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Lions quotes: Players comment on loss to Bengals

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

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a look at what various Detroit Lions players had to say after Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)


On what happened during the 3rd-and-4 play where WR Calvin Johnson was tackled: "Trying to get him across the field. Get a chance to get a guy that's the best receiver in the game. Run away from coverage. He just couldn't get away from them. We missed it. If we hit that, we're moving. That guy was, to say the least, pretty sticky in coverage."

On losing both offensive tackles: "It was tough. Guys did a great job of stepping up. Guys came in and played. That's what you have to have happen. This was a tough game. A lot of guys went down. There were a lot of guys that were walking off the field with trainers around them today, on both sides of the ball. It's a hard-fought, tough game. Tough to come out on the wrong end of it."

On the two-minute drill at the end of the game: "We were in a tough spot. If we would have dropped back in a pass play on that first play, I would've been in my own end zone. It's a tough place. We were trying to get a little room. Obviously, with a tie ball game, you're just trying to get at least a first down and get it out of there. We weren't able to do that."

On the 50-yard pass to Johnson: "It was a great catch. It was a play we had gotten backed up, I don't know what that was. It was tough call. Rolled out right. They did a great job of playing deep-to-short today with Calvin on the field. I held it as long as I could, threw it. I didn't get to see a whole lot of it. I saw the very end of it and it was one of the best catches I have ever seen."

On being disappointed or frustrated to lose at home: "Yeah, you always want to win, especially at home. It's tough not to. Guys have to learn from this one and bounce back to be ready to go next week."

On how nice was it to be able to throw the ball down field: "It was good. We were just trying to take what they gave us. They had a couple of opportunities to hit them. I missed some guys and some other times we hit them and made some big plays."


On QB Matthew Stafford saying this was a bad loss: "It's tough. We're both fighting for 5-2, we're tops in our division - we're playing good ball. To come up with a loss like this, we knew it was going to come down to a play or two at the end of the game and it definitely did. We were on the wrong end of that."

On if he ever surprises himself with his own touchdown catches: "I was behind, I think it was Reggie (Nelson) right there, and I saw him stop his feet to go up and get it, so I knew I had to get right behind him and go on top of him and in the air and go get it. Matt (Stafford) left it up there with a lot of air, so I could go do it. Just happened to make the play."

On the game plan on the Lions' final drive: "We wanted to get out of that area a little bit. I think we had a four-yard gain to make it 2nd-and-6, so we gave ourselves a little breathing room. If you're backed up right there, you want to give yourself a little bit of room so you can back up and throw the ball without having to worry about the end line and the end zone. We were able to do that, but after that, we wish we could have a call there. We didn't get it and that was the nature of the game."

On the play where his helmet came off: "I didn't know if it was a helmet or a shoulder pad that hit me. Obviously, the referees felt it was a shoulder pad that hit me. It was a pretty good hit. But I bounced back in. It wasn't anything."

On if he will rate the first half of the season positively if they can beat Dallas: "Definitely. If we can do that, we'll go into the bye happy. It's going to be tough. We've got a good Dallas team coming in here, but we've got to have a good week of practice. Everything last week, we might have let one of those days slip away."


On what wasn't working in the offense on the final drive: "They were playing really good coverage. We got that first down on a good play by Ryan (Broyles). After that we were running some different things that we had seen on film against their two-minute stuff and we just weren't able to execute. I don't know if we weren't getting open in time, too much pressure, I don't know what it was, but we just weren't able to execute. You have to give them credit, they brought some pressure and we didn't execute right."

On what went through the team's head when Lions P Sam Martin hit a bad punt: "It's not one play. You don't blame anything on Sam. We could have executed a different play. I could've made a better judgment on the deep pass I had. There are different things that could have gone into it. You don't put blame on anyone. It's a team game and it's a team loss."

On losing a game when it felt like the Lions dominated: "You just have to give credit to them. They came in and they finished. Unfortunately, we didn't."


On challenging the team's resiliency: "We will bounce back. I know we will bounce back. We have a bunch of fighters in here. Look who is in this room, look at our quarterback. We have the best wide receiver in the world. We have a bunch of fighters in here."

On if the team is healing from the loss already: "This one hurt ... This should hurt. There are no moral victories here anymore, we are beyond that. We are too good of a team to say, ‘Aw man we were close.' We were a field goal or couple calls away. It doesn't matter. We are too good of a team to do that."

On what happened at the end of the game: "I don't know, I really don't know. There's 11 people doing a job out there. I don't know what happened at the end. I have no idea. I can't call it right now. It's just one of those games."

On if they will look back and ask what could have been: "I just think beyond that, not just with the Bengals, but like what if we made a first down at the end of the game and kept that two-minute drive going, what could be? It's not even about the Bengals. Give them their due. They have a good team. They won."


On the last-second field goal: "It's just one of those things where you are hoping it doesn't go in. You don't want the game to end on them making a 50-yard field goal. We would love to make that kick. It was a heavyweight battle, a heavyweight fight and we took some punches, they took some punches. They just got the last punch in."

On the mood of the team: "As a team we understand and know the things that we did to hurt ourselves. Anytime you lose a game like that, you look at the punches that we took. We could've had our guard up to protect ourselves. We feel like we could've won that game and we know that we have to go back and put the work in and win the next one. We have to play better and win these close games. Throughout the course of the season you are going to have close games and when you're at home in a close game, you have to find a way to win and we didn't do that today."

On the confidence of the secondary: "We have a standard, no matter who is in, we expect everybody to play up to that standard. If somebody goes down then we bring somebody else in and we expect them to play up to the standard. Right now we are confident with our guys, we are confident with what we are doing and we are going to keep working. It's a long a season. It's all about fighting through the small things, all the little nicks and knacks and just keep getting better. We still have nine games left so we have to keep working. The goal is to be as good as we can down the stretch and hopefully getting into the playoffs. We just have to keep working on what we are doing, whoever is out there we just have to play."


On the game in general: "We didn't come out the way we wanted to. When you play against a good team like that, your margin of error with mistakes is small and I think we made too many mistakes to overcome. They are a good team and they found a way to get down there, kick the field goal and win the game."

On if the Bengals changed strategy at halftime: "No, I think they have good players and they made some plays. We just didn't make enough plays and against a team like that we have to find a way to finish. Unfortunately, we didn't, but we got the Cowboys next week and we will bounce back and play the way we want to play."


On the Lions' defensive performance: "We had our opportunities to make plays and we were in the game the whole time. We made plays when we needed to make plays and we just had to make sure that we had an opportunity to win the game and we just didn't capitalize on it. When we were in some situations we didn't make the best out of it and that's something we have to correct and get back to work on Tuesday."


On if he lost confidence after giving up a touchdown to the Bengals on the first drive: "You have to try to remain confident. That's why he took me out, let me get my head. Once you're getting double-moved week in and week out, it kind of slows your aggressiveness down. And then they just let me go out and get my head right and then let me come back in and be more aggressive."

On what happened on the Bengals' first touchdown and if he was supposed to have safety help: "No, it was just a double-move. He just went to the d-route, out and up, that's all he did. Double-move and I'm getting these moves every week. I guess because I'm used to breaking on things aggressively and they just double-move me every week. I put this loss on me, not anybody else, I put it on me. I will be better at things. This total loss is on me."

On the Bengals' second touchdown against him: "He went up and made a good catch, seven-route. He just went up and made a good catch."

On how frustrating it is for the defense to not force a turnover: "If you win the turnover margin, you usually win the game. We weren't able to do that. I don't know why, we just weren't able to get any turnovers. But like I said, this loss is on me. I got double-moved a lot during the game and then that causes you to not be so aggressive. So if you see something, you're so slow to break onto it, so you just couldn't find a rhythm because I kept getting double-moved."

On the last time he was benched: "I don't think I have. If I kept playing like that, I would have took myself out and put somebody else in there. Because like I said, I felt that I let my team down - offense, defense, special teams, my coaches. Like I said, double-moves are what is hurting me right now. I guess they know I play aggressive and on outbreaks, anything I see I'm trying to plug up the pass and I'm just getting those double-moves."


On the game in general: "I got no real excuse for it. In a situation like that, you are expecting a heavy rush and that's what I was expecting and I rushed myself to prevent a block and just pulled it."

On if he thought he needed to rush it before the ball was snapped on his final punt: "Yeah, typically in that situation, we all thought that they were going to bring pressure. I was trying to get it off quick, prevent a block and keep it away from the returner at the same time and a half-an-inch inside can make that big of a difference and that's what happened there."

On if he knew he kicked a poor punt right away: "Yeah, absolutely. You can tell you hit a bad punt right when you hit a bad punt."

On how to move on after the poor punt: "You can say that about any game. It could have been that play or it could have been another play, but that kick came down to that play at the end of the game. That's what you see and that's the immediate thought. I don't think anyone is out of the wrong for thinking that, I should have hit a better punt."

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