Monday, November 06, 2006

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



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.

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.
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."