Lions Fast Start Offers Semblance of Hope

Despite second consecutive loss, several Lions share their thoughts on what seemed to be an improvement over last week.

The Detroit Lions built a 10-0 lead, the Vikings' offense and vaunted defense looked frustrated and lost, and for the first time in a long time, Lions fans had a reason to smile.

And then it promptly all fell apart.

Detroit's 27-13 loss against Minnesota on Sunday certainly wasn't appeasing to a fan-base starving for a win (Detroit's losing streak dates back to 2007), but it did provide a spark of something others are understandably hesitant to chew: hope.

"No one quit," said second-year running back Kevin Sith, who jaunted for 83 yards on 24 carries, but also lost a crucial fumble in the second half. "There was no demeanor on the team that changed. Everybody went out there to win. We have warriors on this team, but I can't fumble the ball.

"We have to stick with what we were doing in the first half, you know, stopping the run and running the ball effectively. We went out there and gave a good effort. It's not good enough. We lost the game but we're going to come back Monday and work hard. We want to win. We are not going out there and laying down and saying the Vikings are going to win. They were better than us today and that's how I see it."

Linebacker Julian Peterson reiterated that statement. Peterson had three tackles but was noticeably more efficient versus last week's loss at New Orleans; a sentiment that applied to the entire defense, which was more aggressive than they were in the season opener.

"It's definitely not going to (make or break the season)," said the former Michigan State standout. "We didn't get the win but we're headed in the right direction. If we played the second-half like we played the first half, we would win that game.

"Whatever we did wrong we need to correct it in practice this week."

One player who stepped up was defensive end Jason Hunter. Filling in for Detroit's top defensive end, an injured Cliff Avril, Hunter sacked Brett Favre and tallied three tackles.

Said Hunter, "It's definitely a hard one to digest, because you always want to win your divisional games and coming into this game we practiced hard, executed during the week, all the guys were up for this game and like I said, to play that well in the first half and to come out in the second half and have some of the things that happened to us is definitely hard to digest and something that we'll definitely get corrected, and we're going to have a really good team."

Kicker Jason Hanson, who showed no ill signs after knee surgery one month ago with a 48-yard field goal in the loss, and one of the lone hold-overs from the Matt Millen-era, offered a realistic viewpoint of the team.

"Well, we're making progress, but we're coming from the bottom," he said. "So, while I wasn't expecting to lose both these games, that happens when you make mistakes against these teams that are pretty good. It's disheartening to keep losing, but at the same time we are doing some things better. It's a different attitude and everything, but we've got to fight right now before this starts to snowball and media and fans, rightfully, are going to be like 'oh here we go…' We've got to cut that right now and do whatever it takes to win."

Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz said winning becomes a habit, something the current rendition of the ball club needs to acquire.

"I think when players are in those situations, I mean there have been plenty of situations that good teams have been in the past that drop down 10-0, they come over to the sideline and say, 'Hey settle down we're going to be ok.' There's a confidence that winning breeds and we need to get to that point."


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