Lions win first game under Marinelli, beat former coachOct 15, 2006 - 8:48 PM DETROIT (Ticker) -- The frustration is over for coach Rod Marinelli.
Jon Kitna threw for a touchdown and Kevin Jones ran for a score as the Detroit Lions jumped out to an early lead and held off the Buffalo Bills, 20-17, to give Marinelli his first career win.
Marinelli's elusive first triumph looked like it may never come.
"Five of these six games have gone down to the wire and now this one is such a big one for us," Marinelli said. "Come down at the end and find a way to win a game."
Marinelli nearly earned his first win last week, but watched the Lions (1-5) squander a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a 26-17 loss at Minnesota.
"He knew this was coming, and I'm sure he wishes it was five weeks ago, but the first one is always special," Kitna said of his coach.
Ironically, Marinelli's first win came at the expense of Dick Jauron, who was 1-4 as Lions interim coach last season before being hired by Buffalo.
"No doubt it was a disappointing loss," Jauron said. "We're just not consistent enough anywhere on offense or defense."
Kitna completed 24-of-36 passes for 278 yards with an interception . He threw a 28-yard scoring strike to Roy Williams late in the second quarter, giving the Lions a 17-7 lead.
Williams caught 10 passes for a career-best 161 yards despite a sore neck.
"Roy misses two days of practice, shows up today and can barely move his neck, then goes out there and has a great game," Kitna said. "That's what superstars do."
Jones rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries, including a seven-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.
"We got the monkey off our back with the yards and the win," Jones said. "We mainly needed the win, so that's what I'm happy about the win."
J.P. Losman completed 21-of-34 passes for 207 yards and two scores with an interception for Buffalo (2-4). He was sacked five times.
"We knew Willis (McGahee) was the key, because if you can take away the run, you can just get after the quarterback," said Lions defensive end James Hall, who had a career-best 3 1/2 sacks.
McGahee had 66 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Losman hooked up with Roscoe Parrish on a 44-yard TD pass early in the second quarter. The third-year quarterback later hit tight end Ryan Neufeld with a four-yard scoring pass midway through the final period to pull Buffalo within 20-17.
"You have to give them credit for what they did," Losman said of the previously winless Lions. "Nothing is easy. We had a chance there to pull it out in the end, but we didn't come through."
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