Various Detroit Lions players met with the media following Sunday's win over the Seattle Seahawks.
LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On the game-winning touchdown pass to WR Titus Young: "That was a called play; there were about four dudes standing next to Calvin Johnson, one dude standing next to Titus. I liked my numbers over there a little bit better. He ran a great route and made a play. That's what we did all day. It was great to see."
On Young stepping up after the loss of WR Nate Burleson: "It was big. Not only him, but it's going to be a group effort all year. We need everybody. Calvin gets a lot of attention out there and it makes it tough to get him the ball sometimes. Other guys have to make people pay. I thought Brandon Pettigrew had a hell of a game. He felt a little bit healthier this week and it showed. Big third downs. I needed him to work one-on-one and he did and made some great catches. Obviously Titus had the huge game. Ryan Broyles made some great catches. The first one for a touchdown - unbelievable play; jumps up, catches it, turns in the air and dives in. We have to have plays like that. That's the NFL. That's what helps you win. Guys are doing it all day. It's fun to be a part of it."
On keeping his composure on the last drive: "I was just out there having fun, man. That's what it's all about. In NFL football, the fourth quarter is the fun. All the guys on our team - they know it, they love it. The difference was today we showed up in the first half, put 14 on the board and battled in the third quarter and really had a pretty good day offensively minus the interception I threw. I'm just proud of guys hanging in there. We had a great tempo going, a great belief in that huddle in that fourth quarter drive. That's just kind of what we do. I think everybody in that huddle wasn't blinking at all, just ready to go."
On Calvin Johnson's dropped pass in the end zone: "That was just kind of like a corner route to the back corner. Their corners are 6'2 and 6'5. You have to put it high and hard. I threw that and when I let it go I thought it might have been a little too early. I had to get it out. We can't take a sack at that point in the game. I'm just trying to get that ball out. If he made that catch it would have been a heck of a play. He got his eyes back at the last second, that ball was kind of on him. I know one thing is he's not thinking too much; that guy is out there playing his ass off. He had some big plays today when we needed him, just some drive starters. That curl he caught and went for about 40. Nobody in the league catches a curl with a guy on his back and goes 35 or 40. He's one of a kind. He makes us go."
On playing his best in the fourth quarter: "I don't know. I know we believe in our defense. I know our defense believes in us. That's nothing we're going to apologize for. Whether we're up, down, tied in the fourth quarter, we're ready to go. You can erase three bad quarters with one great one here in the NFL. We did a good job in the first three, gave us a chance to go down there and win the game. From the beginning of that drive, it wasn't 'let's go get a field goal to tie this thing.' I said, 'let's go get a touchdown and win it. Let's do what we do and go down there and put the seven on the board.' It wasn't easy. We got down on the goal line - I can't tell you how many times we've been on the 1-yard-line this year with no timeouts not able to run the ball and having to throw it. They all know it. We all know it. Guys just made plays."
On his touchdown run: "That's a run-pass option. Pettigrew did a great job of blocking down and got that guy thinking run. He leaks out late, but I just saw the open corner and went for it. I also saw, I think it was 29, chasing me. I knew I had to kick it into overdrive, that's all I got in the speed department. I'm just happy it was enough to get in. I'm glad I didn't have to dive.
"It's great. Guys are stepping up and making plays. That's what we needed today. Every skill position guys stepped up and made plays. Even the running backs were catching the ball out of the backfield making things happen so we have to have that kind of effort week-in and week-out. If we do that, then we'll see what happens.
LIONS WR TITUS YOUNG
On the last touchdown play: "Well it was a call we practice kind of like a two point play. I told TE Tony Scheffler to take the ball because I was going against Brandon Browner, a very good cornerback, big guy so I needed a little bit of room to make my move. It's a really quick play. I just tried to get inside and be a little bit more patient than I was a couple of plays before that when we ran basically the same concept by myself. I just zoned in on that last play and was just trying to be there for my teammates. Matthew Stafford continued to trust me, which he was doing throughout the whole game. I just wanted to be there for my team and be there for Nate Burleson."
On how much conversation there was this week about stepping up in absence of WR Nate Burleson: "It really wasn't too much conversation. There were a couple of guys here and there saying, ‘this is your opportunity to step up and make plays.' I just saw it in guys' eyes. I saw a lot of guys just looking at me throughout the week and just seeing how I was going to respond to our adversity and losing a great leader in Nate. I just took it upon myself to do the best I could to be there for my team this week."
On the conversation on the field after game winning touchdown: "I just told him thank you for believing in me and continuing to believe in me. I've had a couple of games this season where I struggled and really wasn't getting all of the plays that I wanted to get. I really was kind of down for a little bit. It's the NFL. You want to do good every week. You don't want to let down the City of Detroit because this is a sports town. I just continued to work hard and the Lord provided like he always does."
On what it means to have a game like this: "Personally, I feel like it's a blessing to be in the position to make plays for my team. Just as far as the overall win, I felt like it was just great for our team not only me. Guys just see I scored a touchdown here and there, but there were other guys out there like Joique Bell catching little 5 yard check-downs and just getting 3 more extra yards. Guys like RB Mikel Leshoure just running the ball up and down the field just getting those little yards. The fans really don't see and guys really don't see on SportsCenter. Offensive lineman, Dominic Raiola, just blocking his tail off the whole game. His body's just hurting him. He's just grinding and grinding. I see it in guys' eyes. We're all sweating it. Guys are tired, but no one's giving up so I believe that it was an overall great effort from special teams, defense and offense. When we play together, as you guys can see, we're a really tough team to beat especially at home when the crowd is involved. Our crowd is a very emotional crowd. They really want us to win really bad. Anytime we get a chance to get the crowd on their feet, we have to make the defense pay and we have to make the offenses who come in here pay as well."
On his first touchdown: "All week and all season, Stafford just reminded me to always continue to run. A lot of the coverage is dictated from where Calvin is. We did a great job this week going on two hard count to see what the defense is actually in. Matthew, he was a man of his word. He told me to continue to run and continue to work hard and my opportunity will come. So I just continued to do what I was supposed to do and just be obedient this week in every single play and try to give my all for my team. It's a frustrating thing to lose a couple of games here and there. When the city is behind and all of the fans are in it to win it, and not to get off subject, but even with the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, I can see the fans out here a little bit sad with us being down in the World Series and we're not really winning around here right now. I could just feel it from the city this week. People in the city are just kind of tired of losing and kind of feeling like we were going to go back to how we used to be. I just tried to take it upon myself to be a part of this change we're working for and getting ourselves in a good spot in the playoffs. Hopefully we can advance week-by-week."
LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON
On the comeback win over the Seahawks: "Man, it was a grind, you know? I was happy to see us respond the way we did when the defense either, whenever they scored or, you know, we got a turnover. Defense responded, you know, it was a great team game. Special teams included."
On the Seahawks' tight coverage on him during the game: "It wasn't nothing crazy. You know, we got single coverage. We just couldn't get the ball out or, you know, it was nothing crazy they did today."
On the performance of WR Titus Young: "We knew he had it in him, you know, we were just waiting for him to come out with it. He had a chance today to get it. He made his plays. You know, that's what we're going to need from him the rest of the year with Nate (Burleson) gone."
On if he feels banged up after the game: "I'll be alright. You know, you're good right now after the win, but you'll feel it all on Monday."
On persevering through a physical game: "Yeah, like I said, it's a grind. It's a tough one, you know, but I got some great teammates that made some great plays around me, though. So it all helps out. You know, it's tough. You just have to play through it, you know? Like I just told them, man, Titus, all my receivers, you know, made some great plays. Tight ends included, running backs, it's a full team game. Special teams, defense did some good things too.""
LIONS TE BRANDON PETTIGREW
On players stepping up: "Yeah, I think it was definitely important getting out there and playing from an aspect of guys stepping up and playing with Nate (Burleson) out. The leadership role picked up as well. You know, guys stepped up because Nate was that kind of guy. You know, he was the heart of this team. Guys stepped up. They led, played hard and that was important to this game."
On it only being a matter of time until the offense clicked: "Definitely. It was definitely a matter of time. It was just a matter of us executing and getting out there and playing ball. They played great defense, but I think it was about us playing to our level that we can play and just playing to our ability."
On the communication in the huddle on the game-winning drive: "Nothing other than confidence. Going out there and making plays. You know, Matt (Stafford) said "Guys, make a play," and that's what we did. Not trying to do too much. Catch the ball, take care of the ball, great ball security. We did that well."
On if this is the best rhythm the offense has been in so far this season: "Definitely. I thought we executed well. I thought we got on the ball and ran plays, took care of the ball. Didn't have a ton of penalties. I thought we played well."
LIONS DT COREY WILLIAMS
On the defense having a good day against the run: "We had a couple of busts early in the game. We made a good adjustment and we came back. Actually we fixed that, the problem that we had, that one long run we gave up. We fixed it and adjusted to it and we didn't give up nothing else after that."
On pressuring Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in the second half: "We knew we had to get him out of the pocket some. We couldn't let him sit there in the pocket and pick us apart. Us up front, we had to just play off each other, keep bringing the pressure in the middle."
On the key to shutting down RB Marshawn Lynch: "Well, getting off and knocking their guards and stuff back. You know what I'm saying? Making him stop his feet, making him stutter a little bit and I think we did a great job of that up front except for that one run, that one long run he got. That's about the only big run that we gave up."
On his reaction to the winning touchdown: "Oh, man, I was excited. And to see Titus been working so hard and he's been through so much and to see him catch the game-winning touchdown, that was huge, you know what I mean? He's a great kid, man, and he deserves it, he really deserves it."
On being excited to be back: "Oh, yeah, definitely, man. I'm just happy to be back out there healthy, running around and, you know, making plays. Trying to do everything I can to help the team win."