Lions finding swagger with early success

The Lions are feeling the exhilaration of being 2-0 and having a chance to go 3-0 for the first time in 30 years. However, they still remember their recent losing roots even while preparing for a special touchdown dance against the Vikings.

Coach Jim Schwartz hates to use the word swagger, but he couldn't come up with a better way to describe the feeling his team has coming into Week 3.

"We have some good players, and we don't need to just sneak out onto the field and sneak away," he said. "They're good players. We can embrace that. But we're worried about winning football games and doing what we can. When you have good players they're going to get attention. When you win football games, you're going to get attention. And that's what we've done these first two weeks."

And in the next breath he will repeat the mantra of the week – "But it's only two games, we have a lot of work to do."

The Lions are swimming in uncharted water right now. There are still 10 players left on the roster from the 0-16 season. The team hasn't started 2-0 since 2007 and hasn't been 3-0 since 1980.

So there is an odd but exhilarating mix of emotions swirling around the practice facility.

"We put in so much work and now we're starting to see the fruits of our labor," WR Nate Burleson said. "Now you can start to see the swagger come out in this team. ... You're just starting to see us actually figure it out a little bit."

The swagger is tempered by the memory of the ugly past.

"We don't take anything for granted," DE Kyle Vanden Bosch said. "We know where we're at and we know where this team and this organization has come from. It's not like we're coming off a Super Bowl or we're a perennial playoff team. We have to earn it every week."

The Lions have had a specially-designed touchdown dance for every victim this season. The dances were team choreographed but executed by TE Tony Scheffler. Against the Bucs, he did a swashbuckling pirate. Against the Chiefs, he pantomimed making native American smoke signals.

This week, they travel to Minnesota, where they haven't won since 1997 – a fact that Vikings mascot Ragnar never tires of reminding them of with his Old Norse horn.

"I might bring my own horn," said Burleson. "That might be a celebration I need to do."

PLAYER NOTES

  • QB Matthew Stafford has thrown seven touchdown passes in two games. The last Lions quarterback to throw seven touchdowns in the first two games of a season was Milt Plum in 1962.

    Stafford's passer rating through two games is 112 – fourth in the NFL. His seven touchdown tosses is tied for the most in the league. His 8.32 yards per reception ranks seventh and his completion percentage of 65.3 is 11th.

  • RB Jahvid Best may not be the 1,000-yard rusher the Lions have lacked for several years, but he is becoming a multi-dimensional threat. He had 57 yards rushing and just missed breaking two long runs. More importantly, he thwarted Kansas City's defensive plan by catching six passes for 66 yards. He scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown.

  • WR Calvin Johnson was double- and triple-teamed throughout the game – and he still managed to catch a pair of touchdown passes. He has 37 touchdown catches in his career, second in Lions' history to Herman Moore (62).

  • WR Nate Burleson caught seven passes against six different defenders for 93 yards. He averaged 13.3 yards, doing a lot of damage after the catch.

  • WR Titus Young showed why the Lions were so thrilled to draft him in the second round. He caught five passes for 89 yards, the best was a 43-yarder on a third-and-24 play. He not only made a strong move across the field to get open, he also outjumped the safety to make the catch.

  • LT Jeff Backus appeared to injure a finger or two Sunday. He was X-rayed after the game and left the locker room with the hand wrapped. Coach Jim Schwartz, though, indicated the Backus wouldn't miss any time.

  • TE Brandon Pettigrew fell awkwardly on his shoulder and missed a couple of plays Sunday. He did return and finished the game. His status will be revealed on Wednesday.


  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Coach Jim Schwartz hates to use the word swagger, but he couldn't come up with a better way to describe the feeling his team has coming into Week 3. \"We have some good players, and we don't need to just sneak out onto the field and sneak away,\" he said. \"They're good players. We can embrace that. But we're worried about winning football games and doing what we can. When you have good players they're going to get attention. When you win football games, you're going to get attention. And that's what we've done these first two weeks.\" And in the next breath he will repeat the mantra of the week – \"But it's only two games, we have a lot of work to do.\" The Lions are swimming in uncharted water right now. There are still 10 players left on the roster from the 0-16 season. The team hasn't started 2-0 since 2007 and hasn't been 3-0 since 1980. So there is an odd but exhilarating mix of emotions swirling around the practice facility. \"We put in so much work and now we're starting to see the fruits of our labor,\" WR Nate Burleson said. \"Now you can start to see the swagger come out in this team. ... You're just starting to see us actually figure it out a little bit.\" The swagger is tempered by the memory of the ugly past. \"We don't take anything for granted,\" DE Kyle Vanden Bosch said. \"We know where we're at and we know where this team and this organization has come from. It's not like we're coming off a Super Bowl or we're a perennial playoff team. We have to earn it every week.\" The Lions have had a specially-designed touchdown dance for every victim this season. The dances were team choreographed but executed by TE Tony Scheffler. Against the Bucs, he did a swashbuckling pirate. Against the Chiefs, he pantomimed making native American smoke signals. This week, they travel to Minnesota, where they haven't won since 1997 – a fact that Vikings mascot Ragnar never tires of reminding them of with his Old Norse horn. \"I might bring my own horn,\" said Burleson. \"That might be a celebration I need to do.\"
  • QB Matthew Stafford has thrown seven touchdown passes in two games. The last Lions quarterback to throw seven touchdowns in the first two games of a season was Milt Plum in 1962. Stafford's passer rating through two games is 112 – fourth in the NFL. His seven touchdown tosses is tied for the most in the league. His 8.32 yards per reception ranks seventh and his completion percentage of 65.3 is 11th.
  • RB Jahvid Best may not be the 1,000-yard rusher the Lions have lacked for several years, but he is becoming a multi-dimensional threat. He had 57 yards rushing and just missed breaking two long runs. More importantly, he thwarted Kansas City's defensive plan by catching six passes for 66 yards. He scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown.
  • WR Calvin Johnson was double- and triple-teamed throughout the game – and he still managed to catch a pair of touchdown passes. He has 37 touchdown catches in his career, second in Lions' history to Herman Moore (62).
  • WR Nate Burleson caught seven passes against six different defenders for 93 yards. He averaged 13.3 yards, doing a lot of damage after the catch.
  • WR Titus Young showed why the Lions were so thrilled to draft him in the second round. He caught five passes for 89 yards, the best was a 43-yarder on a third-and-24 play. He not only made a strong move across the field to get open, he also outjumped the safety to make the catch.
  • LT Jeff Backus appeared to injure a finger or two Sunday. He was X-rayed after the game and left the locker room with the hand wrapped. Coach Jim Schwartz, though, indicated the Backus wouldn't miss any time.
  • TE Brandon Pettigrew fell awkwardly on his shoulder and missed a couple of plays Sunday. He did return and finished the game. His status will be revealed on Wednesday.
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