Lions start rolling in the first half at Denver

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 30, 2011 – 5:47 pm

After disjointed offensive performances the last two weeks, the Detroit Lions came out rolling against at Denver.

Trailing 3-0 after the Broncos’ opening drive, quarterback Matthew Stafford led the Lions 80 yards in six plays for the team’s first touchdown of the game. Though the Lions wouldn’t score for the rest of the quarter, Stafford finished 7-of-7 for 83 yards with the touchdown for a perfect 155.7 quarterback rating.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions bore down and didn’t allow a Denver first down in the second quarter. In the meantime, Stafford and the offense continued to produce to build a 24-3 halftime lead.

Notable first-half stats:

  • The Lions finished with 274 total yards compared with Denver’s 96.
  • The Lions did not commit a single penalty in the first half.
  • Detroit finished the first half with 92 rushing yards (Maurice Morris led the team with 44 yards on 10 carries with 1 TD).

Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »

Stafford will start at Denver; Morris will start at RB

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 30, 2011 – 2:21 pm

The Detroit Lions have confirmed that QB Matthew Stafford will start for the Lions at Denver this afternoon.

RB Maurice Morris will start in place of RB Jahvid Best.

Full list of Detroit Lions inactives:

  • QB Drew Stanton
  • CB Don Carey
  • S Chris Harris
  • RB Jahvid Best
  • T Jason Fox
  • WR Rashied Davis
  • DT Nick Fairley

Full list of Denver Broncos inactives:

  • QB Brady Quinn
  • RB Willis McGahee
  • S Rafael Bush
  • FB Quinn Johnson
  • G Manny Ramirez
  • T Tony Hills
  • DE Derrick Harvey

S Quinton Carter will start in place of S Rahim Moore and RB Knowshon Moreno will start in place of RB Willis McGahee.

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Posted in Blog | 4 Comments »

Calvin Johnson on the offense, red zone woes and snow in Denver

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 26, 2011 – 4:23 pm

“It was a tough practice today because everybody’s sore. I’m sore. It was slow at first, but it definitely picked up in the end, though. So that was good. It turned to be a really good practice.

“As an offense, we’re just trying to get our mojo back. Guys are still into it. I can’t say exactly why we haven’t been clicking the way we were early in the season – in the preseason and stuff. We just have to get back to being us. Having fun out there. It’s been a little different in the huddle. We used to be fooling around out there all the time. We’ve got to get back to that – having fun out there.

“One factor is that we have gone against some good coordinators – some guys that have some good schemes and then have players on top of that to play out those schemes. That’s tough. Everybody has a job to do on both sides of the ball. Those guys get paid, too, but I feel when we’re on our stuff and we’re doing what we have to do then we’re always going to win.

“As far as me getting the ball in the red zone … these coordinators, these teams, they’re playing more disciplined. There’s not a lot of man in the red zone. You’re going to see brackets, you’re going to see a safety over the top most of the time, but that’s not to say you can’t beat that. We definitely can. We just need to get back to what we’re capable of.

“I was looking at the weather report on my phone and see that it’s snowing in Denver. I looked at it further in the week and it’s supposed to be like 50 on Saturday. So it’ll probably all melt, if not today then tomorrow. We’ll be fine. It might be a little chilly on Sunday, but that’s fine as long as it’s not freezing cold like Green Bay.”

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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 27 Comments »

Suh: “My mentality is to never disrespect the game or disrespect the guys that have come before me.”

Posted by Tara Altman on October 26, 2011 – 4:20 pm

“It was a good game. Obviously, we didn’t come out on the right end of the stick, but I think we learned a lot of good things. It’s a matter of us continuing to learn from these mistakes that we’ve made, that have caused us to not come out on the right end of these games. Now, we have an opportunity to move past it, as I felt we did on Monday, and now we’re getting focused on taking care of the business on the road again as we play Denver this Sunday.

“With a win, you need to approach it like a loss, it’s maybe a little more in depth with an (actual) loss because you didn’t come out on the right end of it, but you need to have the 36 hour rule. Live and learn from it and move on because there’s nothing you can do with that game anymore except to learn from your mistakes and not let it happen again. I think that’s the biggest thing you need to do and I think we’ve done that as a team. I think we came out today with a great practice, and obviously we need to finish strong going into this bye week.

“Tim Tebow is a quarterback that’s been in a lot of big games. He just got his first start of this year, but he’s definitely played a good amount in that offense, he played a good amount last year, and now at this point in time in his career he’s getting the opportunity to take that team by the ropes and really make the most out of it. I think he did that last week, bringing the team back in Miami and now he’s able to get home and maybe feel a little more comfortable with his fans behind him and so forth.

“Ultimately, us as a defense and as a front four, we want to go in and cause havoc and we feel that if we shut down the run as we want to do every single game, making them one-dimensional, they’ll have a tough time beating us because we feel we have the type of players that can keep them on their heels and force them to play the way we want them to and if that happens we should definitely come out with a win.

“My character and mindset when approaching the game of football, a sport that I love and have grown to love, my mentality is to never disrespect the game or disrespect the guys that have come before me. I only want to live up to the things that they’ve done in the past and try to exceed them and I think that’s what they would expect and hope for. That’s my mindset and approach to the game.

“With that, really being in everything, with the team that I’m on, the type of players that I’m around, I play for them and the coaches and the true fans that we have that stick by us no matter what, that don’t waiver because we may have had two stumbles. I think this team is continuing to really grow and I think we’re only going to get better. I think these two losses at home are only going to allow us to get stronger. We don’t want to allow that to ever happen again at home for the rest of the regular season and hopefully moving forward into the playoffs.”

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Posted in Ndamukong Suh Blog | 17 Comments »

Suh vehemently refutes rumors thrown by White, McClure

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 24, 2011 – 5:07 pm

Earlier today, Cliff Avril addressed the accusations thrown at he and Ndamukong Suh that they taunted Falcons’ Matt Ryan while he was on the ground with an ankle injury.

Now, Suh is responding.

In a locker room interview with the Lions’ media, Suh vehemently refuted the rumors thrown by Atlanta’s Roddy White and Todd McClure via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution column by Jeff Schultz.

Watch the interview in its entirety:

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Posted in Blog | 9 Comments »

Morris will start for Lions; Julio Jones inactive for Falcons

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 23, 2011 – 11:41 am

As expected, RB Maurice Morris will get the start for the Lions with RB Jahvid Best inactive due to a concussion suffered last week.

For the Falcons, WR Julio Jones will not play.

Full Detroit Lions inactives:

  • QB Drew Stanton
  • S Vincent Fuller
  • TE Joe Jon Finley
  • RB Jahvid Best
  • T Jason Fox
  • DE Willie Young
  • WR Rashied Davis

Full Atlanta Falcons inactives:

  • WR Julio Jones
  • CB Chris Owens
  • CB Darrin Walls
  • C Brett Romberg
  • T Sam Baker
  • DT Carlton Powell
  • DE Cliff Matthews

Posted in Blog | 3 Comments »

Ford Field earning a reputation

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 20, 2011 – 4:58 pm

The way the crowd volume is tangibly effecting opponents is making it’s way around the NFL.

Jay Adams of the Atlanta Falcons reported on Twitter that, “Falcons practicing with sound system at 124 decibels. Average NFL crowd registers at 108.”

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk commented on the Twitter post: “Two weeks ago the Bears were flagged for nine false starts when they played the Lions at Ford Field, leading coach Jim Schwartz to set aside a game ball awarded to the raucous Detroit crowd. Last week the 49ers dealt with the crowd noise slightly better — but still had five false starts and wasted two timeouts trying to get plays called.

“The crowd in Detroit, if you hadn’t noticed, is loud.”

Read the full story on Pro Football Talk

Posted in Blog | 18 Comments »

Suh: “I think this obviously put a bad taste in our mouth.”

Posted by Tara Altman on October 19, 2011 – 4:35 pm

“It was definitely not an easy task to deal with that loss, especially with the type of success that we’ve had, and not losing since last December; but that’s something that’s good. I’m not saying we’re glad to have this taste in our mouth, but maybe it’s a good thing to have this now, you’d rather have it now then anytime during the playoffs.

“We’ve had some close calls, we’ve obviously come back from some tough downs during games, and it was just that we couldn’t overcome the mistakes that we made. Not to take any credit away from San Francisco and the way that they played, because they did play pretty well, but we made a lot of mistakes that they ended up capitalizing on and I think that’s one of the reasons that they won.

“I think this team has a want to, to win. With the maturity and the drive that everybody has in that locker room, if we would have ended up at 16-0 or 24-0, whatever it may be, we still would have had that same drive. I think this obviously put a bad taste in our mouth that we don’t like and we’re going to do everything in our power, and the way that we came out in practice today, that we don’t ever want to have this taste again throughout the rest of the season. If we do it’s going to have to be a fluke, that we didn’t give that game away or make a ton of mistakes to lose the game.

“I think we play pretty solid defense over all, but it’s a matter sometimes that for whatever reason we make a mistake here and there and we let out a big play. That’s where we really have struggled and I think earlier in the games what we’ve done is we’ve allowed a big play that has gotten us to, or allowed that team to get down to the 20- or 30-yard line and we’ve held them to a field goal. As of late, primarily this last game, we’ve let out big plays and gotten them down to the 2-yard line or the 5-yard line and we’ve ended up not holding them to a field goal and allowing them a touchdown, which is not like us. We need to get back to our old form in holding teams to field goals and really holding them out of field goal range like we’ve done in the past.

“Atlanta has a very powerful offense. I think they’re very well balanced from receivers, to running backs, to their offensive line, to their fullbacks – they’re a very balanced offense and have a great quarterback at that, one that can manage the game really well and that’s what they expect from him. It’s a team that definitely poses a big challenge for us in all phases, not just in the running game, but as well in the passing game with them having a well-schooled quarterback who has played in tough games and in tough situations. It’s exciting, it will be a lot of fun. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on the football field and having the opportunity to go out there and win.”

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Posted in Ndamukong Suh Blog | 15 Comments »

Johnson: ‘(Losing) is a sickening feeling. Especially after what we’ve come to experience this season.’

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 19, 2011 – 3:38 pm

“It had been awhile since we lost. Kind of forget how it feels to lose, but it’s definitely a feeling that you don’t want – I’ll put it like that. We’ve got to do everything we can to just do our job on the field so that it doesn’t happen again. Nobody wants to have that feeling. It’s a sickening feeling. Especially after what we’ve come to experience this season. It’s a drop-off for us, but it’s still early.

“San Francisco is disciplined – I have to say. Especially in the red zone. They’re very disciplined in their secondary. I could see that from watching film of them being in their spots where they’re supposed to be at. They didn’t give me any one-on-one down there so we could put the ball up or anything like that. They did a good job. I have to give them credit for that.

“It’s to that point in the year that, when a team does something successful to stop somebody that’s making plays, somebody else is going to do it too. But at the same time, these coordinators like to stick to what they do. Some of them are are set in their ways and really don’t change much. But at the same time, there are those who are going to do whatever it takes to win. If that means copying somebody else’s play, that’s what they’re going to do.

“I felt I did my job, from watching the film. That’s all I can do every Sunday. I feel I did my job the best I could. Whether I’m getting balls or not – even if it’s through blocking – I have to do my job in all aspects of the game. I felt I did that.

“This week it’ll be another good challenge. Atlanta’s not exactly like San Fran, but definitely a good challenge like San Fran was. We’ve just got to be fundamentally sound, be sharp in our techniques. If everybody can just do their job we’ll be alright.”

Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 38 Comments »

Lions fall short, 25-19, to 49ers

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on October 16, 2011 – 2:51 pm

After getting off to a slow start in the first half for both teams, the 49ers ultimately came away with the 25-19 win.

The Lions were able to get something going, but it wasn’t enough as San Francisco came back in the fourth quarter to seal the game with a QB Alex Smith 6-yard touchdown pass to TE Delanie Walker with 1:51 on the clock, followed by a K David Akers 37-yard field goal with :14 seconds left in the game.

Against one of the top ranked defenses, Quarterback Matthew Stafford finished connecting on 28 of 50 passes for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns (16 yards to TE Brandon Pettigrew and 5 yards to WR Nate Burleson).

Stafford’s favorite target WR Calvin Johnson finished the game with 7 catches for 113 yards, marking his third 100+-yard game of the season.

RB Jahvid Best finished the day with 110 all-purpose yards (37 rushing, 73 receiving).

Defensively, the Lions were able to keep pressure on Smith all day, forcing 2.0 sacks, including a sack-fumble from DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, and an interception. The 49ers finished with five false starts.

Posted in Blog | 40 Comments »