2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions still dealing with questions about defense

    2012-11-12 19:06

(Eds: Updates with quotes, detail. With AP Photos.)
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions aren't a desperate team yet. Coach Jim Schwartz prefers a slightly different description.

``I think our word is `urgent' - we had six of our first nine on the road,'' Schwartz said Monday. ``We now have a stretch of three in a row at home. We have to do something with that.''

After a loss at Minnesota on Sunday, the Lions (4-5) remain in last place in the NFC North. Their playoff hopes are looking tenuous, especially with a tough schedule the rest of the way. Detroit does have that stretch of three straight home games coming up, but it starts Sunday against Green Bay - not exactly an easy matchup.

The Lions allowed 45 points to the Packers when the teams met at the end of last season, and the questions about Detroit's defense haven't gone away. Adrian Peterson rushed for 171 yards in Minnesota's 34-24 win last weekend.

``We don't have a whole lot of wiggle room for mistakes down the stretch. We have to play our best,'' Schwartz said. ``It's life in the NFL. You have to do that all the time.''

Schwartz spent some time Monday standing up for his defensive line. Peterson ran for a lot of yards Sunday, but 61 of them were on one play - a touchdown in the fourth quarter that made it 31-17.

Schwartz was particularly encouraged by Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, who had the team's only sack.

``Nick had one of the best games he's played since he's been here, but a lot like the rest of our team, a couple mistakes overshadowed the good things that he did,'' Schwartz said. ``I thought Ndamukong Suh might have played the best game he's played since he's been here. ... Unless they doubled him in pass protection, he was in the quarterback's lap the whole game.''

Lions fans better hope Schwartz is right about the defensive front, because this weekend they face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers didn't even play in Green Bay's 45-41 win over Detroit in last season's regular-season finale. Backup Matt Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns.

Detroit was reeling a bit at that point, and the Lions went on to lose 45-28 to New Orleans in the playoffs a week later. The defense clearly needed to improve, and the Lions were seventh in the NFL in overall defense entering last weekend's game.

But Detroit wasn't able to stop Peterson.

``We contained him for most of the game and then kind of let up in the fourth quarter. He got a couple of runs on the outside and was able to get to the house,'' linebacker Stephen Tulloch said. ``We just have to play a complete game because when you're playing against a guy like Adrian Peterson it takes four quarters.''

There are more tests to come. After hosting the Packers, Detroit faces Houston on Thanksgiving, followed by another home game against Indianapolis. Then comes a difficult finishing stretch with games against Green Bay, Arizona, Atlanta and Chicago.

``We'll leave math for mathematicians and statisticians and stuff like that - need to have consistent performance,'' Schwartz said. ``You need to go out and win the next game that you're playing. You need to be able to put a win or a loss behind you.''

NOTES: Schwartz said CB Drayton Florence has been cleared to return from a broken arm. The Lions released CB Alphonso Smith. ... The Lions took exception to WR Calvin Johnson being hit in the head against Minnesota, but Schwartz said Monday he didn't think there was any deliberate attempt to injure the Detroit star. ``I don't think anybody in this league is trying to hurt somebody,'' Schwartz said. ``They're trying to defend him, but as a result, he ended up getting hit in the head a couple times. Thank goodness he was fine.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Brandon ColemanSep 2 10:03p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandon Coleman has impressed QB Drew Brees during training camp and the preseason. The quarterback said Tuesday, Sept. 2, that he has a great comfort level with Coleman.

Richard RodgersSep 2 09:43p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers is expected to see more opportunities in the passing game with WR Jordy Nelson (knee) done for the season.

Melvin GordonSep 2 08:23p

San Diego Chargers RBs Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown will be part of a committee at running back this season, according to QB Philip Rivers. [ More ]

Randall CobbSep 2 07:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) said he'd be comfortable starting in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears even if he doesn't practice next week. However, wide receivers [ More ]

Giovani BernardSep 2 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals RBs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard both finished among the top-16 running backs in point-per-reception leagues last season.

Tom BradySep 2 04:33p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady doesn't look like he'll reach a settlement with the NFL. The league and the NFL Player's Associated have not had any talks regarding [ More ]

Victor CruzSep 2 04:03p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) is doubtful to play Week 1, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Dan Graziano. Cruz has not yet been cleared to practice and did not participate in the preseason.

LeSean McCoySep 2 01:43p

Updating an earlier report, Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) may not be in great 'football shape' once Week 1 rolls around, according to a source. He's not at [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 2 12:43p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) seems to be in some danger of missing the season opener Sept. 13. 'Well we certainly expect him to be ready to go, [ More ]

EJ ManuelSep 2 11:33a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is expected to remain on the team as the backup quarterback. There is growing expectations that QB Matt Cassel will be cut.

Matt CasselSep 2 09:23a

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel could be cut by the team, as they are internally discussing the option.

Joseph RandleSep 2 08:33a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could have 10-15 carries per game with RB Darren McFadden slightly below that, in the opinion of beat writer Drew Davison

Travis CoonsSep 1 11:03p

Cleveland Browns PK Travis Coons edged out PK Carey Spear, winning the battle for the placekicking job. 'Yeah, it was close. I thought both guys handled themselves very well, [ More ]

Nick ToonSep 1 07:43p

New Orleans Saints WRs Nick Toon, Lance Lewis and R.J. Harris were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Randall CobbSep 1 06:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) thinks his sprained right shoulder will be good to go to play in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in 12 days. [ More ]

James ButlerSep 1 05:53p

Green Bay Packers WR James Butler and TE Harold Spears were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Julius ThomasSep 1 05:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) will undergo surgery on his injured finger Wednesday, Sept. 2, according to a source. Thomas is expected to miss four to five weeks.

Zac DysertSep 1 05:13p

Free-agent QB Zac Dysert (Broncos) was claimed by the Chicago Bears Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Tom BradySep 1 05:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will know his fate by the end of this week. Judge Richard Berman said he will issue his decision and order by that time.

Matt BlanchardSep 1 04:53p

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Blanchard was released Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Juron CrinerSep 1 04:32p

New York Giants RB Akeem Hunt (hamstring) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Juron Criner and Derrick X. Johnson and TE Will Tye were also waived.

Robert HerronSep 1 04:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Robert Herron was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Phil TaylorSep 1 04:23p

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Junior HemingwaySep 1 04:12p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Junior Hemingway was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Michael HillSep 1 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys RB Michael Hill (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Antwan Goodley and David Porter and TE Brandon Barden were also waived.

Travis KelceSep 1 03:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) would be able to play if the Chiefs had a game Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kelce is recovering from an ankle sprain.

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 03:03p

Carolina Panthers WRs Jarrett Boykin and De'Andre Presley were waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jace AmaroSep 1 01:33p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (shoulder) will have season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Erik LorigSep 1 12:33p

New Orleans Saints FB Erik Lorig was cut Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nathan PalmerSep 1 11:53a

Denver Broncos WR Nathan Palmer was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Devonta FreemanSep 1 11:32a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was the most active in practice Monday, Aug. 31, that he was been since a hamstring injury Aug. 6. It's unclear whether he'll play [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 10:33a

Carolina Panthers WR Jarrett Boykin was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group