Lions quotes: Players comment on win over Cowboys

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Quotes from various players after Sunday's Detroit Lions game.

Below is a look at what various Detroit Lions players had to say after Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD

On the team's performance: "Honestly, on offense we played, really as a team, good in the first half. We just turned the ball over. We put our defense in a bad spot. They kept doing a great job bailing us out. That's a great offense we were just playing against. Our defense was holding to threes and threes and zeros and we were turning the ball over. We can't do that, we know that. This team has a lot of resiliency. Guys believe in each other. We feel like we're never out of the game. We proved that today."

On the decision to sneak at the goal line instead of spike: "It was just in my head. I told everybody I was spiking it. I was screaming, 'Clock.' I was going to spike it. It was a feel thing. I was yelling spike, they knew I was yelling spike. I saw linebackers kind of standing like this. Our guys didn't fire off, they just stood up. I looked down and we were that far. Shoot, I'm going to go get that. I just needed to go, shoot, I don't know I was just making a play man. I was just trying to help my team win. Sure am glad that I got across."

On if anyone else on the field knew if he was going to bring the ball in for a TD: "Yes. Our whole o-line just stood straight up. I think that probably helped, I think maybe their d-line probably just stood up and was like, ‘Oh, he's not doing anything.' I don't know, I was going just for it man. Shoot, just trying to win a game."

On WR Calvin Johnson's performance: "He's unbelievable. We all know that. We see it week-in and week-out. He's a selfless player. A guy that works his tail off just to get ready to play. He's battling a lot. He catches the ball however many times he caught it today and gets hit all the time. He's, you know, a guy that works through a lot of injuries and is doing a great job. Obviously today, he made some big time catches and had some big-time moments. The touchdown that we had before the last one, going up and catching that ball in the first play. Just, the safety was out of position and Calvin Johnson on a safety is as good of a matchup as you're going to get. The guy goes up and makes a freak-show catch. He does it all the time. The best thing about that dude is how humble he is and how much of a team player he is. I can't express it enough to you guys. I say it, you guys don't really know it because you're not in the locker room with him. I understand that, but he's a heck of a teammate. Everybody respects the heck out of him."

On the sideline's reaction to the final touchdown: "They were just pumped. They were like calling me crazy and all that kind of stuff. That's the name of the game. That's what this League is about, making plays. My teammates rallied around me. I turned the ball over twice. I shouldn't have made those plays. We kept battling. We knew as a team, there was going to be a challenge. Our defense played unreal. To hold that offense and that operation to 27 (points) I believe it was, or whatever it was, and they just played unbelievable. We didn't help in that much. We turned the ball over four times. Our defense stood strong and got us the ball back and kept us in the game. We were able to make plays in the end to win it."

On if he saw LB Sean Lee on the second interception: "No. They did a good job. He cut underneath it. I really was going to throw the outside-slant to Calvin, but their corner got knocked off of (Jeremy) Ross, so I was like, ‘Oh, he's open.' Lee noticed it too."

On if the pass to WR Kris Durham late in the game was his best of the day: "I don't know. There were a lot of them today. I think I threw a lot. I don't really know the numbers, but it was a good one. It was a big play. That's the play we needed. You're kind of chipping away, chipping away, chipping away and you need a big play somewhere. It's something that the new safety on that drive or the drive before, a guy that hadn't been playing the whole game, I kind of noticed that. (Kris) Durham did a great job and never quit. He, just like everybody else in the stadium, everybody else thinks I'm throwing the ball to 81 (Calvin Johnson) right? You got to defend everybody and everybody has to run. Durham did a great job of running and makes a huge play for us. Sets us up for a chance to win the game and we did it."

On if he thought the previous possession was the end of the game "Oh, no. We had a chance to have the ball in our hands. I know it's a tall order. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was sitting there comfortable in my boots like, ‘Oh, here we go.' No timeouts and got to get 80 (yards) against that defense.' There is always a chance. Our guys believed, battled, made some great catches and plays. We won the game. That's all that matters now."

LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON

On how big of a win this is: "It's big. One, going into the bye week - going into there on a good note, finishing the first half of the season on a good note. And then to be able to come back, people leaving the stadium, nobody thought we could pull it off in one minute, but we've got some firepower and No. 9 (Stafford) was on point."

On the team's mentality going into the game: "It was definitely an aggressive mindset going into the game with the play calls and everything. The whole week, it was that kind of that mentality and it definitely carried over."

On how he explains 329 receiving yards: "It's crazy. Shoot. I mean, we got one-on-one coverage and were able to hit on a lot. I don't know what our percentages were, but we were able to hit on a lot of deep passes, intermediate. We were all over the place."

On how much the Cowboys WR Dez Bryant talk affected him this week: "Like I told him when he texted me earlier - I didn't know what he was talking about when he texted me, because I don't really pay attention to the media that much. I'm just going out there doing my job."

On Stafford's game-winning touchdown: "Yeah, the clock was running. I talked to him after. He said he just saw the guys - seemed like they were about to fire off the ball, basically, so he just felt he could sneak one over on them and he definitely did."

On what went through his mind when he saw Stafford do that: "The only thing that went through my mind is that we won the game. I was happy he did it. I didn't know he was going to do it. But, like I said, it was a great move by him."

On if he was wondering prior to the final drive how they could play that well on offense and still lose: "No, because we had turnovers. We had three turnovers. Usually, statistically, we don't win games when we have turnovers like that - around the league. We kept on fighting. It's the chemistry of this team. We just kept on hanging in there and we got another chance."

On what happened on his fumble: "Yeah, I should have just dove for it. I tried to spin and he put his helmet right on my arm and it popped right up out of there."

On what he was thinking prior to that final drive: "I knew we had shot plays. It was like 3rd-and-12 or something and we ended up going 14 - 4th-and-whatever. I knew we had shot plays. I knew we had some real shots there available earlier in the game because we were talking about it all game and Matt found KD (Kris Durham) over there on the sideline."

On if he recognized Dallas' injuries at safety: "I saw No. 20 (Cowboys CB B.W. Webb) come in there. I know (J.J.) Wilcox was out prior to the game, but was there another one? I didn't know. I didn't even know."

On his mindset when he catches a ball between two defenders: "Shoot, I'm going to get hit, so I might as well make the catch. I'm going to get hit. That's just what goes through my mind, because I've been in that situation plenty of times where I didn't come down with it. I was like, ‘Shoot, you're going to get hit either way, so you might as well make it.'"

On if it's a timing thing when making a play over two defenders: "I try to time it. I try to get up before they do so I can either get interfered with or make the play."

LIONS RB REGGIE BUSH

On the win: "This is an amazing win today. It is a testament to the character to guys on this team. We kept fighting, I think we made about every mistake possible in that game, but we kept fighting till the end. They kind of messed up and got a penalty toward the end and gave us some extra time on the clock. It's the heart of a champion, the heart of a Lion."

On if someone said or did anything to motivate the team on the last drive: "No, every time that we went out there we kept telling each other to just keep fighting, to keep believing. Even all the way down to that last drive we just kept telling ourselves keep fighting, keep going. Matt (Stafford) was amazing today. To be able to go out and throw two interceptions and still fight and still keep the confidence level high, still being able to play at a high level and reach over for the touchdown, that's amazing. I only saw that one time when (Matt) Leinart reached over at the end of the game when we (USC) beat Norte Dame. That's the only other time I've seen that play."

On if this is redemption after what happened against Cincinnati last weekend: "Yeah it is. We talked about how the really good teams don't stack losses on top of losses. The really good teams are able to bounce back from the loss and stack wins on top of wins. We talked about it all week, just getting the win today. I don't think anybody could imagine it would be this ugly, but we got it."

On if the team is happier with the resiliency or more upset because of mistakes: "I think we are happier with the resiliency. This game is a physical game and we are going to make mistakes and obviously our playmakers have to do a better job. I mean me, Calvin (Johnson) and Stafford just between us three we turned the ball over four or five times today. We have to do a better job of protecting the ball. We are the leaders of the team, so we have to do a better job. We also showed the resiliency to come back and keep fighting."

LIONS G ROB SIMS

On how they won the game: "We just kept fighting and just hung in there together. We have been through so much together over the last few years. We never feel like we are out of it even though we are making mistakes, but we overcome them. It's feeling good right now. It's feeling good, we just have to keep pushing."

On if another close loss would have been a different feeling going into the bye week: "Whenever it comes down to the wire, we always feel like we are going to get it and when we don't, it's a big letdown. Being able to get it done today just affirms that we are who we think we are. All of our hard work is paying off and we just have to keep grinding."

On describing WR Calvin Johnson's game today: "The greatest. The dude is amazing. The guy doesn't say anything, Dez Bryant comes to the paper and says he thinks he's that caliber, but he lets his hands do the talking. The guy is unreal, he's a great person, a great teammate and I am happy I have the opportunity to play with him in my career."

LIONS LB DEANDRE LEVY

On the Lions' come-from-behind win: "For us to come up big and not give up like that...They made a penalty and we got the clock stopped. It was a good team win. We had each other's backs. We kept the score down in the first half with those turnovers. We gave up scores late and they responded with scores for us. We played for each other today."

On what it was like as a defensive player watching the Lions' final drive on offense: "I know it hurts for them as a defense. You think you had the game wrapped up. You have to go back out there and get one more stop. You have to kind of shift your mindset really quick. It was a great play."

On the Lions' final drive on offense: "I knew we had a chance. We got back out there with that much time, there was no doubt in my mind that Matt (Stafford) would make a play, Calvin (Johnson) would make a play, Reggie (Bush) would make a play. It worked out for us. Kris Durham came up with a huge play. He's stepping up, playing a big role for us."

LIONS DT NDAMUKONG SUH

On putting this win into words going into the bye week 5-3 instead of 4-4: "It's a great win. It's better to go 5-3 instead of 4-4. Obviously, a pretty dramatic way to go into the bye and definitely excited that we ended up on the right end of this stick. That's the important part to me, not necessarily the fashion that we did it in."

On the team's offense coming to life: "I think there was never a point that the offense was coming to life. I think they were consistent and alive the whole game, obviously just had some mistakes. On defense, we had our little down spell, but I think when we got to situational football, we as a team understood what we had to get done and we got it done. That's probably what I'm most proud about this team, is that when we got into those certain situations where we had to go and make a play or we had to get a stop and move the ball, whatever we had to do, we got that done. So that's definitely exciting. I'm proud the team is moving forward in that direction."

On overcoming injuries to the defense: "It's always tough. You obviously never want your comrades to fall, but when they do, the younger guys and guys in the backup roles, in essence, just have to step up. I feel like we did a pretty good job of that. We man

LIONS CB CHRIS HOUSTON

On the defense's mood after they forced Dallas to punt: "It's a lot of time, just like it was when we were down there in Dallas that time. It's a lot of time to get the ball back to our offense and we have Calvin Johnson, so that was the whole mentality. We get the ball back to our offense and let them do what they do."

On what this win does for the team going into the bye week: "It gives us a lot of confidence that we battled and that we can come back and win games, tough games. I believe that if this was last year or the year before, we probably would have lost. But we kind of got over that hump today, so now we know that we're battle-tested and we can overcome that."

On the Lions' overall defensive performance: "I think we can do better. We're never satisfied with our play. I'm not satisfied with my play. I can do better. Us as a defense can do better, so we don't ever want to get satisfied."

LIONS DE WILLIE YOUNG

On not letting the injuries on defense affect the play on the field: "When I saw Ziggy (Ansah) go down , do what you do to come back and if you can't do it, don't put yourself out there in a bad situation. Let's be smart. Obviously he didn't come back out, but we have enough guys to come in and be effective."

On if the team's confidence ever falters after giving up long touchdowns: "Nope, nope. Probably the biggest play of the game was that third down and they ran it and they got called for a holding on Devin Taylor. That might have been the biggest play of the game. Had they got that first down, it's over. My whole point is that we have guys on this team that can apply pressure and be a factor in us getting that "W" today."

On WR Calvin Johnson's game today: "Phenomenal. I might be his number one fan. On and off the field, the way that man carries himself even through the tough times, he lost a fumble and what does he do? He has the tenacity to do that. You saw it on film. You can't lie."

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