The Detroit Lions stepped up in a big way late Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles, turning on the jets in the fourth quarter to erase a 10 point deficit and winning on a Jason Hanson field goal in overtime. Understandably, Jim Schwartz was feeling better as he returned to the podium this week to break down this season saving victory.
After leading off the press conference talking about how the return of Louis Delmas sparked the entire team, Schwartz then delved into more specific questions about the anatomy of yesterday's comeback. He discussed Matthew Stafford's effort, the positive play of the defense and even broke down his latest fist pump. Special teams didn't surrender a touchdown for the first time in two weeks. That's plenty of reason to say boom, indeed.
On The Clutch Play Of The Defense And Specifically, The Defensive Line: "We didn't have any sacks the previous game, we have a lot of confidence in those guys and we were able to get back on track this week. Kyle Vanden Bosch was great. We sacked Vick 3 times, pressured him numerous other times, I think 11, which is a lot for a quarterback. Ndamukong Suh had one of the biggest plays of the game knocking the ball down late. If they make that completion, we probably don't get a chance to tie that game or win in overtime. It's not just rushing the passer, they did a great job of stopping the run. It was Philly's lowest rushing output of the year and our greatest rushing output. Our lines did a great job, our linebackers did a great job, it was a great team effort."
Did Jonte Green Struggle After Being Forced Into Action Because Of Injuries? "I don't think Jonte struggled at all. Jonte's a rookie but I wouldn't say he struggled. He did a pretty good job for a rookie. He stepped in this game and did a very good job. I thought Gunther did a nice job of mixing the calls and the players who stepped in did a nice job of filling the void."
Speaking Of Secondary Injuries, Updates On Jacob Lacy And Bill Bentley? "With Lacy it was a concussion, so we'll see how it goes and he'll be on the protocol. Bentley was a shoulder, and he's had it a couple times this year so we'll wait and see with him."
On Using Your Challenge At An Interesting Point In The Game: "Well, that play was a little bit close. We had made a clear recovery. If it's close, I'm always gonna throw it. The reward is great, cause we're gonna get a turnover. Literally, part of the thought process was, we needed a timeout. With reviews, you can catch your breath and think about the next call. Might not have done it if it was our last challenge, but we had two."
On Matthew Stafford's Play And Leg Injury Recovery: "I don't think the leg is bothering him at all. He did a great job moving around. We called a bootleg for a touchdown. He didn't start off great this game, but it's hard to lead comebacks when you're 10 down and he did it. There weren't any easy throws in this game. There were big plays we could make. He had a couple where location could have been better, a couple that were dropped. We're never gonna fault trying to get the ball to Calvin, though, even if the pass is intercepted. You're not gonna complete 100% of your passes. Matt has a good balance of staying aggressive and making plays."
Turnovers Yesterday Were Huge. How Did Your Team Do So Well At Forcing Them? "Honestly, on defense, you're never scheming turnovers. It's guys playing physical football in spots. Delmas was where he needed to be on his interception, as was Chris Houston. We picked up a fumble. I think you can get off track if your objective defensively is to get turnovers. If you play fast and physical, the turnovers will come. There's a good balance there. Turnover ratio is well documented as leading to success, but we have good players and we'll put them in positions to have success on the field."
Talk About The Play Of Riley Reiff, Who's Being Used In A Specialty Role And Excelling: "We had that in our package last year, too. This is more a reflection of Riley and his talent level and what he's done to earn his way on the field and when he has, the confidence of the coaches to keep him out there."
Discuss The Elephant In The Room, Detroit's Persistent Penalty Problem: "I'd much rather try to explain 16 penalties and a win than explain a loss with only three penalties We played on the road. Philadelphia is a tough place to win. The referees called the line very tight. This was the week that stuff got enforced a lot. That was difficult for us because we were on the road. The penalties, we had false starts out of veterans. Jeff (Backus) had some, Calvin (Johnson) had some, (Dominic) Raiola had some. It's tough to play on the road. The others, pass interference, holding, sometimes they go for you and sometimes they go against you. If your objective is to get no penalties, you can do it, but you won't be playing very aggressive football. What we can worry about is before the snap and after the whistle stuff. Godser Cherilus got one penalty like that, but I think the officials were trying to sheriff things early. He didn't take a swing at anybody."
Was Yesterday's Fist Pump A Classic? What Was Special About This Win? "I don't know it if was classic, I don't think about it to tell the truth. I try not to even look at it. It's a good overtime win on the road against a good team from the NFC. I think as a team, we played with emotion. Guys made plays and were slapping each other. Guys had a lot of emotion and it was fun to watch them do that. It's football and you can't be afraid to show some emotion."
What Did Your Team Do To Contain LeSean McCoy So Well? "It was good players playing hard and playing as a team. It was a team victory. If one of the linemen got blocked, our linebackers did a good job of filling the void. When the defense gave up a big play, the offense got it right back. We had half a dozen plays in this game like that. That's team football."
On Refusing To Get Beat On Special Teams Yesterday: "We gave up four special teams scores in two weeks (laughter). We weren't going to get cute. They have one of the best returners in the game in DeSean Jackson. We knew we'd see him back there. We can play better on special teams, I thought our gunners did a great job in this game, but we can still do a lot better on special teams. We have a lot of young players there but they're always improving."
On Chris Greenwood's Injury And Timetable For Return: "It was a groin/sports hernia, so I'd expect him to get back to practice very soon. I'd expect him to be on the practice field soon."
Did You Panic When Stefan Logan Nearly Fumbled A Kickoff Return? "Yeah (laughter). The ball bounced right back to him, but also, he fought for the ball on the bottom of the pile. Somehow, Logan hung onto it despite all the guys on the pile."
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