Detroit Lions News
7-30-14: The Detroit Lions have decided to pick up contract talks with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in 2015, while reports suggest they might even be content with letting the star defensive lineman walk in free agency. While the Lions are struggling over what to do about Suh, they can hang their hat on freakish defensive end Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah continuing to develop. Detroit’s coaching staff has been gushing about the second-year player, as some have suggested he can become “an elite player”. With eight sacks last year as a rookie, there is speculation that Ansah’s rise to elite status could take place during the 2014 season. While there is positive hype around Ansah, he did start camp on the PUP list, along with wide receiver Golden Tate (shoulder).
7-15-14: The Detroit Lions will get a healthy Joique Bell back when training camp opens on July 27th for veteran players. Bell is now 100% recovered from a minor knee issue and will look to cut even more into starter Reggie Bush’s workload moving forward. The Lions are also looking to get more creative on the defensive side, as pass rushing specialist “Ziggy” Ansah is reportedly “excited” to become a more versatile player. The more ways Detroit can find to get the athletic Ansah on the field, the better for a solid, improving defensive unit.
6-5-14: The Detroit Lions have been busy locking up their 2014 rookie draft class, as they’ve secured center Travis Swanson and linebacker Kyle Van Noy in recent deals. Running back Joique Bell and wide receiver Ryan Broyles are two young offensive talents that continue to recover from injuries. Bell is confident he’ll be ready for camp, where he is expected to start to share the ball with Reggie Bush. Broyles needs a healthy and impressive camp to carve out a key role with the team. If he can’t stay healthy, he may be in danger of being cut during preseason action.
5-19-14: The Detroit Lions needed a true difference-maker for their passing game to help pry defense’s attention away from stud receiver Calvin Johnson, while they also could use an elite corner prospect to assist with improving a shaky secondary. Let’s see if they knocked out both needs in this year’s draft:
Round 1. Pick 10 Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Round 2. Pick 08 Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Round 3. Pick 12 Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas
Round 4. Pick 33 Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah St.
Round 6. Pick 13 TJ Jones, WR, Notre Dame
Round 7. Pick 14 Nate Freese, K, Boston College
The Lions didn’t get an impact wide receiver early, but Ebron still certainly qualified as a difference-making addition to the offense. Blessed with elite size and athleticism for the tight end position, Ebron gives Detroit a second body off the line, while he has the speed to operate out of the slot, as well.
Detroit went on to add an exceptional linebacker in Kyle Van Noy in round two. Van Noy is a classic “jack of all trades” linebacker who tackles well and flys to the ball. He offers nice versatility, giving the Lions an interesting piece to use in their defense.
The Lions entered the draft needing a long-term option at center, and one fell into their laps with Arkansas center Travis Swanson being their pick in round three. Swanson is a terrific zone blocker and has excellent size for the position.
While the Lions added Ebron and did take a wide receiver in round six, it would have been nice to see them land one much earlier. They also addressed corner with Nevin Lawson in round four, but a corner somewhere earlier in the drafty would have been preferred, as well.
5-9-14: The Detroit Lions were looking for a difference-maker on offense or a stud corner in this draft. With the Cleveland Browns snagging the best cornerback (Justin Gilbert) off the board and the draft’s top two wide receivers also already gone, the Lions decided to take the draft’s best tight end. That ended up being North Carolina brute Eric Ebron, who was easily this year’s top tight end and is a potential game-changer. Thanks to an awesome blend of size, speed and natural athleticism, Ebron could really open up Detroit’s and allow Calvin Johnson to see fewer double teams.
4-28-14: Jim Caldwell takes over the Detroit Lions in 2014, and unlike his predecessor Jim Schwartz, he figures to lead a much more balanced roster on both sides of the ball. That could start by helping his talent on in the passing game, as Calvin Johnson only has Golden Tate to take defense’s focus away from him currently. If the Lions deem freeing up Megatron a priority (and they should), then Mike Evans and Marqise Lee could be near the top of their draft board. Ndamukong Suh trade rumors could also open the door to a defensive tackle in the first two rounds, while landing Justin Gilbert would help fix a shaky secondary. Detroit could also simply be in a position where they could draft the best player available in round one, where offensive tackle Taylor Lewan might be tempting.
4-18-14: Jim Caldwell takes over the Detroit Lions in 2014, who get their preseason schedule started off with a home game against the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland should be a fairly easy matchup for Matthew Stafford and co. to get adjusted as they try to get back to the playoffs in 2014. Week two should have the Detroit starters hit the field a bit more, as they head to Oakland to take on the Raiders. The Lions starters should see even more playing time in week three, as they have their third cakewalk matchup of the preseason as the Jacksonville Jaguars come to town. Week four marks an end to Detroit’s preseason schedule, as they head to Buffalo to take on the Bills. While the matchups aren’t the toughest on paper, Detroit could end up benefiting from earning some preseason wins to build their confidence as they prepare for the regular season.
4-7-14: Detroit did well to get wide receiver Calvin Johnson a running mate at the start of free agency, stealing Golden Tate away from the Seattle Seahawks. To keep the offense humming, the Lions made sure to hold onto starting tight end Brandon Pettigrew, while also retaining center Dominic Raiola. On defense, the Lions lost starting safety Louis Delmas, but was at least able to bring in another body in James Ihedigbo to compete for the open spot. The Lions still have questions in their secondary and could add another wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft.
3-21-14: The Detroit Lions are one of many teams completely starting over in 2013, as they moved on from head coach Jim Schwartz and are now under the guidance of the offensive minded Jim Caldwell. Caldwell made sure to right some wrongs early in free agency, as he grabbed former Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate off the open market, ensuring Calvin Johnson would have a little more help on offense in 2014. The Lions also kept some solid in-house talent, holding onto starting tight end Brandon Pettigrew on a long-term deal, while also offering a tender to running back Joique Bell. The team also cut ties with safety Louis Delmas and lost a little depth on their defensive line with Israel Idonije jetting for Chicago, creating a couple extra holes for the Lions to focus on during the draft.
12-31-13: Already eliminated from playoff contention, the Lions couldn’t manage to end their season on a high note, as they blew a late 13-7 lead and fell to the Vikings in Minnesota, 14-13. Matthew Stafford managed to take care of the football in this one, but just couldn’t generate enough offense with number one wide receiver Calvin Johnson sidelined with a knee injury.
12-24-13: A week after the Lions suffered a horrifying home loss, they experienced another. Despite leading 20-13 on their home field with under five minutes remaining, the Lions decided to keep throwing the ball. Matthew Stafford ended up throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown and the Lions went on to drop this one in overtime to the New York Giants, 23-20. The loss eliminated the Lions from playoff contention.
12-17-13: Matthew Stafford’s fourth quarter struggles continued and the Baltimore Ravens’ field goals were better than Detroit’s touchdowns in a heart-breaking 18-16 loss. Stafford got the Lions into the lead late on a solid drive, but couldn’t finish the comeback after Baltimore’s Justin Tucker nailed a 61-yard field goal to retake the lead.
12-10-13: Everyone on the Eagles and Lions had to deal with ridiculous snow and wins in week 14, but only Matthew Stafford seemed to really have a tough time with it. Stafford struggled mightily all day, completing just 40% of his passes and fumbling five times (losing one). Stafford’s ineptitude helped waste an early 14-0 lead for the Lions, who loosened their grip of first place in the NFC North with the 34-20 road loss.
12-3-13: Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush combined for four turnovers to help make this a game early. However, both recovered and combined for four touchdowns to help offset their miscues in a massive 40-10 home blowout win over visiting NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers.
11-26-13: Matthew Stafford is arguably the reason the Lions stood a chance at home in a 24-21 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 12, as he tossed three touchdowns and nearly hit 300 yards passing. But he was also easily the reason they lost, as he couldn’t take care of the football, throwing four picks - one of which got returned for a touchdown.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were on their way to history in week 11, and both were on pace for single-game yardage performances for the record books. Their hot starts had the Lions overcoming an early deficit and looking nearly unstoppable with a half-time lead. However, Johnson wouldn’t catch a single pass in the second half as Detroit fell apart and fell to the Steelers in Pittsburgh, 37-27.
11-12-13: Matthew Stafford tossed three touchdowns (two to Calvin Johnson) and Reggie Bush topped 100 yards on the ground, as Detroit hung on for a tight win against the division rival Chicago Bears in week 10, 21-19. The win gave the Lions, who stopped a two-point conversion late that would have sent the game into overtime, sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
10-30-13: The Dallas Cowboys simply had no answer for Calvin Johnson in week eight, who went for an insane 329 yards and a touchdown on 14 receptions in a crazy 31-30 home win for Detroit. It wasn’t all gravy at first, though, as the Lions were down by 10 with just over six minutes to go, and needed a heroic touchdown drive by Matthew Stafford to lift them to 5-3 on the year.
10-22-13: The Detroit Lions lost their stranglehold on the NFC North in week seven, as they dropped a close game to the Cincinnati Bengals at home, 27-24. Reggie Bush ran hard all game, but couldn’t break many runs open as he struggled to just 50 yards on 20 carries. Luckily the elite connection between Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson was alive and well, as the two kept the Lions very much in this one by hooking up together for 155 yards and two scores. Detroit ultimately fell to a 54-yard field goal as time expired, giving them a heart-breaking loss and dropping them to 4-3 on the season.
10-15-13: The Detroit Lions were supposed to have a difficult time on offense with Joe Haden locking down a banged up Calvin Johnson on the road in week six. Matthew Stafford didn’t get the memo. Stafford went away from Megatron enough to guide the Lions to four touchdowns, while undrafted rookie tight end Joseph Fauria was the star of the day with three touchdown catches. It may have all been in futility, however, if not for excellent pressure on Brandon Weeden forcing arguably the worst interception ever thrown late in the fourth quarter. Detroit was able to score the final touchdown of the game following the horrible pick, putting this one away 31-17 and jumping up to 4-2 on the season.
10-8-13: The Detroit Lions had lost their last 22 games at Lambeau Field, dating all the way back to 1992. Thanks to a late-game scratch of star wide receiver Calvin Johnson, that atrocious streak continued in week five. Matthew Stafford’s tunnel vision on Megatron was disrupted without his top receiver, as the Detroit quarterback took five sacks and struggled to move the ball effectively until late in the game. Detroit’s defense was up to the task, allowing just one touchdown on the day to a usually explosive Green Bay offense, but their own offensive limitations were too much to overcome on the road, as they dropped to 3-2 with a 22-9 loss.
10-2-13: The Lions have signed wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. He had worked out with the team on Wednesday and the team decided to sign him.
10-1-13: Reggie Bush returned from a one week break due to injury to dominate the Chicago Bears to the tune of 140+ total yards and a touchdown, while the Detroit defense pressured Bears quarterback Jay Cutler into several bad decisions throughout this one en route to a 40-32 home victory. This one was a lot less competitive than the final score indicated, as the Lions were smooth and efficient on offense for the final three quarters, despite the Bears doing a solid job on star wide receiver Calvin Johnson (four receptions). In the end, the Lions simply played better defense and turned the ball over fewer times, sending them to a 3-1 tie for first place with Chicago atop the NFC North.
9-10-13: Things didn’t start out very well for the Lions against Minnesota on Sunday as Adrian Peterson got took the first ball he touched 77 yards to the house for a touchdown. However, he would rush for just 15 more yards on his final 17 carries as the Lions won the game 34-24. They were led by versatile running back Reggie Bush, who racked up 191 total yards and a TD. Despite a quiet game from Calvin Johnson (37 yards on 4 catched) Matthew Stafford put up solid number, completing 26 of 43 for 357 yards, two TDs and a pick. The Lions head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals in week 2.
9-5-13: Here are the Lions final roster cuts: Cuts: OG Rodney Austin, DB Ron Bartell, RB Shaun Chapas, P Blake Clingan, DT Andrew Fluelen, WR Corey Fuller, CB Chris Greenwood, OT Kevin Haslam, LB Brandon Hepburn, S Tyrell Johnson, OL Darren Keyton, LB Jon Morgan, RB Steven Miller, LB Jon Morgan, S Martavius Neloms, DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo, DT Xavier Proctor, DT Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, OL Jake Scott, S Amari Spievey, LB Chris White, WR Matt Willis.
8-16-13: After opening the preseason with a win over the Jets, the Lions were dropped by the Browns 24-6 in week 2. Matt Stafford was solid, completing 11 of 16 passes for 74 yards. Reggie Bush carried the ball 8 times for 15 yard and caught 5 passes for a team-leading 44 yards. Next week, the Lions will host Tom Brady (if his knee is OK) and the Patriots.
8-11-13: The Lions defeated the New York Jets 26-17 to open their 2013 preseason schedule. QB Shaun Hill threw for 136 on 11 of 18 and threw for a TD. Matthew Stafford completed just 3 of 8 passes for 60 yards.
7-10-13: Matthew Stafford passed the ball over 700 times for over 5000 yards in 2012 and the Lions went from a playoff team to the bottom of the NFC North at 4-12. Detroit is better than that, though, and the addition of running back Reggie Bush and returns of Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles on offense should help show that. But offense isn’t really the problem, and Detroit’s pass defense has been shaky for years and the defensive line under-performed in 2012. However, first round draft choice Ziggy Ansah should help improve the pass-rush as a rotational piece, which in turn could positively impact the secondary.
4-30-13: 2013 Lions Draft Summary:
- Round 1, Pick 5 (5): Ziggy Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
- Round 2, Pick 4 (36): Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
- Round 3, Pick 3 (65): Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
- Round 4, Pick 35 (132) (Compensatory Selection): Davin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
- Round 5, Pick 32 (165) (from Ravens and Seahawks): Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State
- Round 6, Pick 3 (171): Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech
- Round 6, Pick 31 (199) (from Ravens through Seahawks): Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame
- Round 7, Pick 5 (211): Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
- Round 7, Pick 39 (245) (Compensatory Selection): Brandon Hepburn, LB, Florida A&M
3-30-13: The Detroit Lions have signed free-agent running back Reggie Bush to a four-year deal for $16 million deal.
1-1-13: Calvin Johnson set the all-time league record for receiving yards in a season 2013 with 1,964 yards. He also had two broken fingers during the record-setting game.
12-4-12 Last week’s loss to the Colts pretty much sealed the fate of the Lions as far as this season is concerned. At 4-8 they have no shot at making the playoffs and the road ahead is getting even tougher with a game against the Green Bay Packers whom they have already lost to in their own building. The lethal combination of Calvin Johnson and Mathew Stafford has not been able to propel the Lions back into the playoffs after their great year last year.