards with a touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 99.6.
Blough, an undrafted free agent out of Purdue, was 12-of-24 passing for 117 yards with a touchdown, no interceptions and a 78.0 passer rating.
Johnson return: Running back Kerryon Johnson rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries in his first game back since injuring his right knee Week 7 against Minnesota. He was Detroit's leading rusher in the contest.
View photos from the Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos Week 16 game at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 in Denver.
Promising trend: Golladay continues to be one of the nice storylines for the Lions in an otherwise disappointing season.
He caught his third touchdown in his last four games and increased his league-leading total to 11 on the year.
Golladay caught six passes against the Broncos for 66 yards and that score, bringing his season totals to 62 receptions for 1,118 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Worrisome trend: For a third straight week, the Lions' offense under Blough struggled to move the football with any consistency and score points.
The Lions recorded less than 100 yards of offense in the first half for a second consecutive game, and finished a third in a row with under 300 yards of total offense.
Detroit managed just 97 yards of offense in the first half and 68 of those came on the first drive of the game. The Lions finished with just 191 total yards of offense for the game.
Injuries to quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., tight end T.J. Hockenson and others on offense have taken their toll.
Injury report: Rookie linebacker Jahlani Tavai left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury and did not return.
It's unclear if it's the same shoulder injury that ended Tavai's college career at Hawaii prematurely last year and prevented him from taking part in some pre-draft workouts.
He had three tackles at the time of the injury.
Next week: vs. Green Bay