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Lions players discuss win over Bears

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A recap of what various Detroit Lions players had to say following Thursday's win over the Chicago Bears.

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

LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On what today's offensive performance does for the team going forward: "It's something to build off of. We had guys step up in some key spots, left tackle, right guard, and those young guys played extremely well up front. They kept me clean for the most part and guys were making plays on the outside. That's what it boils down, us making plays and we were able to do it today. Just being consistent with it, not having a bad quarter, maybe a bad series here, one or two, but making sure that we were playing well in every quarter."

On what the difference was this week after struggling offensively the previous two weeks: "Just execution. I think everybody was extremely motivated coming into this game to play well, I know I was, and it showed."

On if today's performance answered all the questions about the offense: "We're just showing up on Sundays, this time a Thursday, but showing up on Sundays trying to score points. Hopefully this game gives us some confidence and gives us a little bit of momentum. We played fast today, guys were in and out the huddle, that tempo was great, we were good on first downs, giving us manageable thirds for the most part, so all that's a positive for us."

On if there is a tempo that he would prefer to play at: "I think we were playing at the same tempo we play every game. We were no huddle, we were huddling, but we were trying to be as fast in and out of the huddle as we possibly could. Dictate to the defense what the pace of the game was going to be. That's all great, but if you don't execute it doesn't work. We were executing today and that's the big thing."

On what went through his mind when he saw WR Calvin Johnson getting singled covered every play: "Pretty excited. We had an aggressive game plan when it came to that. They had showed it on tape, they were going to do what they were successful against Tampa doing it, rushing with five guys, and getting after the quarterback. Our guys up front did a heck of a job and every time we dropped back to throw it seemed like good things were happening. We just continued to do that and guys executed well."

On what his mindset was being down 14-3: "I knew in warm-ups the way we were going about the game that we were going to have a good game on offense. I could feel it, but it just didn't happen the first couple minutes of the game. Obviously, a three and out, a ball I probably could have hit Calvin on, gave him a little bit better of a day. The fumble was unfortunate, but I knew we were going to have a good day. I felt confident in our guys, we just made our minds up, and obviously our defense played fantastic again shutting them down the rest of the game."     

LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON
On what made the difference on offense: "Guys still believe in what we got going here. We had a good week of practice, it was a very short week, but we were very detailed in what we did on the field, coaches taking care of us. It's our part to come out here and do our job on the field and we were able to do that today."

On if his increased involvement in the offense had anything to do with the offensive performance: "Whoever makes the big plays on offense, it just breeds confidence for the rest of the team. It just gets us going especially if we do it early."

On how surprised was he that he was being defended one on one: "I kind of had a good idea of what they would do today. They played a little three, they mixed it up with a couple different coverages, but for the most part the Bears are who they are. They are going to play what they play and that's just how they've been historically."

On if he apologized to WR Corey Fuller for beating Bears CB Kyle Fuller: "No, Corey told me to pour it on."

On what eclipsing 10,000 receiving yards means to him: "It's huge man. It's big especially for a receiver. To be able to do it, in the fashion that we were able to do it, and with the help I've had from the rest of my teammates. We all share and take part in that and it's big."

LIONS C DOMINIC RAIOLA
On what gave him the confidence that the offense would breakout today: "We worked too hard not to. There's 11 guys busting their butt over there. We played two good teams back to back weeks and let's not mistake that. We came home and handled business and this is what we wanted. Last year, we were 7-5 going into this weekend and now we're 8-4. We're in a good spot right now, but we know there's a lot of work ahead."

On WR Calvin Johnson and the rest of the offense's performances today: "Man, they stepped up and made some difficult catches. We weathered an early storm, but we put together some good drives in the first half. Twenty-one points in I don't know how long, but that gave us some confidence and just kind of carried us through the rest of the game. All three phases really pitched in and did a good job."

On if the team got frustrated when they went down 14-3 early: "Every game you have to weather storms and that was the storm in this game. We came back and scored and Calvin (Johnson) made some big catches, 15 (Golden Tate) made some big catches, difficult catches. Taking a hit after the catch and that was big time."

LIONS RB JOIQUE BELL
On the running game today: "We stuck to it. That's the run game, that's the NFL for you. We keep pounding and pounding and eventually something is going to open up, and we were able to make some big runs towards the end."

On Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi's game plan for today: "I loved it. He trusted the run game today. We were able to go out there and kind of make a statement. We're a team that's going to run the ball and we were able to go out there and do that."

On how much the offense needed to see a performance like today's: "It's always good to go out there and see the guys reaping the benefits of the hard work that we put in. We have guys making history with Dom (Dominic Raiola) and Calvin Johnson, I mean great players. To be able to be out there with those guys, I just want to do my part. I know they're going to do what they do and I just want to go out there and do my part."

On if he could sense that the offense was going to have a good day: "Yeah, definitely. I felt that this whole week. I felt that this whole week."

On if today was a confidence builder: "Definitely a confidence booster, but at the same time, we celebrate this game and we have to approach next week the same way we approached this week."

LIONS LB DEANDRE LEVY
On what kind of adjustments the defense made to help shut down the Bears' offense: "I think we, as the players and coaches, kind of got a feel for what they were doing, we just reacted a little bit quicker. Not really harking down for the run, we kind of got a feel for what they were doing and adjusted accordingly."

On the defense scaring teams away from trying to establish the run: "I don't know, it kind of felt like that. Teams are getting the ball out quick, using a lot of screens and when you have a player like (Matt) Forte, I think he only had like five or six carries. I think something has to be said for our defense."

On how the defense regrouped after going down 14-3: "It's what we've been doing the past month. Hopefully, we get that corrected. We've got to come out and start faster, regardless of the end result, we have to start faster."

LIONS CB RASHEAN MATHIS
On how important it was to bounce back after surrendering the early lead: "Yeah, we don't want that to be our staple, but if we finish games like this, then I guess that's okay for now. But we just sideline adjust. They came out and hit us with a lot of swings early, got the ball out of (Jay) Cutler's hands quick, got the ball into their playmakers' hands really quick and they were able to get a little 50, 60-yard drive. I don't know what the first one was, but then they got a turnover. We just settled down on the sideline. Our DB coach, Tony Oden, he talked to us early and was like, ‘Listen, we've been this way before. We've been through this before and there's no need to panic. We just have to play our brand of football and we'll bounce back from this.' And we did."

On how much of a relief it is when the offense starts to click: "It's huge. I'm sure my smile says it. It's huge, to just have a healthy Calvin (Johnson), the O-line is beat up a little, but to have those guys sync together and protect Matt (Stafford). Matt stood in there like a champ today. There were some throws that there's probably only one or two other quarterbacks in this league that would stand up there in the pocket and make a couple of those throws that he made and trust his offensive line. We ran the ball great as well, so it was a team effort. We played good special teams, so we needed this. We needed this, it was a division game, Thanksgiving, the turkey is going to taste a little better tonight."

LIONS S JAMES IHEDIGBO
On the team's response to losing two straight games: "We responded like a team. We came out and fought. There were some plays there in the beginning that we didn't like to give up, but once again we played our style of football, our DNA. That's what we talked about, is letting our DNA shine on that field and we did that. We saw it on offense, lighting up the scoreboard and defense shutting them out."

On the defense's ability to lock down after surrendering 14 early points: "We did. We made the adjustments on the sidelines, went to calls that would take away what they were trying to do against us and that always helps. When you're lighting up the scoreboard like our offense did today, it makes our job a heck of a lot easier on D."

On getting the boost from the offense: "They came back and just lit it up. Matt (Stafford) was throwing the ball, he had that zip on it and was playing at a high level. That's what we talked about, it's our DNA being shown on that field. Fast, smart and physical, and we showed that today."