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

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

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