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DETROIT LIONS VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS POST-GAME WRAP

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The following is from the Detroit Lions’ 26-10 win against the New England Patriots at Ford Field on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.

LIONS SCORING PLAYS

  • First Quarter: K Matt Prater launched a 38-yard field goal with 5:55 left in the first quarter to give the Lions a 3-0 lead.
  • Second Quarter: QB Matthew Stafford threw a four-yard touchdown pass to WR Kenny Golladay with 14:12 remaining in the second quarter. K Matt Prater converted the extra point.
  • Second Quarter: K Matt Prater kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Lions a 13-3 lead with 4:58 remaining in the first half.
  • Third Quarter: QB Matthew Stafford threw a 33-yard TD to WR Marvin Jones Jr. to extend the lead to 20-10 with 3:45 left in the third quarter.
  • Fourth Quarter: K Matt Prater launched a 32-yard field goal with 12:44 remaining to extend the Lions lead to 23-10.
  • Fourth Quarter: K Matt Prater capped the scoring with a 30-yard field goal with 1:56 to play to give the Lions a 26-10 lead.

TEAM NOTES

The Lions…

  • Secured their first win on NBC’s Sunday Night Football program, snapping an 0-6 career record.
  • Held the Patriots to 209 total net yards of offense, the fewest the Lions have allowed since holding the Giants to 197 total yards on Sept. 8, 2014. This is only the third time since 2007 that the Patriots have produced fewer than 210 yards of total offense.
  • Scored on their first three possessions of a game for the first time since doing so at Dallas on Dec. 26, 2016.
  • Outgained the Patriots 231-70 in the first half.
  • Recorded 25 first downs for the first time since doing so vs. Chicago on Dec. 11, 2016.
  • Had three players (Golden TateMarvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay) record 50-or-more receiving yards for the third straight game. They are the only trio of wide receiver teammates to each record 50-or-more receiving yards in the first three weeks of the 2018 season.
  • Had two players (Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount) produce 40-or-more rushing yards in the same game for the first time since Sept. 11, 2016, when Ameer Abdullah rushed for 63 yards and Theo Riddick produced 45 rushing yards.
  • Have now had three different linebackers (Jarrad DavisDevon Kennard and Eli Harold) produce a game with 2.0-or-more sacks through Week 3. The Lions are the only team to have three different linebackers produce a game with 2.0 sacks and now have 9.0 total sacks from linebackers through three games played. As a team, the Lions have produced 10.0 sacks through the first three weeks for only the third time since 1997.
  • Held Patriots QB Tom Brady to a 65.1 quarterback rating, his lowest since posting a 64.6 passer rating vs. Buffalo on Dec. 28, 2014. The game marked Brady’s fewest passing yards in a game since he went 8-of-16 passing for 80 yards vs. Buffalo on Dec. 28, 2014.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD

  • Finished the day 27-of-36 passing (75.0 completion percentage) for 262 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a 101.9 passer rating.
  • Threw a touchdown in his 12th-consecutive game, the fifth-longest active streak in the NFL and the third-longest streak of his career.
  • Passed Philip Rivers (221) and now ranks 10th in NFL history for touchdown passes (222) through a player’s first 10 seasons.
  • Joined Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Jared Goff as the only quarterbacks this season to complete 75.0 percent of their passes on 35-or-more attempts. Since entering the NFL in 2009, Stafford has eight such games, tied with Tom Brady for the fifth-most in the NFL during that span.
  • Threw a touchdown against his 30th different opponent. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only opponent he has yet to throw a touchdown against.

WR GOLDEN TATE

  • Finished with six receptions for 69 yards (11.5 avg.).
  • Since joining the Lions in 2014, Tate has logged 40 games with six-or-more receptions. This total ranks as the second-most in the NFL during that span, behind only Antonio Brown (46).
  • Tate has snagged six-or-more receptions in four straight games dating back to last season, tied for the second-longest active streak in the NFL.
  • Recorded three receptions for his 31st-straight game, the fourth-longest streak in the NFL.

WR KENNY GOLLADAY

  • Registered six receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown.
  • Logged six-or-more receptions for the third-straight game, the longest such streak of his career, and recorded a touchdown reception for his second straight game, the first touchdown streak of his career.

K MATT PRATER

  • Converted 4-of-4 field goal attempts and added four extra points to finish with 14 points in the game. This marked the first time Prater converted four field goals and multiple extra points in the same game since Sept. 24, 2017 vs. Atlanta.

WR MARVIN JONES JR.

  • Recorded four receptions for 69 yards (17.3 avg.) and one touchdown.
  • Recorded 50-or-more receiving yards in his 10th-straight game, the third-longest active streak in the NFL and tied for the fourth-longest streak in Lions history.

RB KERRYON JOHNSON

  • Finished with 16 carries for 101 yards (6.3 avg.) and two receptions for nine yards.
  • Became the first Lions running back to record 100-or-more rushing yards in a game since Reggie Bush did so vs. Green Bay on Nov. 28, 2013.
  • Became the first Lions rookie running back to rush for 100 yards since Mikel Leshoure recorded 100 yards at Tennessee on Sept. 23, 2012.
  • At 21 years and 85 days old, he became the second-youngest Lions running back to top 100-yards in a game (Barry Sanders ran for his first 100-yard game at 21 years and 70 days old vs. Chicago on Sept. 24, 1989).
  • Became the first Lions rookie running back to rush for 100-or-more yards on 16-or-fewer carries since Don McIlhenny did so vs. San Francisco on Oct. 21, 1956.

LB ELI HAROLD

  • Finished with three solo tackles and 2.0 sacks. This marks Harold’s first career multi-sack game.
  • Recorded his first sack streak since Weeks 15-16 of the 2016 season.

CB DARIUS SLAY

  • Recorded his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter.
  • Since becoming a full-time starter in 2014, Slay has posted 15 interceptions, the third-most in the NFL during that span behind Marcus Peters (20) and Brent Grimes (16).
  • Since 2017, Slay has posted nine interceptions, the most among all NFL players.

HEAD COACH MATT PATRICIA
Opening Statement: 
“Obviously it was good to get the win and put ourselves in a position where we could play 60 minutes tonight. I’m really proud of the players. I think they did a great job tonight. Give them all the credit for going out and trying to execute the plan and to go for a hard, tough football game against a great football team like the Patriots. I think the guys really understood that they had to do a lot better here all the way around and I think it started with the week of practice. I think we had a good week of practice, I think the guys kind of dove into it right from the start and really tried to do everything they could to learn the game-plan, learn our opponent, and go from there. So, just real proud of them. I think they did a great job. Give all the credit to the players, they’re the ones that did it out on the field. But understand that’s a really good football team we just played right there. Those guys are outstanding players. They’re coached at the highest level, so that’s a tough, hard, game.”

On the performance tonight against such a quality opponent: “We try to go out every single week and do the best that we can. And again, give the credit to those guys. They did a good job and I thought they really tried to execute the plan well and I’m happy that we were able to get that done.”

On the success of the running game tonight: “The biggest thing, obviously, I’m just happy for the guys. I think they’re the ones that deserve it. They’re the ones that have been working really hard and I’m glad they got an opportunity to enjoy this. Like I told them after the game, I said, ‘This is fun. This is what’s fun about playing the game. Coming out and playing well.’ To be honest with you, I really thought the fans were just unbelievable tonight. I thought the noise and the advantage that we had—the games are hard. There are a lot of things that go on in the game and it goes up and down and the ebbs and flows of it, but just having the constant fans kind of backing all the way through the game tonight, even when things don’t necessarily go the way you want them to go and knowing that you still have the crowd behind you and they’re still cheering and they’re still making an impact on the opponent. It was a big advantage for us. So, that was great to see tonight. I was glad that we gave them something to cheer about.”

On his thoughts on seeing Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick after the game: “Honestly, I just wanted to find him and shake his hand. There were just a lot of people in my way. I have the most respect for Coach (Bill) Belichick and everything that he does with his program and the way that he coaches his team and everything he taught me. So, I just wanted to find him, I wanted to shake his hand, give him a hug and then go find my team.”

On the statistical balance thanks to the run game: “Again, I think I mentioned this maybe earlier, I think our guys have been working really hard at the run game. I know there’s kind of stigmatism of the run game around here and however long it’s been since we’ve run the ball well, and I don’t really think that’s fair to these guys that are this year’s team. They’re trying to do a great job running the ball this year. I think we would have run the ball last week productively also if the game hadn’t gotten twisted on us there late in the game. So, I was just glad they were able to do it. Again, give credit to the big guys up front, the guys on the edge and certainly the running backs. And just everybody on the offensive side of the ball staying consistent with the plan and sticking to it. So, I’m just real happy for them.”

On his decision to go for a field goal instead of a touchdown in the first quarter: “It’s really hard. That’s a really tough call. I know the crowd favorite would have been to go for it, but I think in that point of the game being so early, you need points. You need to make sure you maximize every single drive. So, at that point if it’s inches or one or two, it doesn’t really matter. You just have to get the points and hope that you’re in a position to play good defense. What you don’t want to do is have something bad happen in that situation and then give them momentum. A game like this is definitely about momentum. And scoring points gives you momentum and that’s what we needed to do.”

On what he saw that made him decide to challenge the call on WR Kenny Golladay’s touchdown: “I just saw the ball crossed and thought it was a good opportunity for us to challenge. It was the first half, so it’s a good risk to take in that situation because the points obviously are critical.”

On what changed in the first couple of the weeks of the season to now: “I don’t know. Every week we’re just trying to get better. We’re just trying to improve. I think the process for us gets a little bit tighter, a little bit cleaner. When you get into the regular season you go through different modes. You go through the spring, you go through training camp, you go through preseason games. You go from the transition from preseason to regular season and just trying to get in-sync and get into a rhythm. All that helps. But honestly just give credit to the players. They did a great job this week in coming out and preparing and went out and executed at a high level.”

On who gave him the game ball and what plans he has for it: “That was very generously from the team. Those guys were real excited and honestly that thing belongs to the players, they’re the ones who went out and won.”

On if RB Kerryon Johnson did anything to surprise him: “You know, I think Kerryon (Johnson) did, a lot of what we saw coming out. You know, a lot of what we liked from him that definitely shows up. But I think all those guys, all the backs, work really hard and think they all have something a little bit different that they provide for us. So, you know, just good team win. That’s the bottom line. That’s what it’s all about.”

On if he could sense tonight’s performance on the horizon: “You know, you never really know how it’s going to turn out in a game. They’re working too, so you’re not really sure what kind of week they had. But for us, I think it was good to see us have the week we had and then come out and have the game that we did. I think that’s a real positive.”

RB LEGARRETTE BLOUNT
On what it means to the rest of the team helping RB Kerryon Johnson reach the 100-yard rushing mark: “It was amazing. We were really happy for him, we were really excited for him. Obviously, this hasn’t happened around here in a long time. I wouldn’t rather it (be) with anybody else besides him. He’s worked his tail off since he got here, he grinded every day. He doesn’t miss any days, he’s does everything that he needs to do and he does everything the right way. So, it was due time that he was going to get it.”

LB ELI HAROLD
On if he was surprised with their complete shutdown of the Patriots’ offense: “I’m not going to say surprise because I have a lot of faith in my teammates. But it was shocking to see a high-power offense like that struggle. It was fun. Our offense was out there running the ball, and that’s what happens when their defense is tired, they can’t get their guy on the field, the offense on the field, and we made it happen.”

WR MARVIN JONES JR.
On what the improvements in the run game are doing for the team: “It’s great. When you have two backs, three backs that go out there and are super effective it just adds to that dynamic. You know, sort of group – When that run game is working, they have to pay a lot of attention to that and it still was working through and through, so I tip my hat off to the guys and the guys up front. The line, the line, I mean, they were killing it the whole game, so you do that and everything’s easy on our end.”

RB KERRYON JOHNSON
On what was working so well today on offense that the team didn’t have in the other two games: “I think this was our most physical game that we’ve played so far. We came out, we made a decision to run it downhill and our O-line got behind it, we got behind it, and that’s what we started to do. We came out and both of us, me and LG (LeGarrette Blount), were both running the ball downhill at the beginning and we just carried it through the whole game, 60 minutes.”

CB DARIUS SLAY
On if he read Patriots QB Tom Brady on his interception 
“Yeah, I knew he needed a shot, but I didn’t know what kind of route he (would) run until the end. But I got eyes on the ball, tagged it at the highest point and I made a play.”

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On tonight’s game:
 “We were just going out there and trying to play. We know New England is a multiple defense. I was going to have a lot to look at when I got to the line of scrimmage, trying to get us in the right run plays, the right pass plays, whatever it was. Our guys did a great job communicating, executing, and they had some guys dinged up a little bit so we didn’t really know what they were going to come out and play. And there were some changes, some adjustments we had to make. Jim Bob (Cooter) did a great job getting us into some good plays and we went and played well.”

S GLOVER QUIN
On how much Matt Patricia’s knowledge of the Patriots helped tonight: “It helped a lot. Like I said, gets out information for us. What he knows about it, what he is trying to do and stuff like that. It was definitely helpful. To go out and actually execute, without just talking about it. We did that tonight, we went out and executed and got a big win.”

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Opening Statement: “Alright, well obviously the Lions did everything a lot better than we did tonight, so give them credit. They played well, coached well. We just didn’t do anything well enough to give ourselves a chance to win. Similar situation last week—get behind early, play from behind. (We) just weren’t able to make it up. So, just going to have to work our way out of it, obviously we have a lot of work to do. So, there’s no shortcut, no easy way, just have to do a better job.”

QB TOM BRADY
On if Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia did anything to throw him off and the Lions’ coverage of TE Rob Gronkowski: “They covered Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) pretty well. We’ve practiced against them a lot, played against them a lot. We just didn’t get the job done. It wasn’t like they reinvented the defense out there, it was really just us not doing a good job of anything. Run game, pass game, we didn’t do enough to advance the ball forward.”

TE ROB GRONKOWSKI
On how the Detroit Lions slowed him down: “They had good coverage, there was double teams and zone defense. They just played well.”

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