The Lions return to Monday Night Football for the second time this season to take on the New Orleans Saints in Week 15.
The Lions travel to New Orleans following a 21-14 loss at St. Louis in Week 14, while the Saints are coming off a 24-17 over Tampa Bay. Monday’s game marks the first time Detroit and New Orleans have ever met on MNF, as the Lions hold a 13-17-1 all-time record on the Monday Night Football stage.
The two teams met last season (10/19/14) as Detroit claimed victory in a 24-23 tilt at Ford Field. New Orleans leads the all-time series with Detroit, 11-10-1.
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL….
On why the offense struggled to get the ball down the field: “Obviously, those are difficult passes to complete consistently anyway. The percentages on those aren’t very great. We just had a couple – There’s a variety of different reasons. You got pressure, route running, accuracy, all of those things played a part.”
On if he feels like he’s reached his coaching goals here: “I certainly still make that claim today. That’s always our goal and aim and we did that last year. This year is a different year, we haven’t done it. So we’re working hard to get ourselves in position to do it and do it more consistently.”
On his approach after being eliminated from the playoffs: “Really, in terms of our approach, we really look at this next game the exact same way regardless of the circumstances and the object is to win. They’re still keeping score in this game and we have guys that are professionals. If you have the right people with the right kind of people that know how to approach the game, you’ll see them come out and fight with the same kind of energy that they always do.”
On how he would sum up the season so far: “We’ve got three games left. It’s tough to sum up a season when you’re still playing. So I’m looking at this next ball game, that’s my goal and aim and my charge, that’s what we’ll focus in on.”
On if the message to his team has changed with the playoff possibilities eliminated: “We don’t tell you exactly what we tell them because I think that’s private, but we do have to change our approach just in terms of what we say to them but not in terms of what we expect. The standards are still high. You guys look at it, and I kind of explained it to you last week, you look at it a lot differently than you look at your own jobs, and you shouldn’t look at it any differently. They have a job, they get paid to do a job. Because they get disappointed, they don’t quit. I’m sure that those of us in this room that have families to feed or whatever, because we didn’t possibly make it where we wanted to get to at that particular time, if you’re not reporting for ESPN or whatever it might be, you don’t all of a sudden quit because of that because you’re a professional. You do what you do and you’re trying to get better at what you do. I think that’s how our guys will approach this. The other thing is, we have a lot of guys that have the right make up. We have good, strong leadership, and there may be a guy or two that wants to slack off here or there for whatever the reason might be, but we’ve got some eager, young guys too that are ready to play.”
On what winning the last three games would mean: “We’re not looking that far ahead. How about this next game? This next game is a big one for us. It’s huge. It’s the most important game of the year because it’s the next one. It’s against a team that plays extremely well at home, has one of the best quarterbacks that has ever played the game who sets records on a weekly basis. Offensive potential and explosiveness that certainly rears its head often as they play and then obviously, they have a defense that is uncanny as well. So that’s our real charge. That’s what we’re focusing in on.”