Found November 12, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- With a losing record, an offense that typically struggles for three quarters and a beat-up defense that seems terribly fragile heading down the stretch, the Detroit Lions dont have many realistic reasons to think theyre headed to the playoffs. But there's one thing on their side: Home cooking. Five of the Lions final seven games are at Ford Field. Only one other NFC playoff contender, Dallas, has that many home games in the final seven weeks. Chicago, San Francisco, Green Bay, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Arizona all play more road games than home games the rest of the way. I wouldnt call it desperate or dire, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday, when asked about the state of his team. Our word is urgent. We now have a stretch of three in a row at home. We have to do something with that. Theres an urgency to that. Our margins are a lot thinner. We dont have a whole lot of wiggle room for mistakes down the stretch. We have to play our best. The Lions take a 4-5 record into Sundays game against Green Bay, which is a 3-point road favorite. The team holding the NFCs sixth and final playoff spot at this point is Seattle with a 6-4 record. The Lions also are trailing Minnesota (6-4) and Tampa Bay (5-4), along with being tied with New Orleans, Dallas and Arizona. Well leave math for mathematicians and statisticians, Schwartz said. You need to have a consistent performance. You need to go out and win the next game that youre playing. You need to put a win or a loss behind you. The last two Super Bowl winners (the New York Giants last season and Green Bay the year before) were 7-7 with two weeks to go in the season. Theres some math right there. Besides Green Bay, the Lions other home games include Houston (8-1), Indianapolis (6-3), Atlanta (8-1) and Chicago (7-2). The road trips are to Green Bay and Arizona. If we make it, well deserve it because were playing some good teams, kicker Jason Hanson said. For now, the Lions, coming off a loss at Minnesota, just want to prepare for the Packers and not think any further. Its hard not to look ahead and try to map out how you can play it out and what you need to do to get here and there, cornerback Jacob Lacey said. But once you do that, I feel like you lose focus on whats right in front of you and thats next week vs. Green Bay. DO SUHS STATS LIE? Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was credited with only one tackle, no sacks, no tackles for loss and no quarterback hits against the Vikings. That came one week after he wasnt credited with any tackles at Jacksonville. Its a long way statistically from his rookie season when Suh produced 66 tackles and 10 sacks. The perception is that Suh isnt playing well, but Schwartz will argue that point. In fact, the coachs response a little surprising. I thought Ndamukong Suh might have played the best game hes played since hes been here, Schwartz said of Sundays performance in a 34-24 loss. He was dominating at times. Unless they doubled him in pass protection, he was in the quarterbacks lap the whole game. When youre a defensive tackle, its not always reflected in statistics. When he was a rookie and got 10 sacks, we kept saying, Hey, this is extremely rare for a defensive tackle. We grade him on whether he accomplishes his assignment. Its not up to him if the balls run his direction (or) if he gets a double-team and someone else is freed up to make a play. I thought he played a very, very strong game and was difficult for those guys to handle. INJURY UPDATE Defensive end Cliff Avril apparently is bouncing back well considering he left Sundays game because of a concussion. He was much improved after the game, probably more so than a lot of the other concussions that weve had, Schwartz said. Cornerback Chris Houston injured his left ankle, the same one that forced him to miss the first two games of the season, and is day-to-day. X-rays were negative. Cornerback Drayton Florence, who has missed the last seven games following surgery for a broken forearm, is eligible to be activated from the injured list. The Lions will have to release a player to make room for Florence on the 53-man roster. Hes physically cleared, Schwartz said. Weve missed him on the field. Hes a good veteran presence, particularly with the injuries we have in the secondary. It would be good to get him (back).
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder thanks ESPN’s Samantha Steel for win over Lions

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder thanked girlfriend and ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steel for helping his team beat the Detroit Lions, 34-24. Here’s his tweet following the game:

Calvin Johnson Lights Up Vikings

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson doesn't seem to be limited at all by his knee injury. The receiver grabbed 12 balls for 207 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Vikings.Fantasy Spin:You can probably disregard all future injury updates on Johnson. If he plays, he's the top fantasy receiver, and he's played every game this season. Megatron is now averaging more yards...

Lions still dealing with questions about defense

(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By NOAH TRISTER AP Sports Writer The Detroit Lions aren't a desperate team yet. Coach Jim Schwartz prefers the word ''urgent.'' After a loss at Minnesota on Sunday, the Lions remain in last place in the NFC North at 4-5. Their playoff hopes are looking tenuous, especially with a tough schedule the rest of the way. But Detroit...

Lions DE Avril checked for concussion

Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril was in the locker room being checked for a concussion during the second half of Sunday's game against the host Minnesota Vikings, according to the Detroit News. Avril was briefly shaken up in the second quarter but came back into the game. He left the game again in the third quarter, before going to the locker room. The team reported...

Lions take issue with Vikes’ hits on Johnson

The Detroit Lions weren’t happy with at least three plays that targeted Calvin Johnson and another in which CB Chris Houston was hurt. Johnson also had some controversy surrounding his first game with the Vikings, but Mistral Raymond said Johnson’s size might contribute to hits around the head.

PJD's Game Ten Recap: Lions Lose King of Jungle Crown

Detroit Brought Lions, I Brought Crow: And it's not bad, really. You just have to char it a bit. It's kind of stringy, but that's all. And I'm not eating ALL of the crow, because despite the fact that the Vikings won on Sunday, it doesn't mean that they DOMINATED. All it means is that Purple Jesus saved their ass once again (171 yards and a TD?!), and they got...

Plenty of questions arise after the Lions’ 34-24 loss to the Vikings

Queue up the cynic’s… Same Old’ Lions. Well, we have all waited to find out what the 2012 Detroit Lions are and the verdict is in… The Lions are BAD, 4-5 bad at this point in the season. To have 34 points put up on them with a Christian Ponder quarterbacked team and without one of the league’s most dangerous weapons in Percy Harvin puts up a giant red flag. Oh yeah, the...

Vikings 34, Lions 24: Good, Bad and Ugly

Is the sky falling? Not quite yet, writes Detroit Lions insider Mike Mady, but the team didn't help themselves much during Sunday's loss at Minnesota.

ESPN Fired An Intern: When Did Matthew Stafford Get Replaced By Peyton Manning?

That was a helluva efficient day from Peyton Manning, the quarterback of the Detroit Lions. No INTs? This guy is on a roll. Anyway, the Broncos are 6-3 and should go 6-1 to finish the season. Yet to come on the schedule: Chiefs (twice) and Browns. More NFL tidbits: How many weeks until Andy Reid is fired? No way he gets through the end of the season. The Bears are the biggest frauds...

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings: Hero and Zero of the Game

In a pivotal NFC North game, the Minnesota Vikings were able to overcome the powerful offense of the Detroit Lions, going on to win 34-24.  The Vikings snapped their two game losing streak and were able to improve their record to 6-4 as they swept the Lions this year.Although the Vikings as a team played well, Christian Ponder finally had his rebound game, going 24-32 passing for...

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings: Three Bold Predictions

This game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions could clarify which team is going to contend with the Green Bay Packers for second place in the NFC North and possibly a Wild Card berth.  We know the Lions will bring in the aerial assault featuring Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, but what will the Vikings do on offense with Percy Harvin expected to miss the game.Jerome...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.