DETROIT LIONS WEEK 1 POST-GAME NOTES & QUOTES

The following are post-game notes and quotes from the Detroit Lions’ 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears at Ford Field
on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020.
POST-GAME NOTES
LIONS SCORING PLAYS

  • First Quarter: K Matt Prater converted a 27-yard field goal to give Detroit a 3-0 lead with 6:30 left in the quarter.
  • Second Quarter: K Matt Prater hit a 32-yard field goal with 5:37 left in the half to give Detroit a 6-3 lead.
  • Second Quarter: RB D’Andre Swift recorded a one-yard touchdown rush for the first score of his career. K Matt
    Prater converted the point after attempt to give Detroit a 13-6 lead with 19 seconds left in the half.
  • Third Quarter: QB Matthew Stafford threw a four-yard touchdown to TE T.J. Hockenson with 10:37 left to give
    Detroit a 20-6 lead. K Matt Prater converted the point after.
  • Third Quarter: K Matt Prater connected on a 44-yard field goal with 3:19 left in the quarter to give Detroit a 23-6
    lead.
    TEAM NOTES
    The Lions…
  • Produced 138 rushing yards, their most in a Week 1 game since rushing for 167 yards in Week 1 of the 1999
    season.
  • Had QB Matthew Stafford throw a pass and RB D’Andre Swift record a rush. Stafford and Swift became the first
    Georgia Bulldog duo to throw a pass and attempt a rush, respectively, for the same NFL team in the same game for
    the first time since 1952.
  • Had three players catch at least four passes and top 50 yards, had four players top 40 receiving yards and had five
    different players record at least one reception of 20-plus yards.
    INDIVIDUAL NOTES
    WR DANNY AMENDOLA
  • Caught five passes for 81 yards (16.2 avg.), hauling in a game-long reception of 32 yards.
    P JACK FOX
  • Recorded four punts for 197 yards (49.3 avg.; 49.3 net), pinning two punts inside of the 20-yard line and booming a
    long punt of 55 yards.
  • His 49.3 gross punting average ranks as the third-highest a Lions player has had in his NFL debut.
    TE T.J. HOCKENSON
  • Caught five passes for 56 yards (11.2 avg.) and one touchdown.
  • Became the first tight end in NFL history to produce at least 50 receiving yards and a touchdown in each of the first
    two Week 1 games of his career.
    WR MARVIN JONES JR.
  • Caught four passes for 55 yards (13.8 avg.).
  • Recorded at least one reception for the 82nd-straight game, the eighth-longest active streak in the NFL.
    RB ADRIAN PETERSON
  • Recorded 14 carries for 93 yards (6.6 avg.) and added three receptions for 21 yards (7.0 avg.) to produce 114 yards
    from scrimmage in his Lions debut.
  • Became the fourth player in NFL history age 35-or-older to produce at least 90 rushing yards and 20 receiving yards
    in the same game.
  • Became the fifth running back in NFL history to accumulate 1,000 career rushing yards in Week 1 games, joining
    Hall of Fame running backs Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Edgerrin James and Jim Brown.
  • Passed Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton (1,067) for the second-most combined rushing yards in Week 1 games in
    NFL history.
  • Became the fifth running back in NFL history age 35-or-older to produce a game with a 6.5 rushing average on at
    least 10 carries.
  • Notched his 70th game with at least 90 rushing yards, passing Hall of Fame RB Jerome Bettis for the sixth-most 90-
    yard games in NFL history.
  • Notched his 81st game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage, tied with RB Tiki Barber for the eighth-most in NFL
    history.
    QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
  • Completed 24-of-42 passes (57.1%) for 297 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a 77.2 passer rating.
  • Added five carries for 23 yards (4.6 avg.).
    DB TRACY WALKER
  • Finished with seven total tackles (six solo), two tackles for loss, two special teams tackles and one pass defense.
  • Became the first defensive back in NFL history (since these stats became official in 1994) to log at least five
    defensive tackles, two tackles for loss, two special teams tackles and one pass defense in the same game.
  • Upped his career totals to eight tackles for loss, the sixth-most by a defensive back in franchise history.
    LIONS HEAD COACH MATT PATRICIA POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET (VIA ZOOM)
    Opening statement: “Well, obviously it was a very disappointing game for everyone. I think the players feel that. We certainly feel that, all the way across the board. We’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to finish the game better. There’s a lot of areas we’ve got to improve on. We’ve got to take a look at the tape. Certainly we’ve got to out-execute everyone, at
    the end especially. Certainly we can’t do things that hurt ourselves, which we did in the 4th quarter. I mean you can’t win when you do that stuff. It starts with coaching, we’ve got to do a better job of coaching, that’s me. And we’ve got to go execute out on the field as a team. So, you know it’s not all one person, there’s a lot of plays out there where a lot of guys had chances including the coaches to do a better job, so it’s not all just on one play. It’s a collaborative, it’s just a bunch of plays that came up that we didn’t do a good enough job with.”
    On using last year’s similar Week 1 results in the fourth quarter as a learning experience on how to coach the team to move forward: “I mean last year is last year. It’s a totally different team. I think we know that all of the games are different. Obviously, we can put in mind whatever scenarios we want, but it’s a different team in this game, and we’ve got to go and execute. The bottom line is there’s no excuses. We’ve got to coach better, I’ve got to coach better, and we’ve got to play better there in those situations. We’ve got to finish. That’s where we are at.”
    On the decision to attempt the 55-yard field goal in the 4th quarter: “Yeah, I mean I think that we knew that we have all of the confidence in the world in (Matt) Prater and we know that that group has done a great job. And felt that it was an opportunity for us to really be aggressive, which I think we tried to do. And make sure that we are going out and trying to win the game. I think it was certainly within our field goal range, from that standpoint. So obviously, if it would have gone
    through that would have been great. It didn’t. But again, there’s a bunch of plays in there that all kind of compounded on top of each other. Definitely with Prater, I’ve got all the confidence in the world. I really do. So in those situations, again, try to be aggressive, trying to make sure we can go up and obviously, make the game hard, because we knew how
    talented and explosive their skill players are. You know, we were down a couple of players and we knew that being aggressive in that situation would help us win.”
    On if there is a correlation with his coaching and losing leads in the fourth quarter in Detroit: “Yeah, I don’t think so. I think I’ve got probably one of the biggest plays in the fourth quarter in the history of the NFL where I think I did a pretty good job. So I don’t think it’s that. I think we all know what the individual games are. We got to do a better job. We’ve got a team right now that is different than the previous two years. This team is different, they are different players and they have a different mindset. We have no excuses, give the Bears credit. They did what they did and they executed and they scored and they won and we didn’t. But we’re not looking back, we’re looking forward. And we are trying to make sure that this team, that we’re building on, understands these situations and we’ve got to come through better than we did
    before.”
    On losing multiple cornerbacks to injuries today and going forward: “Yeah, I think that’s a good point. I mean, it’s obviously, you know it’s hard when you’re down some guys, especially in one area. When you have a couple of injuries at one position you’re trying to do the best you can. Guys that are going in there are getting ready to go. We have
    confidence in all of those guys when they’ve got to go play. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow from the injury standpoint and we’ll assess and go forward. We know it doesn’t stop, you know we’ve got challenges every week and certainly at the skill positions, the DB position, we know how important it is to have all of those guys out there and to have them be
    healthy. So we’re going to fight through that.”
    On if the empty stadium impacted the outcome of the game: “I would probably just try to separate the two questions. It doesn’t really matter who is in the stands or not. We’ve just got to go out and execute at the end and just go out and coach and play better and just win. So we’ll keep that separate. It definitely was different without having fans in the
    stadium, certainly from that standpoint. The energy and the momentum was all just, the team has got to create it ourselves and we’ve got to make sure that we maintain it all the way through.”
    On how the Bears ability to create momentum in an empty stadium will affect his coaching: “Yeah, it’s a great point. You definitely can feel it more, you can see it more when those moments happen. Those moments and momentum swing they are always critical, they’re always important. But certainly with the stadium being set up the way it is we’ve got to make sure that we stay focused through that.”
    On the disappointing ending to this game in regards to the emphasis placed on finishing games during the offseason: “Yeah, I mean obviously we want to win. So anything less than that is going to be disappointing. We understand that, and with that, and trying to finish games out, and trying to make sure that we do a good job with coaching
    in those situations. We’ve got to just fight through. It’s the first game for us, it’s the first time we’ve been out there with wherever we are right now, four weeks in, in the entire season, finally being together. So we’ve got some work in front of us. We know it takes a long time, it doesn’t just kind of happen on its own. And we’ve got to just push forward and keep
    grinding it out.”
    On RB Adrian Peterson’s performance: “I thought he gave great effort, I thought he gave great energy. I think the guys, really, they like to be out there with him and they know he’s going to work hard and he’s going to go hard every single play. So that was good to see. I really thought he made some tough runs. I thought he brought a physical style to the run
    game and that was encouraging.”
    On encouraging RB DeAndre Swift after his dropped pass late in the game: “Yeah, I mean it’s exactly that. I put my arm around him as soon as we got to the tunnel, walked up the tunnel with him, and told him you know he’s a great player. The game is not on him. It’s on me, it’s on the entire bad execution and bad plays that we had toward the end of
    the game and the bad coaching. We all had opportunities to do a better job and we know that we’ve got to do that going forward. But he’s a great young player, he’s going to be a good player for a long time, he’s going to make a lot of plays and we’ll just push forward.
    On what Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky’s was doing to have success in the fourth quarter: “Obviously, they did a good job with their receivers. They have great skill players now, they really do. And they got open, and certainly they had some good protection, and we’ve got execute a couple plays better. And their guys came out with some plays so give them credit.”
    LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET (VIA ZOOM)
    On taking a sack before the missed field goal in the fourth quarter: “Yeah, I probably could have thrown it away. I think that would have made the field goal easier. We probably could’ve gotten another five yards on the next play and we’re in better range for him. I definitely wish I had thrown that one away.”
    On what he saw before his interception: “They did a nice job on Danny (Amendola), on the front side of that Khalil (Mack) pushed Danny (Amendola) off the line of scrimmage. Saw it was (INAUDIBLE) 39 (Eddie Jackson), was in there thought I could get it in before he got to him. If I had that one back, I wish I could not throw it to him in that situation.”
    On his disappointment on letting their fourth quarter lead slip away today: “Yes. It was disappointing.”
    On his reaction to RB D’Andre Swift’s drop at the end of the game: “I think he’ll turn the page. There’s so many plays in this game that caused it to go the way that it went. That’s one of them. There’s plays that we all wish we had back. I can’t turn the ball over in the fourth quarter, there’s no question about that. It’s on everybody. We’re all there to pick him
    up and go from there.”
    On if playing in the empty stadium was weird: “It was different. It was definitely different. I think the biggest thing was the TV timeouts feel like they’re forever. It’s just super quiet in there. We had a couple of guys get injured and every time someone got injured they’d turn the noise off in the stadium and it was crazy quiet. It’s stuff we’re going to have to get
    used to. Every week will be a new challenge whether the team that we’re going to has fans or not.”
    On why the team keeps letting fourth quarter leads slip away dating back to last season: “We just have to execute better. When you look at it that’s the name of the game in the fourth quarter. We didn’t do it enough last year and we didn’t do it obviously enough today.”
    On if the coaching needs to be better: “No. I mean, I think we probably drill situational football more than anybody in the NFL. So, I think we are covering the bases we just have to go out there and make it happen.”
    On if the offense and defense needs to be more aggressive in the fourth quarter: “I don’t think so. I think we had our chances on offense we took our fair share of shots in the fourth quarter. They played, our defense, maybe 80 percent of the snaps. They were trying to keep everything in front of them, so we were running the ball effectively. In the fourth quarter we called some shots and they played deep on them. So we checked it down. I don’t think there’s a mentality issue at all. I think the whole fourth quarter we’re just talking to each other trying to say let’s go finish this thing and do everything we can to do it. We just have to execute better.”
    LIONS DE TREY FLOWERS POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET (VIA ZOOM)
    On what the defense did well in the first half: “One thing I think we did well was in the red-zone. Obviously, they had just – kept (them to no) more than six points. So that red-zone defense and obviously getting off the field on third down – it was pretty good. We should’ve done a better job of stopping the run, definitely.”
    On the difficulty of playing at game-speed after not having a preseason: “It was what it was. We lost, so – I can’t say it felt good or it didn’t. We got to be better. We should’ve been better. We should’ve been at full speed.”
    On how to get the team to move past the loss and focus on the next opponent: “We’ll shift gears immediately, as far as mentally. You have to tell yourself, like this week, that you don’t want this feeling ever again. So, with that comes great focus and fundamentals, great focus and all the little things, the details – everything matters. In order for us to not let this
    linger, you have to put that towards the motivation as far as focus, as far as filling the tank back up, prepare more, take it up another notch.
    LIONS S DURON HARMON POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET (VIA ZOOM)
    On how the Lions allowed themselves to lose the game: “At the end of the day, we’ve just got to execute. It’s about coaches, it’s about players, it’s about the whole team, it’s a collective effort. We’ve just got to finish. At the end of the day, we’ve just got to finish it.”
    On the impact of the injuries in the secondary on the fourth quarter: “It did. At the end of the day, it’s the next man up. It’s the next man in the football game. They were dealing with injuries, we were dealing with injuries, that’s what happens. Everybody has a job, and it’s no let-down when somebody gets hurt. We expect to continue to perform at a high
    level, and we didn’t do that in the fourth quarter.”
    On why he believes the team will be better: “Because I believe in the team. I believe in the coaching staff. I believe in what we do. I believe in the process that we take. Obviously it didn’t end the way that we wanted to, but we know what we need to do to fix it, and we will fix it.”
    LIONS WR DANNY AMENDOLA POST-GAME QUOTES (VIA ZOOM)
    On what he would say to RB D’Andre Smith after dropping a crucial pass at the end of his first game: “Just have to keep fighting man. He’s going to play in this league for a while, and he’s going to have a lot more football to play. We’ll go back and look at film and kind of see where we can get better and go from there.”
    On the offense finding a groove in the second half: “I felt like we did some good things offensively. Again, we’re going to have to go back and watch film. I was out there running, so it felt like we did some good things. We found the run game there a little bit in the second half. We had a chance there at the end, and we couldn’t get it done.”
    On his disappointment in giving up today’s lead and the game’s similarities to last year’s opener at Arizona: “We tied that game in Arizona, but, yes it feels similar to that. We were up, trying to make plays, trying to run some clock out, move the chains, and play good football. It goes to show how close every game here in the NFL is and one mistake here, one mistake there is costly. We just have to buckle down, play consistent. We got a long way to go, so back to work this
    week. Keep fighting, I know that.”
    On why the team continues to lose games at the end: “It’s something that we’re working on. It’s something that is apparent, it’s clear. It’s clear to us, it was clear to us last year, it’s clear to the group. It’s a work in progress. We’re working hard, and we can’t afford to lose games. We know that. This league is a league of parity. Every game comes down to the wire no matter what, really. A play here, a play there at the end and it’s a different feeling. It was a close game. We feel like we can obviously do some things better. It was good to get out there, it was good to run around, get tackled for the first time in seven months. We’re all eager to get out there again, we all have a burning desire to get to work this week
    already. We’re going to keep our heads down, keep pushing, keep fighting, and try to have a little different outcome next week.”

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