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Lions players comment on win over Saints

A recap of what various Detroit Lions players had to say after Sunday's win over the New Orleans Saints.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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

On the offense's struggles up until the final two drives: "Obviously, we didn't play our best football, especially in the first half. I had the one turnover and then in the second half we were moving the ball pretty well a couple of times and weren't able to convert. We had another turnover there, that was unfortunate, but our defense did a great job of getting us the ball back. We fight, we never gave up, obviously had to have some things go our way, made some plays and won the game."

On WR Golden Tate's production with WR Calvin Johnson out the last two weeks: "He's been great, he's obviously stepped up. That play he made on that long touchdown is as good of a play as I've seen in a long time. The catch in to the stand still, I basically threw him a ball up. He was hot and calling for it, wanted it and gave him a chance on a ball. He came back and caught it, he did the rest. It was pretty impressive and then our defense stepped up, made a play for us and got us the ball. Just a total team effort when you look at it top to bottom. Special teams was on point, defense made some big plays when we really needed it and offense the same way."

On if the offense was trying to eat time off the clock while also trying to score on the last drive: "Absolutely, the No. 9 on that team is a pretty darn good player. They've got a bunch of years in that offense. You've seen them do it a million times, go right down the field. So, we were trying to limit their time as much as we could, but we couldn't not score ourselves. It's a tough situation to be in in football. Obviously, made some plays, had the one fourth-down penalty. That helped us out and we were able to punch it in. Our defense came out and did a great job stepping up and stopping them again."

On what he saw on the touchdown pass to WR Corey Fuller: "He's ‘1A.' Golden (Tate) is in there too but they doubled Golden. He had done such a great job all game, they were putting a little double team on him down there, a little bracket. Corey had to go outside and beat a corner. He was just kind of trailing on the baseline, saw the double team on Golden and put a ball where I thought Corey could go up and get it and get both feet down. It was a great catch. What a first touchdown catch if you're him. It's pretty awesome, I was really happy for him."

On what he said to Fuller after the play: "I just told him I was proud of him. I told him I was happy for him. It's a big situation, he played great all day. He had some great catches, had some tough ones where he got hit. That third-and-extra-long, fourth-and-extra-long, whatever it was, he backed up, he caught that dig coming across the middle. He had a guy draped all over him. A low ball, went down and got it, so I was really proud of him."

On his game-winning touchdown catch: "I know I don't get called much, I'm just here to help any way I can. Matt (Stafford) threw a great ball, the line blocked perfectly and all I had to was come down with it. I had to do the easy job."

On the team's ‘Next Man Up' mantra: "Definitely, even last week, every time I came off the field even Calvin (Johnson) was coming to me or I was going to him just asking him little things like, or he'll ask me little things like what did I see. It just helped me slow the game down a little bit, so it's helping a lot."

On what turned the offense around after early struggles: "Finish, we just had to finish. The game isn't over until the clock hits zeros and I think the whole team believes in that. That's what we did."

On what has helped him develop: "Confidence and the same thing since camp. My confidence has been pretty high in the season and I'm just trying to help out any way that I can, help other guys get open and things like that. It definitely boosts my confidence and makes me feel a little bit calmer when I'm out there on the field."

On his performance today: "We had a great game plan and Coach Lombardi did a great job of finding ways to get me open and it came down to just nine (Matthew Stafford) trusting in me. Some of those balls he kind of just threw up because he knew where I'd be. We just made plays, collectively. It wasn't just me. (Corey) Fuller came up big and so did some other guys."

On what sparked the offense in the second half: "We just started to be ourselves a few times and if we stay on schedule, I think we're always going to be good enough. We have some playmakers on this team and we're still getting some guys back from injuries, but if we just stay on schedule and do our job individually at the same time, the sky is the limit for this team. We have an endless amount of talent."

On S Glover Quin's late interception: "To the whole defense, those guys put some heat on one of the best quarterbacks in the League, one of the best offensive teams in the league and those guys fought to the very end, literally. We just came up big with a little bit of divine intervention, and the next thing we knew we're 5-2."

On if the team feels it needs to step up with the absence of WR Calvin Johnson: "We just had such a great camp and our coaches did a great job of us all getting reps. We strongly believe in next man up, so guys just have to step up. Everyone made this team for a reason, so when our number is called, we have to show up and make plays that we're supposed to make. We don't have to do anything spectacular like Calvin. We just have to play fundamentally-sound ball and I think we were prepared. We were just prepared and it just showed that the game wasn't over and you can't win the game in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, but you can win it in the fourth quarter. This is a great example of that."

On what the team said to each other to make sure it wasn't out of it: "You know what? The funny thing is, and you can ask Joe Lombardi's son, he sat by me and this kid is maybe 10 years old, and he said, ‘This is what's going to happen, we're about to get a stop, score quick, our defense will get a stop, and we're going to win by one." And that's what happened. We just had it within us and at the end of the day, we just kept fighting. We have faith in the guys in this locker room and we just found a way."

On how much momentum his touchdown grab gave the team: "You saw it, a lot. It wasn't just me, we played collectively and it was a great, collective effort. Nine (Stafford) trusted the line and trusted me to make a play and I just found a way. I just dug deep and the next thing I knew, it was ballgame. We had a chance and what else could you ask for? That's what this league is all about. That's why it's the most popular sports group in the world."

On the Lions' final offensive drive: "I think the whole game we just tried to stay positive and just keep playing, and we did that. Golden (Tate) made a great play and Corey (Fuller) just had one at the end there. So, it was good. Everybody stayed in the game and we got it done."

On if there was a point in the game where he felt it was over: "It was getting there, but like I said, we just hung in there. We just kept playing no matter what. I think that's going to be the story. At the beginning of the year, we just hung in there though all the bad stuff that happened and we overcame some stuff. Come next week and the games to come, I think we'll be playing some of our best football."

On how much the win means to the team: "It was huge. We have a lot of play makers and you look around the offensive huddle and you know we have guys that are capable of doing it. We knew we had a challenge and we just kept playing."

On if there was any change to the game plan in the fourth quarter that resulted in more pressure on the quarterback: "No, it was basically the same thing we've been doing all year. We knew we were eventually going to get there. We just had to keep doing what we do. We had to keep following our techniques, keep fighting and be relentless to get there. But eventually, we were going to break through."

On if the crowd was a factor at the end of the game: "Yeah, the crowd is always a major factor into how we play because when the crowd gets into it, it gets us going and it gets us moving. They actually disrupt the offense and the crowd was a big part of it."

On the team's ability to not look ahead to London: "Our main thing was to get this one because a lot of teams would've been thinking about London because it's next week. We never focused on that. We focused on this game and winning this game so we could still be ahead in our division."

On what a win like this does for the team: "It was a great challenge that we had. We stepped up to the challenge and at the end of the day, we had to get the win and we got it."

On what was said when the team was down late in the fourth quarter: "We understood that we put ourselves in a tough situation. Us as defensive guys had to make plays, get off the field, get the ball back to our offense. I never had a doubt that we were going to have the opportunity to make plays, get the ball back to our offense and they were going to know what to do."

On the defense's ability to collapse from the outside and create pressure on the quarterback late: "That's our bread and butter. If we're not going to get in there and create havoc, especially in a tough situation like that, then there's no point in us being out on the football field. Us as a defensive line, we take that in our hands, put it on our shoulders and understand that we make sure we're going back and making plays, putting them under pressure and giving them tough decisions. Don't give them time and go from there."

On what he saw on his late interception: "It started with a great play call. Coach (Teryl Austin) made a perfect call, the D-line got good pressure and on the backend, me and Digs (James Ihedigbo) switched up something that we had been doing all game and gave a different look. We knew on third downs that Drew (Brees) likes to go to the sticks and he likes to throw it to the middle of the field with somebody that's right in front of him, somebody that's in his vision. So, everything worked out perfectly. We had a great rush from our D-line, Drew was under duress and he stepped up and the D-Line was closing in. He kind of tried to look me off a little bit, but he was trying to hit the tight end or someone coming right across the field. So, all of the film study, all of the preparation added up and we were able to make a big play."

On how much of a factor the new defensive scheme has been in his production this year: "It's been a huge factor. The coaches have great confidence in us and the secondary has a great dialogue throughout the week talking about looks and things that we want to do. We have great dialogue during the game and make adjustments and just try to put guys in positions to make plays. The coaches give us freedom to make certain calls on the field and to do certain things. As long as we're communicating and everyone is on the same page, they do a great job of letting the players play."

On if the scheme allows him to focus more on making plays on the ball and going after interceptions: "I get those opportunities a little bit, being able to be the free guy in certain coverages, but everything is trust related. We have great trust on the backend and guys depend on guys to be where they're supposed to be. All we do is, we see something, we get a feel for the game, we make a call, everybody executes the call, and when your number is called to make a play, we have to make it. Today, we made a great adjustment, my number was called and the stars aligned, and I made it."

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