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Lions players comment on loss to Bills

A recap of what various Detroit Lions players had to say after Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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

On how limited they were at the end without WR Calvin Johnson and RB Reggie Bush: "We had our limitations, obviously with personnel, but that was a good defense that we played, well-coached and had a good scheme coming in. They have a good front and a good back end. They're a very well-rounded defense."

On how limited he was with his injury: "Nothing much after that, I was ok."

On how frustrating it was to watch three missed field goals: "Anytime you miss opportunities it's frustrating, whether it's in the kicking game or on offense or defense. We all had our hand in this one. You win as a team and lose as team. We all had plays that we could have done better at."

On how he deals with this type of loss: "You move on. You just have to. As a player, put that behind you and go out and try to create another drive if you get the opportunity."

On if he would have liked to go for the first down on fourth down rather than kick the field goal: "No, I think we did the right thing."

On what they were trying to accomplish with the third-down screen on their last drive: "If you look at the pictures we had a great play behind it. (Jerry) Hughes did a great job of being an athlete, jumping up and batting that ball. If he doesn't do that we have three linemen out front and it's a good picture. Possibly getting a first down there at least, really shortening that field goal. It's a good play by him, you have to tip your hat to him."

On why they did not attack down field much: "I think their corners were playing very deep ball-conscious and they were aggressive with their safeties but playing over the top with their corners. Again, it was a good scheme, they clouded the middle of the field quite a bit. They had a lot of guys in between the hashes and trusted their corners to play one-on-one outside. They were effective."

On if Buffalo was doing something to take away the short routes from QB Matthew Stafford: "I'm not sure what was going on in the back. I don't even want to make that kind of an excuse right now. Period, end, we just didn't play well enough up front. That's just what happened. They got us on a couple of plays that normally we don't get hit on. We had a couple of penalties, that's not like us as well. It showed, all of those things together add up to a really bad game."

On how he feels physically to this point in the season: "Right now I'm feeling good. I'm feeling good, I feel like I'm able to do all of the things that I want to do. Just had a rough one."

On his impression of Buffalo's defensive line: "Good. They're really good, even without Kyle Williams, they're really good and they showed it."

On how tough this loss is: "It's tough, it's tough in general. I don't know where it ranks, but it's a tough loss for us and we had plenty of opportunities to win the game and we just didn't get it done. We have to find a way to get better this week and get ready for Minnesota."

On if injuries had anything to do with the poor running game: "I don't know. I mean, we just have to do a better job at obviously running the ball, but just being more efficient running backs starting with us. We can do a better job. I'm not sure if it's injuries or what, but obviously we want to get as healthy as quickly as possible. If we're not in there then we're not able to help."

On how he feels physically: "I don't know, I feel good but we'll see. I'll speak to the doctors and trainers and we'll take the necessary precautions to do whatever I need to do to get healthy for this week."

On how good the Bills run defense is: "They're good, they're really good. They did a good job of slowing the run game down and did a good job of slowing down our pass. It was a tough day for us today."

LIONS WR GOLDEN TATE (On the Detroit Lions Radio Network, 97.1 FM The Ticket)
On his personal performance being significant after a loss: "Doesn't at all. There are some plays we left out there. We can't leave points on the board like that. I think defensively we did a good job holding it down. They only gave up 17 points for the game. What more can you ask for? I think we've got to do a better job at staying on schedule, keeping the QB off the ground and quite frankly, our receivers and backs just got to find ways to make more plays."

On what he saw on the catch that led to the last FG attempt: "It was just a great play call by coach and even better throw by Matt (Stafford). I mean, he put it where I was catching it in stride and from then on I just had to do what I do. I've got to find a way to obviously score on that to seal the deal, but overall it was just a great play call and great throw."

LIONS WR GOLDEN TATE (Open locker room)
On if the Bills defense was doing anything to take away short routes from the receivers: "They didn't do anything from my perspective that we didn't know they were going to. I thought we had a pretty good game plan in there. It sucks to lose Calvin (Johnson) like that, obviously we needed him a little more right there late in the game. Matt (Stafford) was uncomfortable a lot of the game because they were getting back there and finding ways to get him down. I mean, let's not take anything away from Buffalo, they have a really good team. I thought they played some good ball especially on the road."

On if it was difficult playing the rest of the game without Johnson and RB Reggie Bush: "Yeah it is tough, but I think we have enough play-makers like myself, (Eric) Ebron, even (George) Winn showed out. Our rookie came in and had some big plays for us. Ryan Broyles, I think we have play-makers. I think we have a great game plan going into each game. If you look back we had tons of opportunities to score and I believe we left nine points on special teams and that can't happen in this league."

On allowing more yards in the second half: "I don't know, I'd have to go back and look at the film. I feel like we did some good things. We obviously let them move the ball a little bit late in the game to set up for a field goal. At the end of the day, we didn't do enough on defense to hold them from scoring and that's what it comes down to."

On how disheartening the kicking game has been: "For me, that's not something for me to worry about. All I can do is continue to play defense and put us in position to get the ball back to the offense. I can't worry about things that are out of my control. At the end of the day, I know Alex (Henery) is a hard-working person and I'll continue to root for him as well as any other guy that comes in if that may be the decision."

On if he noticed any adjustments that the Bills made in between halves: "I wouldn't say so. The only thing that I did notice was that they tried to get the ball out very quickly, try to run slants and get the ball across the field and allow their playmakers to make plays. We needed to get to the quarterback more often."

On how hard this loss is: "At the end of the day, a wise man said, ‘All this means is that we're not going to be 15-1.' We have to continue to play and make sure that we understand we have to go back to work on Monday and take care of business."

On it being a more frustrating loss because of the missed field goals: "I mean, it's frustrating whenever you lose, but I don't think I played well enough to point the finger at anybody."

On moving on after playing well enough to win: "If we played well enough to win we would have won. We left some plays out there, we had a lead. Defensively, it's our job to protect it."

On how the morale of the defense stayed up even after missed field goals: "We worry about our job. Our job isn't to be the kicker or be a critic. Our job is to stop them from scoring points."

LIONS CB RASHEAN MATHIS (On the Detroit Lions Radio Network, 97.1 FM The Ticket)
On his 40-yard interception return for a touchdown: "Just reading my keys, a defense was called and just executing the defense, reading three-step (drop) and I was able to make a play."

On keeping the Bills under control until late in the fourth quarter: "Yeah, you can't stop a team the entire game. To allow not too many drives but just one drive for a touchdown, that's not bad. There are some areas we definitely can tighten up a little more, but as a defense we played pretty good, but not good enough to win the ball game."

On if losing WR Calvin Johnson and RB Reggie Bush affected the team's psyche during the game: "Well, it's the next man up. Was their presence missed? Definitely, this is the NFL. We're professionals, it's the next man up and we expect the next man to be able to do that role just as good or even better."

On how disappointing of a loss this was considering the play of the defense: "It's disappointing, it's very disappointing. It's nothing to hang our heads about. This is what the NFL is about, it's going to be about close games. Sometimes the offense is going to be out there to win the game for you and sometimes the defense is going to be out there to win the game for you. Sometimes it's going to be the special teams, so you've got to be able to execute. It's all about execution at the last minute because the majority of the games won in the NFL are won in the last two minutes of the ball game. This proves so."

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