Notebook: Can Lions Get A Win?

After helping advance Chicago's post-season and NFC North goals, the Lions will attempt to do the same for Green Bay on Sunday. News, notes and quotes inside ...

Clearly, the NFC North title goes through Detroit.

After helping further the Chicago Bears' cause on Sunday, losing 24-20, the Lions have a chance to do the same this week when Green Bay comes to town.

"Our mentality is to just keep fighting," said quarterback Drew Stanton, who in his second career start completed 21 of 26 passes for 234 yards, throwing for one touchdown (46 yards to Calvin Johnson) and running for another (3 yards), without a turnover. "We're so close. You talk to guys around the league and everybody says we are a much-improved team. But not until the wins come does it really feel better.

"But there is solace in knowing we're competing and that guys aren't folding it in. We're doing a lot of great things. We just have to find a way to make one or two more."

Truthfully, if anybody wanted to make a movie of the Lions' 2010 season, they could use the fourth quarter Sunday as the trailer. It was the whole close-but-no-cigar story in a nutshell.

"Mistakes, penalties, drive killers; finding a way to lose games," said Calvin Johnson after the 24-20 loss to the Bears. "I don't think we're getting any worse, but we're not winning."

Leading 20-17 entering the fourth quarter, the Lions were stopped on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 plays, helped set up the go-ahead touchdown with a unnecessary roughing penalty against defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, failed to take advantage of a short field set up by a 60-yard kickoff return by Stefan Logan, failed to pin a punt inside the 10-yard line and then couldn't get the ball back in the final 5:17.

It was the same way the loss at Green Bay ended in Week 4. Where's the progress in that?

"We have to find a way to make one more play on offense and on special teams, and we have to find a way to prevent one more play on defense," coach Jim Schwartz said. "That's the bottom line with us right now."

No, the bottom line is 2-10 with no winnable games in the foreseeable future.


  • TRENDING: DT Ndamukong Suh has four personal foul penalties this season, five counting one for which he was fined in the preseason. The one Sunday was questionable, but it points to a growing, negative perception against Suh.

    "What for?" Suh said when asked about changing his game. "There's no reason to. Honestly, I don't care. I am going to just keep playing."

    Suh chased quarterback Jay Cutler down from behind and whacked him to the ground with a two-handed shove to the upper back. Referee Ed Hochuli thought Suh had hit him in the head with his forearm

    "I felt it was an unnecessary, non-football act," Hochuli said through a pool reporter, "a blow to the back of the runner's helmet in the process of him going down."

    Replays were clear that Suh didn't hit Cutler in the head, but it set the Bears up at the Lions' 7 and they scored the winning touchdown on the next play.

  • LINEUP WATCH: Quarterback Drew Stanton was very efficient, surprisingly so, in his second start in four years. His quarterback rating was 102.4 and he didn't have a turnover. Look for him to use his legs even more against the Packers. The Lions ran one option play, which gained five yards, were going to run another on a key fourth-and-1 play in the fourth quarter. The play was set up to work, given the Bears' defensive alignment, but the play clock ran down and the Lions had to use a timeout. They changed the play after the timeout and a rollout pass play failed.
  • DE Cliff Avril had a career-high three of the Lions' four sacks. DE Turk McBride, who started for the injured Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) had the other.
  • KR Stefan Logan amassed 153 total yards, including a 60-yard kickoff return. He's had four returns of 50 or more yards this season.
  • RB Jahvid Best had his most productive game in six weeks. He had 65 yards in nine carries, including a 45-yard run that set up the Lions' second touchdown.
  • WR Calvin Johnson caught his 12th touchdown pass of the season, which ties his career-high for a season. He is the first Lion to have at least 12 touchdown receptions in two separate seasons.
  • PK Dave Rayner booted a 50-yard field goal, making him just the third Lions kicker to do so since 1973. Eddie Murray and Jason Hanson were the others.

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