2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions looking better after win at Washington

    2013-09-23 16:42

(Eds: Updates throughout to add details. With AP Photos.)
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions returned from their latest road trip with a bit more legitimacy.

Not only did they win at Washington for the first time in franchise history, but they also set up an early showdown with unbeaten Chicago next weekend in the Motor City. Not that coach Jim Schwartz is all that concerned about standings or marquee matchups at this time of year.

``The urgency is there for everybody to improve and to get the next win,'' Schwartz said Monday. ``I'm certainly not downplaying the importance of any game, but we treat them all with respect and we want to win every single one.''

Still, the Lions (2-1) are one of only five teams in the NFC with a winning record, which is a step in the right direction for a team that lost eight games in a row to end last season. Detroit's 27-20 win Sunday came without running back Reggie Bush, whose knee problems kept him sidelined. Joique Bell filled in impressively, rushing for 63 yards and catching four passes for 69.

And the receivers did their part against a beleaguered Washington defense that managed a sack on the first play from scrimmage but otherwise had a hard time stopping quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions.

``They blitzed an awful lot. They crowded the middle of the field. I thought Matt played an outstanding game,'' Schwartz said. ``We were 8.8 yards per pass play. That's very, very high.''

Schwartz credited the offensive line for giving Stafford time to find Calvin Johnson (seven catches for 115 yards) and Nate Burleson (six for 116). Stafford had an interception returned for a touchdown early in the first quarter, but by halftime, the Lions had taken a lead they would never relinquish.

They snapped their run of futility at Washington with the help of a replay decision that was deliciously ironic for Detroit fans. The Lions stayed ahead when Aldrick Robinson's 57-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was negated because he didn't maintain complete control of the ball after falling to the ground in the end zone.

That's a ruling that's probably most famous for costing Johnson an important touchdown in a game a few years ago. This time it benefited Detroit.

Not all the news was good, of course. Bush could return soon, but Schwartz was non-committal, and defensive end Jason Jones was lost for the season with a left knee injury in the second quarter.

``I can't say enough,'' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. ``It's going to be a tough loss.''

Jones signed with the Lions as a free agent in March, and Detroit was counting on him after the team parted ways with Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch in the offseason. Now the pressure will be on players like Willie Young and Devin Taylor to fill in.

Meanwhile, rookie Ziggy Ansah continues to show promise at defensive end. He had two sacks at Washington.

``I find ourselves very similar in the way we came into the game of football,'' Suh said. ``He started later than me, but not too much later than me. ... He takes that coaching, soaks it up and runs with it.''

Although Schwartz was hesitant to place too much importance on this game against Chicago, it will certainly be interesting to see how the Lions measure up. The Bears swept Detroit in 2012, but both games were decided by single digits.

Chicago forced five turnovers in a 40-23 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday night, so the Lions can expect a much different challenge than the one they faced Sunday.

And even Schwartz is willing to concede that, yes, divisional games matter a little more than others.

``I talk about NFC games because when you do get to the end of the year, that's one of the tiebreakers,'' Schwartz said. ``NFC North games mean an awful lot because No. 1, it's a chance for you to win the game, but No. 2, it's a chance to put a loss on one of your opponents without having somebody else have to help you do it. They're certainly important. I'm not up here to tell you it's not.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Reggie BushNov 22 05:32p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is likely out for Week 12 and is targeting the Thanksgiving Day game Thursday, Nov. 27, to return.

Marcel ReeceNov 22 04:42p

Oakland Raiders FB Marcel Reece earned more carries after his performance in Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 20. Reece rushed for 46 yards during a crucial 17-play, 80-yard drive late [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 22 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is highly unlikely to suit up Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 22 01:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was officially activated from the exempt/commissioner permission list Saturday, Nov. 22. In a subsequent move, the team waived LB Keith Pough.

A.J. JenkinsNov 22 12:42p

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed WR A.J. Jenkins (shoulder) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

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