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DETROIT LIONS VS NEW YORK JETS WEEK 1 RECAP

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The following is from the Detroit Lions’ 48-17 loss against the New York Jets at Ford Field on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

LIONS SCORING PLAYS

  • First Quarter: DB Quandre Diggs recorded a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage just 20 seconds into the first quarter. K Matt Prater converted the point after attempt to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.
  • Second Quarter: K Matt Prater connected on a 21-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 72-yard drive with 11 seconds remaining in the quarter. Prater’s kick cut the Jets’ lead to 17-10 at the half.
  • Third Quarter: QB Matthew Stafford and WR Golden Tate combined for a 24-yard touchdown with 13:10 left in the quarter. The Lions opened the second half of the contest with a four-play, 75-yard drive that was propelled by three completions of 20-or-more yards. K Matt Prater converted the point after attempt. 

TEAM NOTES

The Lions…

  • Became one of two teams this season (Green Bay) to have three wide receivers finish with four-or-more receptions and 50-or-more yards in a game. WR Kenny Golladay (7 rec, 114 yards) and WR Golden Tate (7 rec, 79 yards) are the only wide receiver duo to each record seven-or-more receptions in a game through Week 1.
  • Recorded an interception returned for a touchdown in a Week 1 game for the second consecutive season and for the third time in the last four seasons. Detroit’s three interceptions in Week 1 games since 2015 rank as the most in the League during that span. 

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

DB QUANDRE DIGGS

  • Recorded a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. The pick marked Diggs’ fourth-career interception and first-career pick-six. The pick-six was the first the Lions have had in the first quarter of a game since 2002 and only the sixth-ever pick-six they’ve had in the first quarter of a game. It was also the first time the Lions have ever recorded an interception returned for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. The return was the longest pick-six of Week 1 in the NFL this season.
  • Finished tied for first on the team with four solo tackles. 

DE EZEKIEL ANSAH

  • Registered four tackles (three solo) and 1.0 sack on the day. With his sack, Ansah reached 45.0 sacks for his career and passed Bill Gay (44.5) for the fourth-most sacks in Lions history. 

LB DEVON KENNARD

  • Led the team with six tackles (four solo) and 1.0 sack, his first as a Lion. He now has 10.5 sacks in his career. 

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD

  • Started in his 113th consecutive game, the third-longest streak among active quarterbacks (Philip Rivers – 194; Matt Ryan – 133).
  • Recorded a touchdown pass in his 10th straight regular season game, the third such streak in his career. 

WR KENNY GOLLADAY

  • Set career highs with seven receptions for 114 yards. The game marked his first-career 100-yard receiving effort.

WR GOLDEN TATE

  • Finished with seven receptions for 79 yards and one touchdown.
  • Recorded his 29th consecutive game with three-or-more receptions. This mark ranks as the third-longest streak in Lions history and is the fifth-longest active streak in the NFL (Larry Fitzgerald – 49; Odell Beckham – 46; Jarvis Landry – 37; Michael Thomas – 32).
  • Recorded a touchdown reception of 20-or-more yards for the second consecutive game dating back to last season, his 14th career touchdown reception of 20-or-more yards.
  • Recorded his seventh career touchdown on Monday Night Football, the third-most among active players (Jimmy Graham – 13; Antonio Gates – 8).

WR MARVIN JONES JR.

  • Finished with four receptions for 54 yards on the day.
  • Logged his eighth consecutive game with 50-or-more yards dating back to last season, the fourth longest streak in the NFL (Michael Thomas – 13; DeAndre Hopkins – 11; Keenan Allen – 9).


LIONS HEAD COACH MATT PATRICIA
Opening Statement: 
“So, obviously we didn’t play very well tonight. Got a lot of things to work on here. Obviously we have to coach this a lot better than what we did tonight and we have to go out and execute a lot better on the field. I think obviously there were some points in the game where the game swung in a certain direction, but really from the start I really think we needed to execute better all the way across the board. So, it’s all the things we talk about, obviously when we face an opponent like this which has extremely dangerous players that are home-run hitters in certain situations and they went out and executed better than we did in all three phases. So, we have to do a better job altogether. It starts with me. Unfortunately, we have a short week here. We have to turn the page, and we have to get things fixed and we have to get ready for San Francisco pretty quick.”

On some positive things from tonight’s game: “There’s not a lot to be happy about here as far as that’s concerned. I think in general, all of it just has to be better. Just start from the top and work our way down. I don’t think there’s anything you can say other than it’s all just execution and coaching and all that stuff has to be better from that standpoint. So, had a couple good plays, but a couple good plays aren’t going to make a game. It’s that consistency that we have to have play-in play-out in order to step up, and just handle those situations, and play with good awareness and good execution all the way through.”

On if he felt like he had the team prepared: “Obviously, you’re going to look at what we put out on the field. Obviously, it wasn’t good enough from that standpoint. Whether we had a good week or not, it doesn’t really matter at this point. I think the thing for us is we have to move forward and have to try to have a better week next week.”

On if the challenge of being Head Coach is potentially harder than he anticipated: “No, look, we’re just trying to come out here every day and get better. It’s a team game, but it starts with me and we all just need to do it better. We work hard, we try to do the right things, we try to coach it the right way, we try to run it the right way, we try to execute it the right way. We obviously didn’t do a good enough job here tonight.”

On his disappointment with not having control of the middle defensively: “I think the control of the game is 100 percent the right way to put it. I think it came to a point there in the third quarter where we just didn’t have control anymore in all three phases. And that’s really what it is from that standpoint. Any time you give up a long run like that, you’re obviously going to be in a bad situation with the rushing game. So, we just have to do a better job.”

On how the team bounces back after a loss: “It’s early in the season. Like we always talk about here, we obviously have to play better and we wanted to perform better here tonight. I think they’re a tough team, I think they’re a mentally tough team. I think the guys understand from the top down it has to be better and I think we understand we have to stick together. Give the Jets credit. They’re the ones that came out and played well tonight. So, the NFL is a hard game. These games are real close, the competition is steep, and they out-executed us tonight. So, Todd (Bowles) did a great job preparing his team and getting them ready to go tonight.”

On if a shorter week might be a good thing to turn the page and look toward a new opponent in San Francisco: “I would say after a game like this I don’t think anything is really a good thing. So, I think we just have to do what we have to do. It’s a short week, it is what it is. We have to go back to work and get ready to go.”

On if he has an explanation for a poor performance from Lions QB Matthew Stafford: “Yeah, I mean I don’t think it was good by anybody out there. So it’s a team game, so we’ll take a look at it and we’ll try to get everything corrected from that standpoint.”

On if there is any update on Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah after he left the game with an injury: “There is not. You know, it was his shoulder so we got to go in there and take a look at it and see what’s going on.”

On whether he was surprised that there wasn’t much improvement in the run game after all the emphasis that went into it in the offseason: “Well, I mean it just wasn’t very good so that’s probably the worst part about it on both sides of the ball. Whatever it’s been in the past doesn’t really matter to me. It is what it is now going forward and it’s obviously got to improve a lot.”

On whether the team was tight or confused and how he explains the lack of execution: “You know, I mean through the course of the game I thought the guys did a good job of battling back really into that situation, so I can’t really say that we were tight to start the game or anything like that. I think in the end they outperformed us. They out-executed us. We didn’t do a good enough job of finishing off some of those situations that came up.”

On if there was a conversation about letting Stafford sit out some of the game after he was injured: “Yeah, we always talk. When injuries come up, or situations come up and guys get hurt or dinged up or whatever the situation may be. We’re talking about an extremely tough guy, a guy that’s very determined, so you know, he said he was in a good spot and he was OK and we absolutely wouldn’t put anybody out there that was in harm’s way. We wouldn’t do that.”

On why he is confident that this game was just a one-time thing: “Yeah, I don’t think I said those words, but I do think I said we have a lot of work to do and I think that’s where I’m at with it. We obviously didn’t play well tonight and we’ve got a lot of work in front of us.”

On what his emotions are tonight: “I’m going to be most disappointed in myself. I think that’s where I always start. I have to do a better job and that’s always where I’m going to take it. And we’re going to go and we’ll look at it on film, and then obviously get everything corrected that we need to have corrected, both in coaching and playing. We regroup and we push forward. That’s part of this game and that’s what it is. They’re not obviously easy games when they turn out like this, you don’t like to have them go that way. You don’t like to lose in general. It doesn’t really matter, we obviously just have to do a better job.”

LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On how disappointed he was about the game, team-wise and individually: 
“Yeah, no question. Obviously not the way we wanted to start it. (Lions DB) Quandre (Diggs) did a great job, came out early, made a great play, got the crowd into it, you know and the story of the game is turnovers, you know. We had too many of them, I had too many of them. Can’t do that to our team. I told those guys in there that I’ll take this one. You know, and hope I never have to say that again. I don’t want to do it. I’ll push myself as hard as I can to make sure I don’t have to. Total prepared coming into the game, just didn’t make enough good decisions or throws.”

On the challenge of getting back on the field after he went down with an injury and what he was dealing with after he didn’t come back out: “I’m not going to talk too much about it. Just was having a tough time there for a second, but started to feel a little bit better and you know, those guys were fighting tooth and nail out there and I was going to be out there with them.”

On whether he thought the team was back in the game after tying it up 17-17 after halftime: “Yeah, it was a good job after halftime coming out and putting a touchdown up. You know, they came down and answered, which is what good football teams do. And then we just turned the ball over. It’s my fault. It can’t happen. Can’t have those huge momentum, negative plays for us. So I’m just going to do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

On how he explains this performance after such high hopes coming into the season: “Yeah, just a poor performance. You know, poor execution on my part. And those guys, everybody was ready to play, including myself, I just didn’t make enough good decisions, enough good throws. And that’s going to cost you.”

On the outlook moving forward against the San Francisco 49ers: “I’ve played a lot of football. A lot of football that’s been at a lot higher level than this. And I know we can get there. I know I’ll be there. Just got to go out there and put the work in. Continue to work, continue to grind, that’s what we do around here. I know those guys in the locker room will do the same. Take a long, hard look in the mirror, no question. What can you do better? You know, it starts with me. You know, it’s a short week on a west coast trip. Got a big challenge ahead of us and we’ll move onto those guys.” 

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