Monday, November 06, 2006

Victory Number 2 Can a Vegas win for the overs be far off?

DETROIT LIONS VS. ATLANTA FALCONS: POSTGAME NOTES AND QUOTES


LIONS OFFENSE

The Lions offense completed the statistical trifecta for outstanding performances in today's 30-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons. QB Jon Kitna threw for a 300 yard game (321 yards), RB Kevin Jones garnered a 100-yard rushing game (110 yards) and WR Roy Williams recorded a 100-yard receiving game (138 yards). The last time the Lions had a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver was October 14, 2001 at Minnesota with QB Charlie Batch (345 yards), RB James Stewart (108 yards) and WR Germane Crowell (145 yards). The trio came close to achieving the feat twice this season, once against Green Bay and again against Buffalo. Kitna threw for 342 yards against Green Bay and Roy Williams turned in over 100 yards but Jones couldn't crack the century mark. Jones and Williams both surpassed 100 yards against the Bills but Kitna came up just short with 278 yards.
The Lions offense accumulated 435 total net yards, which is the highest single-game tally on the season and the second game of over 400 yards in 2006.
Jones ended today's game with 110 rushing yards, which was his second 100-yard rushing game of the season (6th of career).
He recorded the third multiple rushing touchdown game of his career. He ran in a pair of scores against Baltimore (October 9, 2005) and St. Louis (October 1, 2006).
For the second time this season, Jones rushed 35 yards into the endzone. The first quarter run gave the Lions an early 10-0 lead. Jones' other 35-yard score game came on October 1, 2006 against St. Louis. Both runs account for career-long rushing touchdowns and tie for the seventh-longest rush of his career.
On his second touchdown drive of the day, Jones tied career season highs in touchdowns (six) and rushing touchdowns (five). Jones had five rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons while adding a receiving touchdown to his totals during his rookie campaign in 2004.
Williams established a new career long reception on his 60-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter the put the Lions ahead 27-14. His previous high was 51 yards against Chicago (September 18, 2005). The Lions third touchdown of the day, a 60-yard toss from Kitna to Williams, was the team's longest completed pass of the season.
Williams scored a touchdown in his third-straight game, setting a new career high. Williams made one touchdown reception against Buffalo (October 15, 2006) and at the New York Jets (October 22, 2006) before extending the string today against the Falcons.
Williams recorded the eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career, moving him into a tie for sixth place among Lions receivers. Leonard Thompson also had eight 100-yard games for Detroit from 1975-86. Herman Moore is the Lions all-time leader with 35 games at 100-plus yards receiving from 1991-2001.
Kitna's 321 yards in today's win vs. Atlanta was the second 300-yard passing game for the season and the seventh of his career.
On the season, Kitna has 2,174 yards on 187-of-296 attempts and 10 touchdown passes. His completion percentage is 63.2 percent. Comparing Kitna to QB Scott Mitchell's record breaking 1995 season, Mitchell had 2,036 yards on 176-of-299 attempts through eight games. Kitna is on pace to throw for 4,348 yards, complete 374 passes and record 592 attmepts. In '95 Mitchell ended the season setting records with 4,338 yards, 583 attempts and 346 completions.
The first of WR Mike Furrey's two receptions on the Lions opening drive was the longest catch of his career. The 26-yard grab edged out his previous best of 25 yards against Green Bay (September 26, 2006).
TE Casey FitzSimmons caught his first pass of the season, an 18-yard grab in the first quarter. He caught his second pass in the third quarter, marking his first multi-catch game since October 23, 2005 against Cleveland. The two catches combined for 35 yards, setting a new career high for yards in game by FitzSimmons. His previous high came during his rookie campaign when he caught five passes for 33 yards against Chicago (November 9, 2003).
TE Sean McHugh recorded his first career reception in the third quarter. The 7 yard catch took the Lions into Atlanta territory.
LIONS DEFENSE

LB Teddy Lehman returns to the Lions lineup for the first time since October 30, 2005 against the Chicago Bears. Lehman had spent the first eight weeks of the 2006 season on the Reserve/Physically Unable To Perform List.
LB Ernie Sims recorded his first career fumble recovery in the first quarter. Sims pounced on a free ball at the Atlanta 42-yard line after Falcons' QB Michael Vick dropped the football.
CB Dré Bly intercepted his first pass of the 2006 season, corralling a pass at the Atlanta 10-yard line. Bly returned the ball eight yards to set up the ensuing Lions scoring drive.
S Daniel Bullocks registered his first career sack in the second quarter. Bullocks hauled Falcons QB Michael Vick on the Atlanta 11-yard line for a nine-yard loss.
S Kenoy Kennedy ended the game with his first interception of the year. Kennedy returned to the Lions line-up after missing the last five games with a foot injury. The Lions safety picked off a pass in the endzone as time expired. The interception was his first since October 16, 2005 against Carolina.
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "Injury-wise I think we just might have had one guy - Blaine Saipaia - but, we've just got to wait and see on him. Other than that I think we came out clean, pretty healthy and the best thing about this game was that it was a team effort, something you're always striving to get. What I was pleased with was the defense front - we went out with six guys and pulled up a couple of guys off the practice squad - Cleveland Pinkney and a couple of these guys rose up and just played sound football. (They) just did what they're coached to do. They played the system, hustled and were very conscious of keeping this guy inside and inside the shoot. They were physical in the zone and I thought the linebackers - it was just team - there was no one person.

"Our offense was tremendous. I thought, Mike (Martz) called a great game and they executed. Those offensive people did a heck of a job of execution. The running game was big. I think the addition of a couple of those guys up front really helped us. The best thing I think, what I want, what I'm looking for, is just in the fourth quarter (and) all through the game just play one snap at a time. Not looking ahead, not looking behind and finishing the job. That part, the toughness I saw, is just something we got to build on because once you think you have it - you don't, you don't - you lose it in a second. So, we got to go back to work next week and continue to handle the fundamentals and see if we can keep improving this football team."

On if the fact that they didn't give up a first down in the first 18 minutes of the second half is part of finishing the game: "You know what it is? It's playing each snap. It's just playing each snap (and) playing as hard as you can. Get a bunch of guys that really like to play football and want to do it the way we want it and the second and third efforts were really good. The thing we talked about all week up front and the linebackers - when you're chasing this guy the first guy, the second guy and the third guy are probably going to miss. It's going to be the fourth guy to run him out of bounds or get him down or stay alive. They ran out of gas on that two minute drive at the end, they were pooped."

On WR Roy Williams being an efficient player: "Oh, yeah - no question. The last play he made, the last catch, that's what I'm talking about. All the other ones don't mean as much to me - I mean obviously they're toward the winning - but, it's about guys doing things under duress at that moment, to play one snap at a time and to compete and make plays at that moment. That's when you start to separate talent and production. (There are) a lot of talented guys in this league, but it's the production at critical times and guys keep pounding at that - and so is Kevin (Jones). We got some real talented players offensively. That's a very good offensive football team and I'm excited about it."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

POST GAME NOTES FROM LIONS MEDIA ROOM

DETROIT LIONS VS. BUFFALO BILLS: POSTGAME NOTES AND QUOTES

POSTGAME NOTES

  • WR Roy Williams caught 10 passes for 161 yards, both single-game career highs, and scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from QB Jon Kitna in the Lions 20-17 win over the Buffalo Bills today. This marked the first time in his career he has registered 10 receptions in a game and the first by a Lion since FB Cory Schlesinger caught 11 passes vs. Chicago 12/30/01. They were the most by a Lions wide receiver since Johnnie Morton had 10 at Minnesota 1/2/00.
  • Williams' 161 yards were the most by a Lions receiver since Germane Crowell collected 163 yards vs. St. Louis 11/7/99. It was Williams seventh career 100-yard receiving game and the third of the 2006 season.
  • Williams has collected 100 yards in three of the team's six games this season.
  • Joining Williams today in the century club was RB Kevin Jones who carried the ball 23 times for a season-high 127 yards (5.5 avg.). It was Jones fifth career 100-yard rushing game and it was the first since he registered 123 yards vs. Chicago 12/26/04.
  • Today's game marked the first time that Williams went over 100 yards in receiving and Jones went over 100 yards in rushing in the same game. The last time a Lions receiver-rusher tandem both went over 100 yards was at Green Bay 11/10/02 when Az-Zahir Hakim had 143 receiving yards and James Stewart had 122 yards on the ground.
  • Jones had 83 rushing yards in the first quarter on 9 carries as well as a 7-yard rushing touchdown. It was the most rushing yards by a Lions running back in the first quarter since Barry Sanders had 88 yards on 4 attempts (2 TDs) vs. Cleveland 10/8/95. Jones' 83 first quarter yards was sparked by a 52-yard run on his first carry of the game. His 52-yarder was the longest of the season and the second longest of his career. His career long is a 74-yarder vs. Arizona 12/5/04.
  • Jones had 6 receptions on the day, which tied a single-game career high. His six receptions moves his season total to 31 which sets a new single-season career high for Jones.
  • Among his six receptions in the game, the most important catch was a 9-yard catch on 3rd and 5 with 2:35 left to play in the game. He took a swing pass form Kitna out left and had a swifty move to avoid a defender as he collected a first down for the Lions which allowed the team to chew up all but 0:09 seconds on the clock.
  • QB Jon Kitna was 24-of-36 (.667) for 278 yards and 1 TD on the day. Kitna came into today's game with a 63.0 completion percentage that ranked him second in the league. Kitna has completed over 60.0% of his passes in 4 of the Lions 6 games this season.
  • Kitna's 278 yards moved his tally of 250-yard passing games this season to 3.
  • The Lions offense netted 394 yards on offense with 132 coming on the ground and 262 in the air. The 394 yards of total offense are the second most of the season by the Lions.
  • S Terrence Holt collected his sixth career interception when he picked off a pass from Bills QB JP Losman and returned it 7 yards.
  • DT Shaun Rogers recorded a sack in the second quarter against the Bills. The sack was Rogers third of the season, and the 15 yards lost on the play were the most on a sack in Rogers' career.
  • DE James Hall was credited with 3.5 sacks in the game. This was Hall's fifth career multiple-sack games and the most he has recorded since he registered 2.5 vs. Houston 9/19/04. Hall's credited sack tally equals a career high for Hall that he set at Tampa Bay 12/9/01 when he recorded 3.5 sacks.
  • LB LaVar Woods was credited with a team-high three special teams tackles in the Lions 20-17 win over Buffalo.

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement:
"Let me cover the injuries real quick, give you a recap a little bit: Shawn Bryson's (knee), again, we'll have to look at these a little bit more tomorrow; but, he wasn't able to finish the game. Cory Schlesinger had a (hamstring) and we took him out; Ernie Sims (elbow) - we're going to re-evaluate Ernie tomorrow.

"I thought in terms of our effort (it) was real good. The couple of things that I wanted to get accomplished was our run defense, No. 1. I thought in staying in our gaps, being disciplined - that's a really good back. I'm really proud of that part of the game in terms of knocking that run out. Once that happens we're starting to learn to take advantage of the situation with your four-man rush. The guys really put some heat on today - the four down guys - which makes breaking on the ball easier, the balls comes out quicker (and) guys were breaking on the ball in the back in row a little bit better. That worked together, I thought, a little bit better. So, that was good.

"Offensively - we're playing with some young guys in there - again, they're opportunities, I see that nothing as positive when you put guys in there and then you have the opportunity to see what they're about. If you believe in them and just keep coaching them, you might find something good. Kevin ran the ball very well and (we) threw the ball well today and all of those things. We still got to work on our field position game. Our kickoff return hurt us, and we still got to get the ball inside-the-20. Some of those things (have) got to clean up for us. So, to me and the way I am, this is a nice victory for us. We've got to learn from it tomorrow, very quickly, all the mistakes that we made we have to correct them in practice immediately and put this behind us as fast as we can. Now we got to start moving on to our next opponent and there are some guys banged up and that's no big deal. We just have to go back (and) hopefully we have enough to get back in pads and get some work in."

On the emotional aspect of the win: "Well, you know, obviously that's what you want to do. I look at it as that marathon - it's just that I'm driving a marathon, that's what it's all about - to win. I love winning, obviously. But, I'll watch the tape and you got to be 'we got to do this better,' so that's (what) my process is. I just like this team. I just like them. They just keep, you know, five of these six games have gone down to the wire and now this one is such a big one for us - come down at the end and find a way to win a game. That's how you want these games to come down to and you force that (the details), the little things at the end of the game and have an opportunity to win them."

On if some of the players proved themselves today in finishing out big plays in the fourth quarter: "Yeah. That's what you want to see - that you can do that. I believe in these guys and I believe in these men, because they work, they've got good character, they're trying hard and they're trying to be coachable and it's a different system and we just keep teaching it. These things are big, because they can see it. Just keep doing the things - maybe I'm playing this gap right at that moment, or I'm turning the ball incorrectly, or the field position here, or our pass block there - the whole game of football is just that. Every week it comes down to this, right at the end of the game and it's the team that can do it."

On how important the third down pass to RB Kevin Jones was: "Oh - big, big. I mean, Kevin, he does a nice job with the ball in his hands. I mean, running or catching - I think, that was big. Those two guys, him and Roy (Williams), they're just special players. But, I have to give credit to the quarterback and the offensive line and the staff. They're using those guys, they're maxing out with those guys and it's been good. We just have to find a way to keep it going."

On what he thought when watching the play: "Stay in bounds. Get the first down, (and) stay in bounds and keep the clock moving."

On the feeling of getting his first win as a head coach: "It's just, it's the win, but it's the process to me as much as anything. I'm just, I'm so happy for them, because they're working and I keep telling them it's that far, do the little things, stay on course, no matter -I don't care what's out there - forget it and just keep playing. That probably of any one thing for myself is the most satisfying, that they can feel that. In this game of football you just keep fighting and believing and trusting your skills and your fundamentals; understand your systems and just keep doing it. Then we correct it and then we move on."

On how much pride he has for his team right now: "Oh yeah, tremendous pride in them. All year, I've told them for the last couple of weeks, I sat there in front of the team meeting, I kept showing them if we just keep cleaning this up and we just clean this thing and we clean this up - cause we're a good team, we're good. Just do those things."

On if that's what he was feeling when he crossed to field to shake Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron's hand: "Yeah - exactly. Pride that they keep fighting, they keep battling. Then it's a whole new slate next week. Just take this and move it here, then we got to go mount this thing up, we've got to let this win go fast, correct and move forward."

On why he flipped DT Shaun Rogers with DE Cory Redding: "Cory could play a three, he couldn't play a one. He's not as much mass in there. So, that's why I put Cory down inside and then slid Shaun over to the one technique."

On if he'll continue to do that: "I think so. Shaun's a load in there, man - wow! He's just really started disrupting some stuff in there."

On what the defensive lines biggest change was overall: "I just think they really did a better job, I thought, for the most part at staying alive and in front of this quarterback. This guy holds the ball a little bit, but once he goes, he takes off. A couple of times it hurt us, we lost contain on blitzes - we had blitzes, we had guys come underneath. If you just contain and do what you're supposed to do we would have had a few more on him, but we just have to make sure we're continually on the details. That's why what happens is if you get a win and then you watch this tape and guys are happy, you can't let the little details slip away, you know what I'm saying? You got to just keep pounding the details if you're in the tank or if you're happy. It's the details that count."

On RB Kevin Jones' performance with him having trouble breathing and if it was an injury to his rib: "You caught me off (guard). It might have been because of all the balls - how far he ran (laugh). He might have gotten a little bit tired, but no he is really a good back - you guys know him. When he gets in that, when we give him some air to run with, he can cut. He's so tough, he keeps working up the field and he's got good hands and Mike's (Martz) really doing a good job utilizing those guys."

LIONS QB JON KITNA
On how it feels to walk into the room as a winner: "I think, you know, the biggest thing to me is that it's a reward for how hard we've been working. We've been so close in four to five games to really take in control of football games and win in football games and it's never easy in this league. We were so close in those other four weeks that it was getting discouraging - there's no question. It's nice to come here today, and like I said, what happened now is that we've broken the seal off of this thing a little bit. Guys see what happens when you do what you're asked to do on every single snap. You can't measure character in guys and that's what's been built in the first five weeks and hopefully it will continue to build."

On if having WR Roy Williams and RB Kevin Jones made the game easier: "Well anytime you have a back go over 100 yards, No. 1, it means you were in the football game for four quarters. We were on our way to 100 yards a couple of times in the first five games, but (when) you get out of the game it's hard to keep running the football. It meant, No. 1, we were in the football game, and then we were able to give Kevin those carries. Those extra eight, nine, ten carries that he needs to finish off a game and he's been playing his butt off all year. I think he was a little banged up today - having trouble breathing - (he) stuck it out and made a huge play there on the third down play on the last drive. Then Roy (laughing), you know, coaches talk about practice and we all talk about practice and all that stuff - he misses two days of practices, comes in on Friday, shows up today and can barely turn his neck and plays a superstar game. That's what superstars do."

On the offensive line playing well for not being together for very long: "Two of the better tandem ends in the league - that goes kind of unnoticed really with those guys over there. They really know how to rush a passer, they come with a lot of different things and we were a little shaky earlier in the game. They just stuck with it, they believed in what they had been told to do and they played a great game. We were able to get some big chunks in the passing game and that's a testament to them."

On if he saw the third-down catch, run and slide from Jones: "Yeah, we talked about that in the huddle at the start of the series. Those are things that the quarterback has to do when he gets in the huddle - remind everybody what the objective is, (what) the goal is and you know, the thing I mentioned to them was even if you get the first down - stay in bounds. A lot of times you get a guy that gets the first down and (they) run out of bounds, you know, because they're happy or whatever. It's most important to stay in bounds and let the clock run. He did a great job, he made a guy miss in open field and that's an NFL football play."

On if he said anything to head coach Rod Marinelli at the end of the game: "Congratulations. He's known this was coming. They presented him the game ball and the first one is always the special one. I'm sure he felt like we should have gotten this about five weeks ago, but you just had to wait a little longer and he was pretty happy about it."

LIONS RB KEVIN JONES
On getting the team's first win and rushing for over 100-yards: "We got the monkey off our back with the yards (over 100 yards rushing) and the win - we mainly needed the win, so that's what I'm happy about - the win."

On how big this win was: "It's real big. We've been fighting our butts off every week and it's been close, but we haven't been able to finish. Today we pounded them. We started off early with the run game, and I'm glad Roy (Williams) got back on the field and he helped out tremendously."

On the offensive line enjoying it as much as him with 100 yards rushing: "They should (enjoy it) because without them I couldn't do it. That's even more credit to them because they had second-team guys stepping up, young guys, that actually weren't going to be expected to play at this time. We've got guys hurt and they came in. Big Woody (Damien) is out for the season, and they just came in and did their job and it helped me out a lot."

On how big it was for them to fill in: "I'm happy for them. They are out there competing for a job and that's what you do in the NFL - one guy goes down that's a starter and the next guy has to come in and play like that."

On it being good to get this win going to New York next week against the Jets followed by the bye week: "It was exactly good to get this win out the way. We've got to go out there and treat this week as we've been treating every week and go in and get into a fight with the Jets and then the bye-week is coming right on time."

On harping on the win: "We can't harp on the win like we can't harp on the losses. We've got to move on with the wins too."

LIONS WR ROY WILLIAMS
On a career-high day in receptions and yards:
"It's a team effort. We had a good day in the air and a good day in the running game and the hat goes off to the defense. They played well and caused a lot of turnovers. We still have to go back to the drawing board and we have take advantage of those turnovers and that's one thing that we've got to work on."

On if he knew he was going to see the ball as much today: "I didn't because I didn't' practice the whole week because I had some family issues to attend to back at home, so I didn't watch any film so I knew nothing about this team and I just came out here and did well."

On how he feels physically: "I was really concerned about my neck this week. I was really afraid of the contact this week. It held up really good; I was just real scared, I don't want to end my career like Michael Irvin."

On as good as his day is, if it's still good to see RB Kevin Jones run well: "That's one thing we have to do is run the football. I think in this offense we're going to be able to pass the ball every week, but the X-factor is the running game. If Kevin rushes for over 100 yards I believe we're going to win the ball game. I believe that with all my heart."

On how big was it to get this win: "It's good to get on the right side of the tracks; hopefully we can get more wins than just one and hopefully guys get this feeling, know this feeling, and don't want to go back to the other side. Hopefully we can put together nine, 10 more wins and get to the playoffs."

On not settling for only one win: "With one win, we're still picking first in next year's draft right now. We've just got to get out here and put them together. We put five losing games together, we can very easily put five winning games together and go from there."

LIONS FS TERRENCE HOLT
On pressure on QB J.P. Losman making things easier for the secondary: "Oh definitely - that's key. When they keep putting on pressure like they were able to do, then it's big time for us in the secondary because we know they only have a certain amount of time and we can break on balls and make plays."

On shutting down RB Willis McGahee: "That's something we've been able to do all year long with our front seven, along with the secondary at times, being able to negate rushers from coming in and running the ball. Today was one of those days when we knew we had to stop the run for us to be able to make them one-dimensional. We were able to do that today and make them pass. They were able to pass a little bit, but not for enough to get a win."

On if it feels good to get the win: "Oh definitely. We've got to start somewhere so this is big but we have to get back to the drawing board tomorrow."

On his interception: "I was reading the quarterback and I was in the middle of the field and I just broke on the ball. I took a peak at the receiver a little bit and I was able to break on the ball. I got a good jump on it and was able to pick. Guys were teasing me about being on the ground. I was saying that I had turned my ankle a little bit, so I was thinking somebody was going to tag me down, but I got up and was able to make a few yards."

On getting an uneasy feeling late in the game when they started to come back: "A little bit, but I was trying to keep the guys going. We knew that this was the game that we couldn't let up. It was going to come down to defense and a lot of times that's been happening, so we wanted to make a point and a statement that we come out here and we stop these guys. It's got to start somewhere. If we can start getting guys in the fourth quarter and being up and being able to get stops then we can pretty much win ball games."

On if he can describe the feeling of relief now with win number one: "It's not really relief, it's just a good feeling. We've been close in some games, but it just feels good to get one and win like we feel like we should've been able to do in the past games, but we've got to start somewhere and that one was good."

BILLS HEAD COACH DICK JAURON
Opening statement: "Injury wise - Melvin Fowler left the game with a quad -we'll just have to wait on that; Roscoe (Parrish) had a hamstring. He tried to go but he couldn't in the second half; and Josh Stamer has a knee sprain, and we'll get it checked out tomorrow, but he couldn't continue. The game, I think, viewing the game I pretty much saw what it was about. We had trouble stopping the run. We certainly had trouble with Roy (Williams) in the passing game. They're very good players, we're just not playing consistent football. Really with the stats, the way they were in the first half with the way it was, it was hard to believe we were in the game right until the end. So I guess if there's one good thing it's to give our guys credit for finding a way to stay in it and have a chance to win the thing at the end. But no doubt it was a disappointing loss and we're just not consistent enough anywhere - offense or defense. I thought our kicking game was okay, and of course Brian (Moorman) punted and we covered really well in the punt game and our kickoffs weren't bad. But other than that, there's not a whole lot for us to hang our hat on here."

On CB Nate Clements playing in the game: "Nate's been catching some in practice. Nate has that injury he's coming off of. He didn't practice until Friday of this week and he was a little bit subpar."

On the defensive coverages: "You have to fit the counters in all of your coverages and we didn't. We missed our fits and we missed tackles too. You've got to give them credit, clearly. I think Kevin (Jones) is a real good back. I think he's in the top tier of the league. I really liked him when I was here. But we made our share of mistakes and they made their share of plays, but our mistakes are something we've got to clear up."

On if the Lions defensive line showed anything that they hadn't seen: "No, not that we hadn't seen. They're good. We knew they were very good coming in. They're a solid front and they're pressures were pressures that we had seen for the most part. I know we just didn't pick them up very well, consistently. And when we did at times, JP (Losman) of course, has got to get rid of the ball. And the rhythm is not there. He's so athletic that he feels like he can make a play, but there are times where he's just got to get it out of his hand and get it down the field out of bounds."

On the play of QB JP Losman: "He will learn the more he plays. But he's so athletic, and he ran out of the pocket earlier and made a play to Roscoe (Parrish) for a touchdown. So it's one of those deals where you tell him never take a sack to never hold it a little longer to never scramble with the ball. You don't do that. Not with an athlete, and an athlete you think is going to be really good. You just tell him that he's got to learn and we're going to go through some of these things."

On how concerned he was facing an 0-5 team: "I didn't think that was a factor at all. I told our team all week that they can't have any more incentive than we have. It's a game in the National Football League. Both sides are going to want it awfully bad. So I didn't think it was a factor."

BILLS QB JP LOSMAN
On the play of the Detroit defense:
"They did a good job of covering some things. They probably get to see our offense in practice every day, which should have probably gave us the same advantage, but they did a good job of mixing it up. They gave us multiple looks - taking away the run, taking away the pass; Cover- 2, 3, 4; they did a good job."

On playing against the zone: "We were able to complete some balls there; looking back on it I always should have done that at the beginning. Those little quick things, get it out, get a little rhythm, back them up a little bit, things like that. We really didn't start that until the second half, but it's all looking back."

On if he got mad at himself for not being able to get rid of the ball sometimes and getting sacked: "I think I'm going to get better as to when I'm going to make those decisions of getting rid of the ball. Obviously, I'd like to be perfect right now in this stage of my career, but naturally I'm trying to hold it till the last second. On the way down I could have completed it to Josh Reed, just trying to make some eye contact with him. But obviously looking back, it's the same thing there - I probably should have gotten it out and made it a little bit shorter third down."

On what they're thinking now after the loss: "Well it's hard to say right now. We've got to clear our heads tonight, come back tomorrow and watch the film and see what we're thinking. But we already know what we're going to think - you have to bounce back. We're going to come to work tomorrow, watch this film, learn from it and put it behind us. It's the same old routine for us. This is what our job calls for. We have to move on to next week. We've got a big one coming up."

On the Lions having been in almost every game: "We knew that coming into the game. They've had some close ones. Defensively, they've done some good things. They've done some good things there with the corners, taking away some of the pass game. We knew it was going to be a tough one, it wasn't going to be a push over; but do we have all the confidence in the world coming in? Yeah, of course. That's what we thought, but this is the NFL and we also know that nobody is going to give us anything regardless of anybody's record or what have you. That's pretty much how we see it."

On the play of the Lions: "They were doing some good things. You have to give them credit for what they did - it is an NFL team. This is professional football; nothing is easy week-to-week, any given Sunday somebody's going to be hot, somebody's not going to be. But we still had a chance there to pull it out there at the end, and it didn't come through."

BILLS LB TAKEO SPIKES
On how it felt to finally get back out there: "It felt ok. I still didn't have the burst and explosion that I wanted to have at times, but you know I'm very thankful to be able to get back out there and get around running. I came out of the game pretty healthy, so I've got some more healing days on my side, another week to get better."

On WR Roy Williams and RB Kevin Jones each having over 100-yard games: "They made big plays - a lot of it you have to give them credit for being able to go out and do what they did; but, at times, without looking at the film right off - a couple of missed tackles - other than that you just have to go back and look at the film and really see where the breakdowns occurred at."

On Head Coach Jauron talking about cutback lanes and guys not fitting up and why that's been a problem for a couple of weeks: "It ain't fair for me to say nothing about that, because I'm not out there. I wasn't out there, and even today you can't even speak on that, because it's in the now. You don't know who got out of their gap - it's something we've been working on, it's not a day-to-day process. It ain't nothing where you can just snap your fingers and say, ok. We got to fix it, but it's a work in progress."

BILLS OL JASON PETERS
On how the sacks proved to be pretty big plays and if they're plays he looks back at:
"Yeah, we look back on those, but we can't really dwell on them. We've got to look ahead. They were good and they beat us tonight."

On if the Lions did some things to stop the run that they didn't expect: "They were in there twisting and it ain't nothing that we didn't prepare for. We just have to go out there and execute the plays the best way possible."

On if loosing to a team that hadn't won all season was a blow to their confidence: "No, not really. We're going to go back home and re-group to get ready for New England. It's nothing that's going to get us down and out. We just have to bounce back and look at the tape and correct the mental errors we did have."

BILLS DL LONDON FLETCHER-BAKER
On what the problems were today, especially with the Lions having a receiver and a running back with over 100 yards:
"I think the first half we let them have a couple of big gains in the run game - I don't know what the first big gain went for in the run game. Roy Williams had some big plays in the passing game in the first half. I thought in the second half we did a better job at containing those guys - but we didn't make the plays when we needed to. There were a couple of situations we could have helped the offense out a little bit better, but I give them credit, they made plays today and we didn't stop them."

On what this does for a young team, being dominated by an 0-5 team, and if it blows their confidence: "I don't know. They always talk about the game - the game is four quarters - we had situations where we didn't play well in the first half, but still we were still only down where we could say it was one play. We allowed them to come out and go up ten points, then we battled back to get the ball and make the game a three point game. (We) got the ball back to our offense; they're driving, then a turnover or sack - a couple plays here and there that really cost us the game in the second half of the game."

On if it feels like a step back: "Yeah, it is definitely a step back. We were heading in the right direction and then last weekend against Chicago we physically got beat by a really good football team. Then this weekend - what I saw on tape against the Lions was a team that was better than what their record indicated and then if you get caught up in their record, this is what could happen. I don't know if guys were really looking at their record and saying, you know, well they're 0-5 and we're 2-3 - we should automatically beat them. This is a team that went up to St. Louis and scored 34 points; they played a Minnesota team in Minnesota really tough and very easily could have won that football game. They played a Seattle team - which is a Super Bowl team - to a nine point game. They're a better team than their record indicates. I don't know if everybody really took that to heart into this football game."

BILLS TE RYAN NEUFELD
On today's loss: "It was a game that we felt we could have won. "The Lions came out and played well - I'm not taking anything away from them. They had a good game and they beat us today. We just tried to make sure we were in a position to win and now we have to find a way to win."

On how well the Lions defense played and if he was surprised: "They've played well every week - it's going to be tough. You can't really focus on how they played the previous week, because every game their going to come out and give it their best. We knew they were going to play tough - here especially not having a win yet."

On catching his first touchdown today and how it felt: "Yeah, I wish we would have won so I could have enjoyed it a little bit more. But it felt good being my first NFL touchdown."

BILLS CB TERRENCE MCGEE
On how discouraging it is to have Lions WR Roy Williams find himself open all day long:
"It hurt us but at the same time we had opportunities to make plays - get interceptions. When we had those opportunities we didn't make them and it gave them more opportunities."

On if the biggest thing about today's loss is the Bills not taking advantage of the opportunities: "Yeah that's what I feel."

On if the Bills were looking to bounce back after last week and if today's game was a sufficient bounce back: "No, because it wasn't a win. If we got a win it would have been a sufficient bounce back - we have to win."

On losing two consecutive games - one being to a winless team - what does that do to their confidence: "It can't do anything. We have to go get ready for the next week and we can't think about this game anymore - it's over. They got the win and we go the loss, so now we have to move on."

On if it is fair to say the Bills defense is in a slump: "I guess you could say that. We haven't made the stops like we've need to. Like I said, I feel we had the opportunities to make the plays but we didn't make them when it came down to it."

FINALLY!

The Detroit Lions finally survived the fourth quarter. Roy Williams had 10 receptions for 161 yards - both career highs - and scored a touchdown while Kevin Jones ran for a season-high 127 yards and a score to lead the Lions to a 20-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Instead of the usual late mistakes that have cost the Lions in four of five opening losses, Detroit made the clutch plays it needed on both sides of the ball, ending Rod Marinelli's long wait for his first win as a head coach.

The Lions (1-5) outscored the Bills (2-4) by four points in the fourth - just enough to win - after being outscored 47-14 in the final quarter in their previous five games, four of which they had plenty of chances to win.

Marinelli had to bide his time for more than three decades to be a head coach at any level, and the Lions made him wait just a little longer. When the former Tampa Bay defensive line coach saw the final seconds tick off the clock, he smiled and walked across the field to shake Dick Jauron's hand, the Buffalo coach, who ended last season as the interim coach in Detroit.

The Lions led 17-10 at halftime, probably wishing they had a bigger lead after dominating in the first quarter.

Jason Hanson's 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter put the Lions ahead by 10. They had to cling to the slim lead after J.P. Losman's 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Neufeld made it 20-17 on the next drive.

Jones helped seal the victory with a shifty move on a third-down reception, which helped Detroit hold onto the ball long enough to punt it with 22 seconds left.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Marinating with Marinelli Thursday

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "Shaun Cody - (toe), and he's out, we're still waiting we don't know how long yet; Kenoy Kennedy is out; Alex (Lewis) is out; (Damien) woody - we know about him; Rex Tucker is questionable still; (Ross) Verba is still questionable; (Shawn) Bryson is probable; (Barry) Stokes is probable and Roy Williams looks like he has a chance to go, it's a personal matter right now (for Roy), but we'll be getting him in tonight."

On if there is concern that WR Roy Williams hasn't had any treatment on his back injury: "Well, we got to see - he'll be in about (5:00 p.m.) today, so we'll get a good look at him. Right now it sounds like he's doing good, but oh yeah, there's always concern. We'd like to have had him here all the way through it, but he had a personal matter he had to attend to."

On if G Barry Stokes is probable: "Yes, yes. He practiced today and he was moving around pretty good, but it was without pads in practice. He got the work in and seemed to be moving pretty well."

On how the morale of the locker room has been up in the past few days and if it's something he feels he's accomplished here: "I just keep working on football. I go in every morning with a plan, with what I want and what I want to accomplish. I try to explain what I'm looking for - I'm up beat."

On if he thinks he can tell when people buy in to what he's saying: "Oh I think so - yeah. I've just got to eliminate the mistakes; I got to eliminate just the discipline parts of those things (and) I keep working at it with them. That's the only thing. I think they can see that because it's just little discipline things. It starts with me and I just got to keep explaining those things correctly. So, I think they can see that they're a good football team. We don't worry about anything else. We don't worry about injuries, we don't worry about anything - we just worry about playing good football. So, I think when your focus is there and improving, you should have a good attitude. I wouldn't say I'm 0-5 - you should have a good attitude. If you're getting better and you're trying to get better - this is your profession, so it should be good."

On if a decision has been made on the right guard position: "It will probably be Blaine (Saipaia)."

On if WR Roy Williams will be good to go on Sunday: "It sounds like that and he feels like that but we have to get him in and the trainer has to look at him."

On if Williams will affect how many receivers are up for Sunday's game: "We'll have to look at that whole number. But No. 1 is to make sure we have our kicking game - get the right guys up for coverages and those things."

On if WR Shaun Bodiford has taken a step back with his knee: "No, he seemed to flying around pretty good today. It looked like he had some pretty good juice today."

On how WR Mike Williams looked this week: "We're just kind of working this whole week out right now and getting all these guys in to see where we're at."

On what WR Devale Ellis has done in practice this week: "He's fast, I mean really fast. He has to keep working. This is the time of the year you have a chance to really look at some of these good young players. Some of them are surfacing, so we'll see. But he has great, great speed, great quickness - really."

On the offensive line and the injuries: "Anything can be concerning, but how I'm looking at it is - somebody has a chance to be Wally Pipp - 'Wally Pipp' somebody. You have an opportunity, so 'Wally Pipp' somebody. You get a chance to go in and that's the positive part I see. So go in and compete and see if you can play like a starter because you might just 'Wally Pipp' somebody."

On his halftime speech during the Minnesota game and if he was fired up: "I try to be very consistent in what I say all the time. If we're ahead or behind the message has got to be consistent."

On if his approach changes depending on the record: "The whole thing when I started is the consistency. I have to be consistent about our game - the passion I want, the energy I want and they have to see that from me. If they don't see that for me then it's false."

On if it would be lighter or heavier with the record: '"Oh no, no."

On if the team was rolling would he pull the reins in and give a different message: "One of the things I've always believed is don't just look at the scoreboard - it influences you. Just play the snap. Just keep doing that. If you win a game just keep playing the snap. If you're not successful, just keep playing the snap. That's always been my message and I have to try to stay with it and help them get more disciplined and it starts with me."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dick Jauron Interview

The media did two interviews today. One with Marinelli and one with Jauron. I like this one better:
 
CONFERENCE CALL WITH BILLS HEAD COACH DICK JAURON
On if it's weird to go from Chicago to Detroit, both teams he's coached for, in consecutive weeks:
"Well, in some ways it was really nice, and it will be nice; but, in other ways, particularly after a loss - the last weekend - it's never nice to lose. But, in those two places, and really I have to say, every place that I have been fortunate enough to coach in the NFL - I loved it. I loved being there. I loved living there. So, it's nice in that regard, and it's always nice to play in the NFL. Games on Sunday's are just unbelievable, they're so exciting and everybody is doing everything they can to win. So, I guess in some ways I like going back. In many ways it's another NFL Sunday. So it's great in that regard, and then if it soon - if it's close to when you were there before you generally know a good number of people and they're generally really good people. So, that's a good part of it too."

On how much he recognizes on this defense from the two years he spend coaching here: "Certainly a number of the players are still there. The scheme is different - it's somewhat different; but, there are always components that are incorporated in just about everybody's scheme. We play a similar scheme here, but a lot of the personnel - certainly there's a lot of guys here. There's a lot of change over every year as you guys know in the NFL on every team; but, there are a good number of players that are still there."

On how disappointed he was that he didn't get the chance to come back and be more than the interim head coach: "Well, let's see, how do you say this; I'm really happy to be where I am. I guess that's the best answer to that. I had an opportunity to come to Buffalo and I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying it and what a great challenge it is at the same time. I try to spend as little time as possible looking back - its human nature to reflect at times - but, as much as I can avoid it, I avoid it. I'm really happy here."

On how much he interviewed for the position and how much he felt he had a shot at it: "I'm not sure there's much good in going in that direction - for me. I enjoyed my time there, I really appreciated the opportunity I had and really enjoyed being there and now I'm not there. I'm here, and I as I said earlier, I'm really happy about it."

On if there's any difference coaching on a newer franchise than there is coaching for a 'Bedrock' team: "Well, yeah, there is a difference. But, I'm certainly in no way indicating that I think the difference is better. Let me explain it; the difference to me is the history - and I like history. I like reading about it; I like thinking about it. I grew up as a teenager in the 60's when the AFL - I was from the Boston area and the Boston Patriots were big rivals of the Buffalo Bills, you know, the old AFL. So, I was familiar with it, and I know the history and I like the history. Of course, we all know the history of Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit. Chicago is a charter franchise; Green Bay and Detroit are almost as old. I'll say this; the experience in Jacksonville was a great NFL experience for me. I had the opportunity - Tom Coughlin brought me there - to start the franchise and that was terrific; that was really something and we had no history. So, there was an opportunity to kind of write the history from the beginning. I had never done that, except for there, I'd never been involved except for there. Tom, of course, did a terrific job and it was great too. Like I said earlier, I've really loved every place I've been, although they've been different and Jacksonville was different in the regard of being the newest."

On how the Lions have talked about how they see themselves getting closer to a win despite being 0-5 and how he see's that manifesting on the film he's watched: "They're right. They've obviously been really close. They've done a lot of things right and, you know, the fickleness of our game, of game Sunday's. The ball just bounces in funny directions sometimes and you can't do a whole lot about it except keep struggling, you know? Keep fighting through it. I know there's a lot of character there and I know that they've done a terrific job, Rod and his staff have done a terrific job coaching them. They'll do fine. Obviously, I hope it's not this weekend just as obviously they hope it is. Overall, we're all working towards the same thing in trying to get there."

On how good RB Willis McGahee has been for him: "Willis has done a terrific job for us. He's a tough guy; he's a willing worker and he doesn't shy from any work in practice.  You don't worry about his conditioning - he works at it and he likes to play. He really enjoys playing the game. So, it's been good, you know, it's been good. We've just got to do a better job with our entire football team - a better job everywhere - being more consistent."

On if McGahee is a different style runner now since rehabbing from his college injury: "It's an interesting question, but probably not from me, because I only know him as I have him. So, I can't tell you that, I don't know. He's good; he's really good in my opinion. I don't know how much better he would be or could be, or any of that. I just know he's a really good back and I'm glad we have him."

On how some of the players here said that he was a calming influence for them in a difficult time last year following the departure of Coach Mariucci and how difficult it was for him to take over: "It was hard, it was very hard. I think the world of Steve (Mariucci) - I thought the world of him then, still do, obviously. It was a difficult situation for everybody to be in, everybody in the whole organization. How do I say this? I did it because I really have a lot of respect for ownership, I have a lot of respect for those players and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the coaching staff that I was there with. That's the reason why I did it and it was interesting. It wasn't easy, but in the long run I expect it will be a good experience, but it wasn't easy in the short-term."

On if Bills Owner, Ralph Wilson, who resides in Michigan, adds a little significance to this game: "Well, that's a question you'd probably have to ask him and I'm sure he'd have an answer for you; but, I'm certainly not going to speak for our ownership in regard to that. I don't know how much more incentive you can ever have in an NFL game - just speaking from our position. Every single game is - you know there's so few of them in a year and they're critically important, obviously. You've got that 60-minute period to do everything you can to win it. So, it's hard to imagine them getting more importance than getting another game."

On if he's followed the baseball playoffs at all: "The truth needs to be spoken - I'm a Red Sox's fan. So, I was very disappointed when they didn't make it, but how can you not focus on Detroit and what they've done in such a great year for them. I do like baseball, but I'm broken hearted with the Sox at home."

DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE

  • The team announced today that they have placed RG Damien Woody (foot) on the reserve/injured list and signed WR Devale Ellis from the practice squad. Woody, who has not missed a game since signing with Detroit before the 2004 season, sustained a foot injury on the Lions first offensive series at Minnesota (10/8). Ellis was originally signed as an undrafted free agent May 8 after participating in the Lions' rookie mini-camp as a tryout player and was on the active roster for Detroit's season opener against Seattle. 
  • In other roster moves, Detroit signed RB Anthony Sherrell to the practice squad. Sherrell played at Eastern Michigan after growing up in Roseville, Mich.
  • The following players have been listed on the Detroit Lions' injury report: DT Shaun Cody (toe), S Kenoy Kennedy (foot), LB Alex Lewis (knee) and RG Damien Woody (foot/IR) are out. T Rex Tucker (knee) and G Ross Verba (hamstring) are questionable. RB Shawn Bryson (knee), T Barry Stokes (ankle) and WR Roy Williams (back) are probable. Bryson, Cody, Kennedy, Lewis, Stokes, Tucker, Verba, Williams and Woody missed the team portion of practice today.
  • The following players have been listed on the Buffalo Bills' injury report: DT John McCargo (foot) is out and S Matt Bowen (shin) is doubtful. CB Nate Clements (quadriceps), LB Takeo Spikes (hamstring) and G Chris Villarrial (ankle) are probable. Bowen, Clements and McCargo missed the team portion of practice today.
  • ACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM AN OTHERWISE DISMAL SEASON

  • LB Ernie Sims' 54 tackles through the first five weeks is the second most of any Lions linebacker since LB Steven Boyd had 58 tackles through the first five games in 1998. He has recorded at least 10 tackles in each of his first five career games.
  • Sims currently ranks first among all rookie defensive players in the NFL with his 42 tackles (press box statistics). He is also the leading tackler in the NFC and is tied for eighth in the NFL.
  • QB Jon Kitna scored on an 8-yard quarterback draw and had a12-yard touchdown pass at Minnesota (10/9) which marked his fifth career game with a rushing touchdown and at least one touchdown pass. The last time a Lions quarterback had both a rushing and a passing touchdown in the same game was in 2002 when QB Mike McMahon scored touchdowns on a 2-yard run and an 18-yard pass vs. Tampa Bay (12/15).
  • Kitna is currently first in the NFL in completions (121), second in attempts (192), second in passing yards (1,306) and eighth in completion-percentage among passers with 20 attempts-per-game (63.0).
  •  

    Lions and Tigers and Pistons ...Oh my.

    As someone who was born on the wrong side of Eight Mile, but left in the great exodus of the 1970s, I must admit its hard to remain loyal to Detroit teams. After all it was just three years ago that the Tigers had the worst record in baseball (43-119). The Lions haven't proved themselves since '57, and the great Piston teams of the 1980s had just about faded from memory.

    (By the way, the Red Wings don't count -- as far as I'm concerned pro hockey is closer in nature to the WWE than a bona fide profesional sport.)  

    Things began to turn around in 2004 when the Pisons spanked the Lakers in the NBA Championship. They've maintained some consistency since then and have put a remarkable amount of talent on the court over the past several seasons. Now its the Tigers turn. After a rocky first game they bowled over the latest version of Murderer's Row in the Division Series and Tuesday's 5-1 win over the A's have made the Tigers likely odds on favorites for a World Series Championship later this month.

    So, what about the Lions? Honestly, they stink. Yet, I stick with them season after season hoping for a miracle on a par with the Red Sox miraculous World Series victory in 2004.

    I'm not alone.

    Detroit Lions Topsites maintains a list of 26 websites, blogs and forums devoted to the hapless Lions. The sites generate an average of 1114 unique visits each day. That's about the size of the line at the men's room on the view level at Ford Field on any given Sunday.

    My standing as a Lions fan knows no boundaries. For example, earlier this season I entered a friend's football pool that required picking the winners of every game for the entire season -- in advance. I dutifully filled out my form. Lo and behold, I gave the Lions 10 wins this season. That sounded fishy -- even to me. So, I checked the preseason Vegas line. The touts, sharks and oddsmakers who know better had the Lions with an over-under of 5 1/2. That means, pick the overs and the Lions win six games or more in 2006. Take the unders and they win five or less. Looks like the unders are going to be a sure thing at this point.

    What's wrong with the Lions? How about everything for starters. The team is the worst rushing team in the NFL (32nd overall). While the passsing game is among the league's best (6th overall). The defense is about as strong as a wet piece of single ply toilet paper -- 28th overall, 14th against the rush and 30th against the pass. The only reason the D isn't any worse is the fortunate pickup of LB Ernie Sims in the draft. GM Matt Millen might want to take the credit for this, but he's going to have to take the blame for fielding a bizzare supporting cast that wouldn't stand a chance in the CFL, and would likely get blown out by any of the AP's top 25 college teams.

    Yes, I'm sticking with the Lions, just like I stick with Ford cars. Not because they manufacture a superior product. We know that isn't the case. It's about the comfort level. At least you know you are going to have to Fix Or Repair Daily.

    Of course there's always next year.

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Sunday's excuse

    "Obviously, this is a very disappointing loss for us, it's something
    we just have to accept, look it straight in the eye. Third down
    conversions on defense - we weren't good enough and we have to get
    better in those areas obviously. The ball was coming out quick and
    Brett (Favre) did a heck of a job - the rush, they were keeping some
    people in, but we still have to get better pressure than that. The
    ball was coming out quick. (We've) got to tackle; we've got to do a
    better job of tackling, so that was disappointing to me - that part of
    it. Our field position, our kicking game hurt us. We've got to be able
    to convert a little better field position to help our offense. Other
    than the one turnover on offense, I thought they really moved the ball
    well. In terms of those things you could see some of that coming
    today, they seemed to come alive a little bit and we were moving the
    ball well - we just got to win it. It was a close game, it's our job
    to go out and win it. It was a winnable game, but we just got to do
    it. Injury-wise I think we came out pretty clean. (Ross) Verba kind of
    re-strained it (hamstring) early in the game. Paris Lenon has kind of
    a sore neck in there, I think he'll be fine - kind of like he did last
    week."
    -- Rod Marinelli

    Saturday, September 23, 2006

    Week three picks (straight up -- not ATS)

    Week 3 -9/24, 25
    Team
    W/L
    Game 1 Visitor
    Carolina
    w
    Game 1 Home
    Tampa Bay
    l
    Game 2 Visitor
    Chicago
    w
    Game 2 Home
    Minnesota
    l
    Game 3 Visitor
    Cincinnati
    w
    Game 3 Home
    Pittsburgh
    l
    Game 4 Visitor
    Green Bay
    l
    Game 4 Home
    Detroit
    w
    Game 5 Visitor
    Jacksonville
    l
    Game 5 Home
    Indianapolis
    w
    Game 6 Visitor
    New York Jets
    w
    Game 6 Home
    Buffalo
    l
    Game 7 Visitor
    Tennessee
    w
    Game 7 Home
    Miami
    l
    Game 8 Visitor
    Washington
    w
    Game 8 Home
    Houston
    l
    Game 9 Visitor
    Baltimore
    l
    Game 9 Home
    Cleveland
    w
    Game 10 Visitor
    Giants
    w
    Game 10 Home
    Seattle
    l
    Game 11 Visitor
    Philadelphia
    w
    Game 11 Home
    San Francisco
    l
    Game 12 Visitor
    St. Louis
    l
    Game 12 Home
    Arizona
    w
    Game 13 Visitor
    Denver
    l
    Game 13 Home
    New England
    w
    Game 14 Visitor
    Atlanta
    w
    Game 14 Home
    New Orleans
    l
    I made these picks before the season started. There's probably nine of them that still work. We'll stick with Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, the Lions, Indy, the Giants, Philly, New England and Atlanta.
     
    Game by Game analysis:
    Carolina - Tampa Bay -- The Bucs suck.
    Chicago-Minnesota -- Bears headed for Super Bowl XLI???
    Cincinnati-Pittsburgh -- Could the Steelers have looked any more awful? They are likely to improve. Cincinnati plagued by injuries.
    Green Bay-Lions -- Who is worse? Right now it's the Pack.
    Jacksonville-Indianapolis -- AFC championship?
    Jets -Buffalo -- Buffalo better than expected. Otherwise, who cares?
    Tennessee-Miami -- So much for parity. Ron Dayne gets the start at RB. The Oilers (uhh Titans) really smell.
    Washington-Houston -- Maybe the Bushes will be interested. Should be a blow out.
    Baltimore-Cleveland. -- Edgar Allan Poe vs. the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Crab cakes and football are what Maryland does best.
    Giants -Seattle -- Little Bro is looking like Elway. Don't forget Seattle 9, Detroit 6.
    Philly-49ers -- Tougher game than it looks. McNabb and Philly D the difference.
    St. Louis -Arizona -- Boring. We'll take Cardinals over Lambs.
    Denver-New England -- Even without Deion Branch, Tom Brady's got the credentials here. Besides, he's starting for my fantasy team this week.
    Atlanta-New Orleans  -- The Superdome re-opens, the Saints will be pumped. Vick and WarVick should be the difference.
     
    Yes this is my opinion Take it or leave it. In the interest of full disclosure, my football knowledge is suspect. Last week, my 8-year-old son destroyed me in a fantasy football game. He's 2-0 heading into week three.
     
     
     

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Friday notes

  • Lions QB Jon Kitna enters Sunday's game ranked eighth in the NFL (3rd in NFC) with a completion percentage of 65.7 (at least 40 attempts).
  • Kitna is one of three quarterbacks in the league to throw at least 60 passes and have no interceptions.
  • Kitna's 76.7 completion percentage (23-of-30) at Chicago (9/17) was the third highest single-game tally among Lions' passers who attempted at least 30 passes in a game since 1970. It was the highest since Gary Danielson completed 80.0 percent (24-of-30) of his passes vs. Minnesota September 23, 1984.
  • The following players have been listed on the Detroit Lions' injury report: WR Shaun Bodiford (knee), S Kenoy Kennedy (foot) and LB Alex Lewis (knee) are out. T Barry Stokes (hamstring), T Rex Tucker (knee) and G Ross Verba (hamstring) are questionable. Bodiford, Kennedy, Lewis, Stokes and Tucker each missed the team portion of practice today. CB Shaun Rogers was also held out for a portion of team practice and CB Fernando Bryant did not practice (personal issue).
  • The following players have been listed on the Green Bay Packers' injury report: T Junius Coston (knee) is doubtful. CB Will Blackmon (foot), RB Ahman Green (hamstring), CB Al Harris (shoulder), TE David Martin (knee) and G Jason Spitz (thigh) are questionable. Blackmon, Coston, Green and Spitz each missed the team portion of practice today. Green Bay added Green to their injury list today.
  • The Lions will host the Packers Sunday in a NFC North division match-up at Ford Field. This week, Detroit will look to get their first win after a difficult 34-7 loss to the defending NFC North division-winning Chicago Bears while Green Bay looks to rebound from a heartbreaking 34-27 home loss to the New Orleans Saints.
  • Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Lions Notes for Thursday Sept 21

  • CB Dré Bly has forced a fumble in both games for Detroit this season. He forced a RB Shaun Alexander fumble in the second quarter against Seattle (9/10) and then stripped the ball away from WR Bertrand Berry in the third quarter at Chicago (9/17).
  • Since joining the Lions prior to the 2003 season, Bly has intercepted QB Brett Favre four times in six games against the Packers.
  • The following players have been listed on the Detroit Lions' injury report: WR Shaun Bodiford (knee), S Kenoy Kennedy (foot) and LB Alex Lewis (knee) are out. T Barry Stokes (hamstring), T Rex Tucker (knee) and G Ross Verba (hamstring) are questionable. DE Cory Redding and DT Shaun Rogers were removed from the injury list today after being listed Wednesday as probable. Bodiford, Kennedy, Lewis, Stokes and Tucker each missed the team portion of practice today. CB Fernando Bryant (personal reasons) also did not practice today.
  • The following players have been listed on the Green Bay Packers' injury report: T Junius Coston (knee) is doubtful. CB Will Blackmon (foot), CB Al Harris (shoulder), TE David Martin (knee) and G Jason Spitz (thigh) are questionable. Blackmon, Coston and Spitz each missed the team portion of practice today. Green Bay did not list any changes to their injury report today.
  • The Lions will host the Packers Sunday in a NFC North division match-up at Ford Field. This week, Detroit will look to get their first win after a difficult 34-7 loss to the defending NFC North division-winning Chicago Bears while Green Bay looks to rebound from a heartbreaking 34-27 home loss to the New Orleans Saints. 
  • Sunday's game will be televised live in Metro Detroit on WJBK-TV FOX Channel 2 with Ron Pitts handling play-by-play and Terry Donahue adding color commentary. The game will also be broadcast on the Lions Radio Network (WKRK 97.1 FM) with announcer Dan Miller handling play-by-play, Jim Brandstatter adding color commentary and Tony Ortiz reporting from the sideline.
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