2014 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

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

C.J. SpillerDec 17 02:13p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Blake BortlesDec 17 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and is listed as questionable for Week 16.

Julio JonesDec 17 01:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Dec. 17.

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 01:33p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) wasn't expected to do a lot at practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, but he took first-team snaps at running back [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 17 01:23p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) returned to practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and he worked with the second-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media. QB [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is participating in individual drills during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

T Y HiltonDec 17 12:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating during the media-access portion of practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Rashad JenningsDec 17 11:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) will not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Keenan AllenDec 17 11:03a

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone, ankle) said he is taking his injuries 'week to week.'

Denard RobinsonDec 17 10:13a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson (foot) has a partially torn ligament in his foot, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Recovery time is six to eight weeks, but he [ More ]

Marc TrestmanDec 16 09:33p

The Chicago Bears are expected to fire head coach Marc Trestman, according to a source. The team's ownership met Tuesday, Dec. 16, after the team's Week 15 loss against [ More ]

Julio JonesDec 16 09:33p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is expected to be ready to play in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints. However, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter indicated the possibility [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerDec 16 06:43p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) missed practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Dec. 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will likely be a game-time decision against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16, according to owner Jerry Jones. Jones said the team is [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 16 05:33p

Denver Broncos TE Virgil Green continued to lead the team's tight ends in snaps with 50 in Week 15 against the San Diego Chargers, even with TE Julius Thomas [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 16 05:23p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is 0-2 with a 35.6 total quarterback rating at Tampa Bay in his career. He threw three interceptions in each of those games.

Blake BortlesDec 16 04:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was jogging, throwing and moving around well while being limited at practice Thursday, Dec. 16. He showed no signs of being limited by [ More ]

Colt McCoyDec 16 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was told by doctors that he only needs two to three weeks for the aggravated nerve in his neck [ More ]

Keenan AllenDec 16 04:13p

Updating a previous report, San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) could be placed on Reserve/Injured if the team is eliminated from playoff contention. Allen will not play this [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 16 02:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Colt McCoyDec 16 02:33p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Dec. 16, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Keenan AllenDec 16 02:33p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) suffered a broken collarbone in Week 15 and is not expected to play this week. Surgery is not planned at this point [ More ]

Blake BortlesDec 16 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) said his foot felt fine during a team walkthrough Tuesday, Dec. 16, and he is confident he will be ready to play this week.

Blake BortlesDec 16 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) is expected to play in Week 16 against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, according to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Even though Bortles [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 01:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) has a good chance to play in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts despite having surgery on a broken left hand, according to [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 09:23a

Updating an earlier report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) isn't risking further injury by playing in Week 16. The team believes he can play.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 08:53a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) could play in Week 16, in the opinion of beat writer Bryan Broaddus. At least, that is the team's early thinking.

Jay GrudenDec 16 05:53a

Although the Washington Redskins haven't confirmed the news, sources have said coach Jay Gruden will be retained as coach for the 2015 season.

Andre JohnsonDec 16 05:23a

The Houston Texans are expected to ask WR Andre Johnson to take a pay cut for future seasons, with an outright release a possibility if he refuses. Johnson will [ More ]

Corey WhiteDec 15 07:13p

The New Orleans Saints have declared CB Corey White, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, OT Nick Becton, DL Ronald Powell, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 15.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group