LATEST FROM FORD FIELD: DETROIT LIONS VS. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: POSTGAME NOTES AND QUOTES
- With 102 rushing yards on the day, RB T.J. Duckett set a career single-game best. His previous single-game high was 100 yards at Carolina (9/28/2003). It was his first 100-yard game as Lion, and the second by a Lions running back this year.
- Duckett had a 53-yard run in the third quarter that set up a Lions 20-yard field goal. Duckett's run was the longest by a Lions running back this season. It is also the second longest run of his career.
- Duckett also scored his third rushing touchdown of the year on an 11-yard run. His three rushing TDs this season are the most for Duckett since he had 8 in 2005.
- With his first three passing attempts, QB Jon Kitna now has 500 attempts on the year. It is the fifth time in team history a quarterback has thrown 500 passes in a season, and it is the second time Kitna has reached 500 attempts in two years.
- LB Paris Lenon returned a Brodie Croyle interception 55 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was Lenon's second career interception and first career touchdown.
- DT Shaun Rogers recorded two sacks on the day, which gives him 6.5 total sacks on the season. His 6.5 sacks establish a new single-season high for Rogers in his career.
- DT Cory Redding recorded his first sack of the season in the fourth quarter (5 yards). He also ended the day with 4 tackles.
- LB Boss Bailey had a sack-fumble on Chiefs QB Damon Huard in the third quarter. He now has a career-high 3.5 sacks on the season. It was his first forced fumble of the year.
- K Jason Hanson hit a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter, the 100th 40-49 yard field goal of his career. He is the sixth player in NFL history to convert 100 kicks from that range.
- Also, by hitting the 46-yard kick, Hanson became only the second player in NFL history with 100 field goals from 40-49 yards and 30 50-yard field goals (Morten Anderson).
- Hanson ended the day with field goals of 46, 20 and 47 yards and two PATs. He scored 11 of the team's 25 points. He has converted a league-high 14 kicks from beyond 40 yards, with 11 from 40-49 yards. It also marks the third time in his career (1998 and 1999) that he has nailed 10 kicks from 40-49 yards in a season.
- TE Casey FitzSimmons blocked a Kansas City punt at the end of the first quarter which resulted in a safety. It is the Lions' second blocked punt of the season and the team's 21st blocked kick since 2001, which leads the league. It is FitzSimmons' second career blocked punt.
- The safety was the Lions' first since December 3, 2006 at New England (DE Jared DeVries).
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Injuries: "Just a couple on the injuries: Kevin Jones, knee - we'll see on that - Damien Woody, shoulder; and (Gerald) Alexander had a stinger in the shoulder. So those are the three key ones."
On how he broke two projectors: "How does that happen? Probably my hand hit the projector."
On what he was trying to reinforce: "Not having mental errors."
On if he'll have a payroll reduction: "That could be."
On the importance of the game: "Every game is. It's important. Everything is important in this league: every game is important, how we go out and prepare and produce and all those things every week. It's critical that we keep developing and keep getting better. I just don't wantâ€¦ I'm not interested in any of these guys going Christmas shopping, that mentality. No way. We're going to finish. We have bad weeks, good weeks, badâ€¦ we've just got to keep fighting all the way through it."
On if the win was big: "It is big, especially going 5-3 at home. I think that was really important; that is something I wanted to do: a winning record at home. These fans have been special all year. So it's big. Now we just get ourselves ready to go for the next week."
On LB Paris Lenon's interception: "He broke on the ball. We got decent pressure, and then, boy, he just believes his eyes. In this system, if you just believe your eyes, believe it, and break, then you have a chance to make plays."
On the defense getting pressure again: "Yeah, I mean most of them were four-man rushes. We had one where we replaced, we had a man-blitz and replaced inside, but the front came hard today. They did a nice job, and they disrupted the run a little bit. They kept coming up the field. Like I said, it always starts up front. If we play well, the front has got to play."
On stopping the two-point conversion: "It looked like they squeezed it down. I thought they squeezed it, and that was a big play."
On finding consistency: "Yeah, the consistency, and I talk to you a lot about that. That's just got to drive: it's every week. We played hard, I thought, against Dallas, and we came up short. The Giants we played hard, but then we go on the road and we had our failures, so we're still too inconsistent and it's got to mean everything to us when we play."
On the challenge of Bowe's touchdown: "The thing I thought was, they both had the ball when they went down. I didn't think possession was established when he went out of bounds. That was my thought when I saw it."
On the possible fumble that he didn't challenge: "We saw it upstairs, and the picture we saw, we thought his knee was down."
On the special teams' play: "The last two weeks, the kickoff team has been better. Like I was telling these men the other day, something I'll always believe: if something is not working well, we just kept them out seven minutes after practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and we just broke it down in three phases: the approach, the fits and the acceleration. They've taken the challenge. They did a great job today. That was a big part of it, that game. I felt comfortable going for that field goal at the end and then kicking it off. The scary part was kicking it offâ€¦ make sure we got him down."
On if he has felt better about kickoffs: "I have. The work, we've filmed it all, and all the little detail things we try to hit. Our approach is better. We started watching it, and we weren't hitting the line in unison at times. So we just went back and re-timedâ€¦ and we've had some new guys in there. So we just went back to the very basic things again, and just did the timing of it."
On the offense struggling: "It struggled today. I think Woody going outâ€¦ I mean, I'm notâ€¦ the next guy has got to go out and play, but Woody has been a major factor in (the offense's success), and Edwin (Mulitalo). But the other guys came in and fought, but Woody has really stabilized that protection over there."
On Duckett's day today: "You've seen him all the way through (the year); I mean, he's been impressive, and he's got his opportunities. You see the guy work in practice. He has never blinked, never wavered the whole year in practice, and he's in tremendous shape. That was really good, and he caught a nice screen, caught the ball well. He was a force out there today."
LIONS QB JON KITNA
On finishing the season with a winning record at home: "Yeah, it was a good team win for us, it was nice."
On finally ending the losing streak today: "Like I said, it was a great team win. You give a lot of credit to our defense and special teams; they played awesome."
On the performance of the offense: "We had negative yards passing in the second half - I can't be happy about that and I'm not going to be happy about that; this is the NFL."
On the performance in the running game: "The running game was awesome - I'm proud of the running game, you know they did a great job in practice and kept plugging away, turning in there and making some big runs - T.J. (Duckett) did a great job and it was a great team win."
On why he doesn't sound happy about the game: "No, it was a great team win. I'm not happy with what we did in the passing game - it's tough to be happy about that because that's my part of the game. It's embarrassing, that's what it is."
On playing conservative and establishing the running game: "No, I mean that's what we wanted to do; play close to the vest and not turn the football over and that's what we did. We put a lot of pressure on our defense that way, but they responded well today."
On whether he is pleased to end the losing streak: "No question, I mean I'm happy, but I'm just not happy with my part of the game. You know, I'm happy that we played good in defense and special teams - we ran up the football well and effectively - but we had a chance to put this team away and we put a lot of pressure on our defense and we shouldn't have to do that."
On how much motivation he gets from the potential to finish the season 8-8: "I think you always just want to win, regardless, you want to win. That was case in point last year when we went down to Dallas - there's nothing to play for, but you're a competitor and you want to win. You're going to go out there and play hard and I don't know when the last time this team won in Lambeau (Field), but I know it hasn't been any time (recently). It'd be great to get to .500 and to not have a non losing record would be awesome."Â
LIONS RB T.J. DUCKETT
On what the victory meant: "It's huge - just to get back on track. We've had a rough last six weeks, and we just wanted to focus on fundamentals and just focus on doing what we could just to improve ourselves and get over the mistakes we were making, the mental errors, and just make plays."
On being the feature back for most of the day: "Football is a sport where, if a player gets hurt, someone else comes in and has to play. That's why you prepare, that's why you train the way you do. I think the whole team just came out, and we didn't blink. We just played hard and played to the end."
On what the year has been like: "It's been a blessing: just the opportunity to play football, to be back in the state of Michigan. Of course we wanted to win more games, we had big expectations this year. So that was disappointing, but just to be able to have the opportunity to play football is a blessing."
On the team's mood after the win: "It's been a while since we've won. It feels good to win at home and make the city of Detroit proud. We've got a big one next week. Finish the year out strong."
On his touchdown: "The offensive line did an unbelievable job today. Coach Colletto just - we had a very good game plan, and coach Martz called some great plays, and the line just opened up opportunities and running lanes. All of us backs, we just jumped in on them. All credit goes to the guys up front, getting a good push, and just giving us opportunities to run."
LIONS C DOMINIC RAIOLA
Opening statement: "Yeah, I guess a win like this you just need to take it. We want to get back on the winning side - it wasn't really pretty but you need to take it."
On the passing game being ugly with everything else clicking: "Yeah, like I said it was ugly, but wins like this come and you need to take it. Not every win is going to be pretty. I mean those guys have a good defense. They played Indy tough; they played a lot of teams tough. Not a lot of teams blew them out. Denver kind of got out of hand, but that's about it, they play good defense."
On what they've accomplished this season and what they continue to play for: "This is the most wins I've had since I've been here - seven wins. It's just the name on your back really, the guy next to you in this locker room. We signed up to play 16 games and hopefully the playoffs - that's not working out - but still the 16 games we need to play that. Like I said, the guy next to you, the name on your back; we still have a lot to play for. Being .500, that's an accomplishment around here."
LIONS DT CORY REDDING
On what the victory meant: "First of all, I want to congratulate my teammates for not giving up, pitching in their tents, taking a week off. Man, we busted our butts all week and we stayed focused. We said we were going to end this season in our house with a bang. Let's just go out and play for each other. Play to win, no matter what, and that's what we did. Guys went out there and played their hearts out, and we came up with a victory."
On the D-line and the team's effort: "Like I said, we play for each other. That's what we said as a unit, as a team. Look to the man to the left of you and the right of you and say, 'Hey, man, I'm playing for you today. Let's just go out, let's just have fun. Forget everything.' We set our goals high, we didn't reach them, but that doesn't mean we have to go out and play a flop game. Just go out and throw the ball out and just play. When you put this uniform on, it should mean something to you. To play in the NFL, should mean something to you. Regardless of if we're in the playoffs or not, you have to keep fighting to the end, all 16 games. That's what we did as a team."
On getting his first sack of the season: "Oh, man. It was a blessing. I just was happy, overwhelmed, in a sense, to just get that monkey off your back. I put more pressure on myself than you guys or my coaches, and you just have to keep fighting; have to keep fighting, and I knew it was going to come. So it was a great Christmas present to myself, but I'm just happy I got the sack and we got the win."
On the front being more disruptive this week: "We just said: 'hey, forget all the stats, forget who we're playing; let's just get back to doing what we do, what we started out doing the first week of training camp.' As a unit on defense, it's just disrupting. Just getting off the ball and creating havoc in the backfield. That's what coach Marinelliâ€¦ I mean, he broke two machines in our building last week trying to pound that in us. He just lit that fire, and get back to just pounding the rock, getting in the backfield and changing the line of scrimmage as a front. Once we did that, it was just a lot of fun on the field. Guys getting picks, guys getting sacks, guys getting tackles for loss. That's what we did. We just put our heads down and just penetrated."
On coach Marinelli breaking two overhead projectors: "I'm serious. I'm dead serious. He broke two machines last week. That's payroll deduct. It might not hurt him, but he broke two machines, the overhead machines, showing stuff on the field. He broke them."
LIONS LB PARIS LENON
On his interception return for a touchdown: "Well, the quarterback was the only one that could have possibly stopped me, so once I cut him off and had (Travis) Fisher in front of me - hey I was home free then. I was just hoping that we didn't have any penalties."
On whether that was his first career touchdown: "Yeah, that was my first career touchdown. I almost had one two years ago, but they ruled it - I picked up a fumble, but they said it wasn't a fumble, so it was my first one."
On how big it was to get off that losing streak and get a win: "You know, it was a big deal for us because we've worked so hard. It's been no lack of effort, we worked so hard all year, all week, and you know it's just little things here and there that have kept us where we want to be. Although we aren't heading to the playoffs, we still have a game left, so we're still out there playing."
On where this performance has been the last six weeks: "I'd just say its details. Like I said, it's no lack of effort, no lack of want to - it's just being on those details and we went out there and did a good job of that today."
CHIEFS HEAD COACH HERMAN EDWARDS
Opening statement: "Injury wise the only concern is Brodie (Croyle) with his hand. At this point I don't think he broke it. It is swollen obviously. I don't know what the extent of it is. The MRI said that it wasn't broken. We'll see where he's at going into next week. McIntosh came back into the game. I think other than that, Donnie's (Edwards) hamstrings kind of tightened up on him. I don't think he pulled them - so that's why we took him out of the game. Early in the game they got off to a big lead, and I thought we did a good job of coming back and getting it to where it was a competitive game and we had some chances to win at the end. After we got it close we went for the two-point play and just couldn't move the ball offensively. I thought early we moved the ball fairly well. We ran it fairly well, threw some passes. I thought Damon (Huard) came in and did a good job. Defensively I thought we didn't play the run very well at all. We had some other linebackers in there. They gashed us at times, we missed some tackles. They ran the ball some on us. We had some opportunities and we have that every week. Just couldn't find a way to get it done."
On going for it late in the game on fourth down: "They were running the ball fairly decent on us and we just felt after talking to everybody that we all decided we would go for it. When you are third and 15, you have two downs to make some yards and we didn't make any yards on either one of them, similar to the time we scored on the fourth down where we scored a touchdown. We're just trying to win; we're just trying to do whatever we can do to win a game. Offensively I felt we were moving the ball fairly well and we just couldn't convert them. That's the chance you take with two timeouts left. You have to decide what you want to do. You punt it away and all the sudden they make a first down and the game is over with. You'll get second-guessed either way on that one. We just felt when we talked to everybody and talked to the players and they were the same way I was. We have to go for this. We have two downs to make a first down. I said you're exactly right and that's what we tried to do and couldn't get it done."
On if QB Brodie Croyle could have gone back in: "Brodie probably couldn't have gone back. It was sore, he couldn't throw the ball. His hand was a little bit swollen so he couldn't go in."
On the play of QB Damon Huard: "Yeah he did some good things. He made some plays on the passing game, ran the ball. He made it pretty competitive really. We got within where you felt you had a chance to win if you make some plays down the stretch and we weren't able to do it."
On if Croyle will start next week: "Yeah if he can play. He'll go in and start."
On what he told his team: "I told them they deserve to win a game - as hard as they play - but we just fell a little short a bunch of weeks in a row. I told them I was proud to be their football coach. With the record we have right now, the one thing about you guys is you guys fight. That's all you can ask a team to do is fight. We have got to find a way to win a game, and that's what I told them."
CHIEFS QB DAMON HUARD
On what this loss was like and coming off the bench: "It was tough. It's tough anytime, especially when you battle back the way we did and you get as close as we did and then to come up short there in the fourth quarter. It's very frustrating, very frustrating. You know what, these guys on this team, no one quit. We're down 19 or 20 to nothing, and everyone fought back and we're not going to walk around here with our heads down. We're going to keep fighting, and thats what this league is all about. It's about perseverance, and these are tough times. In order to really enjoy the good times, sometimes you have to go through these things. You just keep fighting, keep your head up and keep working hard and hopefully things will turn."
On how they were able to score when he got in the game: "You know I don't know. You can never pinpoint it. Certainly as a backup quarterback you never know when you're going to be in there. When you look around the league and how many guys have started and played. You always prepare and you always try to be ready to go. Even if you are not getting the reps, you take the mental reps and do those things. I've been in this position before where you come off the bench. I'm comfortable with it. I don't know, we did. We got some things going. We started running the ball there in the second quarter a little bit, some nice play action pass and it worked for us. Again it is unfortunate in the fourth quarter when we had a chance there to get the job done and we didn't."
CHIEFS TE TONY GONZALEZ
On why they were back on the field so quickly after halftime: "I mean, every time we go into halftime we're doing okay, like we were - we finished the first half strong. We always come out a little flat, so we didn't want to duplicate that this time. Our tactic was to get in and get right back out there and we came out and we played pretty well, it was just unfortunate how it turned out."
On backup QB Damon Huard being more productive: "I mean, that's just how it goes and it's been like that all year. It seems like whoever the starting quarterback is, when he goes out the guy backing him up comes in and plays pretty well. It's just one of those things you know, we just need to put it all together as a team and go out there, especially as an offense, and put more points on the board."
On today being bittersweet by setting a new milestone but losing the game: "To me, at this point in my career - I've been playing a long time now - I feel like those records are just going to come no matter what if I can stay healthy, those records will come. It's all about winning at this point and if we can't go out there and win football games, to me it's all for naught. Like I said before, the records will take care of themselves; it's all about going out there, winning some games and trying to get to the playoffs. Even though we're out of it, it's just important that we get a win. I know Detroit's feeling just how we would have felt if we would have won - they haven't won in a long time and I'm sure they're feeling pretty good about themselves and it's going to be a good Christmas for them. We just need to go out there, try to get better and hopefully we can get a win before this season is over."
CHIEFS RB KOLBY SMITH
On today being a tough day: "Yes it was. You know, we were in it today and they just came up with a victory."
On whether they threw anything at them unexpectedly: "No, we pretty much knew their blitzes. We were prepared for the blitz package that they were going to bring and we were ready for it."
On whether anything was different today besides the past seven weeks: "No, not really anything different. We still lost - same old story."
On what they need to do to fix things: "Win a game. Win a game and everything is fixed."
On whether they can take away anything positive from today: "There's no giving up on this team. We always fight to the end, but sometimes things don't go your way. Through this phase that we're suffering right now, we can learn a lot about ourselves and you know they say adversity builds character - that's what we're finding out, we're finding out what kind of character this team has."
CHIEFS DE JARED ALLEN
On how tough it is: "It is, it's real tough. It's one of those things where at times we're making great plays. We battled back to get back into it, why don't we battle back to win it. It happens to be one of those things where we've got to figure that out. That's been the talk for the last eight weeks now. We're not finishing games off. That's not good enough, at least in my book it's not."
On what happened today: "We didn't win, we lost another one. Your individual efforts kind of go by the wayside when you lose."
On if there was a difference between RB Kevin Jones and RB T.J. Duckett: "No, whoever is back there you have to tackle. That's the problem. On the long runs they got, we missed tackles at the line of scrimmage. Those could have easily been negated and it could have been a whole different story. We are breaking down our coverage fundamentals and we are hurting ourselves."
On his touchdown catch and how fun it was: "It was, and whatever I can do to help the team win. My number got called again and it was nice of Tony (Gonzalez) to do all the work and letting my get all the glory. Whatever I can do to help the team win and eventually we are going to win one of these."