Post-game quotes from Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and various players.
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ
On WR Calvin Johnson breaking Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record: "I've been an NFL fan my entire life - I grew up in Baltimore with Hall of Famers like Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry and a lot of other guys - great players in the history of the National Football League. I've never seen a better player than Calvin Johnson. I'll say what I said when we signed him in the spring - we signed him to the contract extension. As good a player as you see on the field, he's a better person. He's a better teammate. When you talk about the history of the National Football League, there's a lot of respect that goes into that. There's great players that have before us, there's great players in this franchise. But to break a record by a guy who is arguably the greatest player in the history of the National Football League in Jerry Rice says a lot about what Calvin accomplished today. His best is yet to come and the best ... where he's going to lead this team, the best is yet to come."
On recognizing that the crowd was feeding off the offense and the record: "We certainly appreciate that, but a couple times we had to try and quiet the crowd down. I know they were excited about it, but our whole objective was to try and win the game - we didn't get that done."
On what he said to Johnson after the game: "If I would have wanted to tell you guys, I would release a statement."
On if there were other targets he'd have a better chance of getting more yards: "Well, he'd probably face more honest coverage. Teams double him on just about every play. Atlanta rolled to his side a bunch of times and - like I said before - it's a credit to Calvin, it's a credit to Matt Stafford, it's a credit to Scott Linehan that they can still find ways to get him the football to have 200 yards receiving against a scheme that's designed to get you stopped. I don't know if there's a rushing equivalent of it, but in my mind it's probably 300 yards against nothing but eight-man boxes. He's been carrying us. Our skill position is what it is but Calvin has been consistent. To say consistent is an understatement. He's been outstanding. He's been record-setting from week-to-week."
LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On closing in on some big records himself: "The attempts is a little bit of a product of being behind in some games late, which is obviously not where we want to be. If that happens, it happens. It is what it is. Five-thousand yards, I mean I'd love to be able to be able to do it again, but I'd love for it to come with a win. I'm disappointed that we didn't get the win today."
On the red zone frustration: "Yeah, there were a couple of times where we had some chances and had some opportunities and just didn't get it done. I checked to that quarterback draw and I thought I was going to walk in. There was ... everybody was guarding a man, I had two high safeties with nobody in the box ... I just ... that guy kind of fell off and made a good play and tackled me. If we score there, it's a different ball game. A couple plays here, a couple plays there. Obviously we turned the ball over after some big chunk plays and that hurt us. We didn't get any turnovers on defense so we lost that battle."
On how impressive the record is considering WR Calvin Johnson was the only real target the last four-five games: "Yeah, it's unreal. The guy's ... I can't say enough about him. I mean I love having his as a teammate. I love throwing the ball to him. He goes through a lot. He gets hit. He's getting the ball a bunch and he's taking a beating out there. Just the way he finished the game. You think the guy goes breaks Jerry Rice's single-season receiving record and he's in there at the end of the game trying to make a play for us to help us win and that's just the kind of unselfish player that he is. He just sets a great standard for all the guys on our team and really everybody in this league."
On if Johnson addressed the team about the record: "Yeah, at the end. You know Calvin, he didn't say a whole lot. But he told us he appreciated our hard work and our help to help get him there and he thought it was a team thing just exactly what you would think Calvin Johnson would say is what he said and I'm just proud to be associated with him."
On his interception: "No, I just got hit right as I threw it and if I could have had a half second more maybe I could have thrown it a little farther inside. Trying to get a chunk... We had to move the ball pretty quickly at that point in the game and obviously going to Calvin is a good chance to do that."
LIONS CB CHRIS HOUSTON
On Falcons WR Julio Jones' touchdown: "We were in Cover 2 and then he just got in the back of the end zone and they ran like three down the seam. Our safety couldn't get over both of them, so that's how Julio ended up catching the second."
On if he felt he had good coverage on Jones' touchdown: "Yeah, we were in a zone so therefore, the safety's supposed to be over the top. But they ran two and three down the seam, so he had to lean to one. I got underneath coverage, so he was in the back of the end zone and it was a good throw, good catch."
On Falcons WR Roddy White's first touchdown: "Just a little push off, but, you know, the refs don't call that. It's a passing league and that's something - it's just one of those things where you've just got to continue to play."
On preparing for Jones and White: "Oh, it's real tough. It's pick your poison. But at the same time, we adjusted in the second half and came out and did better. They are great wide receivers in this league and a good talent. Probably the best in the league. But you've just got to battle."
On the Falcons quick-start offense: "Yeah, that's exactly what happened. Double-move off the first series of the first quarter and, you know, like I said a little push-off. He made a great catch. Great throw and great catch."
LIONS DE CLIFF AVRIL
On WR Calvin Johnson breaking the all-time single-season receiving yards record: "It's amazing. It's amazing for anybody to get any record that's an NFL record. It just automatically puts him as one of the greats. It's cool and he's such a humbling guy. He doesn't say much, he's quiet, comes to work, works hard. He deserves it, no doubt about that."
On playing for pride: "That's what it's all about. We're all men. Winning is what you're judged off in this League. So, to next week, we're playing a divisional opponent. They know us, we know them. We've got to bring our A-game for sure."
On how frustrating giving up big plays is: "It's frustrating but what can you do other than blame yourself? I could have gotten a better pass rush on that. So I just need to look myself in the mirror and any big play, should have gotten a better pass rush."