Suddenly surging Lions brace for quick turnaround
Detroit — It’s a little tricky.
Sure, a short turnaround is a good thing when you’re winning. You want to get right back out there.
But it doesn’t give you much time to heal, and this time of year, more than halfway through an always-punishing NFL season, everybody’s banged up a little bit.
The Lions on Sunday played the first of their three games in 12 days, with the Eagles coming up on Thanksgiving, followed by the Packers on Dec. 3, another Thursday game.
“You love the feeling of a win, you love the feeling of an opportunity to get a chance to win another one quickly,” safety Glover Quin said after the Lions beat the Raiders, 18-13, on Sunday for their second consecutive victory. “These wins don’t come easy. This is a tough league.”
It was a mixed response in the Lions’ locker room, whether they like short turnarounds.
“I’m tired, I know everybody’s tired,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “As soon as possible, everybody needs to get ready to play Philadelphia.”
Players will get Monday off, and then will practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
At least the three games in 12 days all are home, eliminating the hassle of traveling.
Still, players will have to work to stay fresh. Early nights in bed is a good start, as running back Theo Riddick mentioned while getting on the elevator Sunday night.
“Oh,” he told a buddy, “it’s gonna be a Netflix night.”
Quin wants to thank the offense for that impressive, clock-eating, game-ending drive.
After all, it gave Quin time to position himself for a meet-and-great with an idol, Raiders veteran defensive back — and former Michigan star — Charles Woodson.
“I made sure I was down there, because a lot of times guys might just run off the field,” Quin said. “He could’ve just ran in the locker room, ‘Aww, heck, I missed him!’
“I took off running straight toward the entrance, just in case.”
Good news for Quin, Woodson was in no hurry. After he was done chatting up a couple other guys, Quin took his chance and got the jersey he badly wanted from Woodson.
Quin took his opportunity, because, at 39, there’s no telling how much longer Woodson is going to play.
“I just told him it was an honor and a privilege to watch him play,” Quin said. “I just wanted to shake his hand and tell how he’s an inspiration.”
What else did they talk about?
Woodson’s new wine label, of course. Hey, the guy needs a job after football.
“He told me that I needed to get on some of that wine he makes,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “I don’t know, maybe I’ll get a bottle or two.”
The Lions haven’t pitched a shutout since 1996.
But, for a half, they looked like they might just snap that streak.
Detroit’s defense was mightily impressive in the opening half, leaving Oakland scoreless and baffled.
In the first half, the Raiders managed just 91 total yards. They punted on all four of their possessions.
Asked afterward if that was the best half the Lions’ defense has had this season, Quin thought about it — but wasn’t so sure.
“Hmmm, I don’t know,” Quin said. “I mean, the second half in Seattle we played a great half. I don’t think they had any points (they had three), and we scored a touchdown. I don’t know.
“We can play like that every half. We’ve just gotta go out and execute, go out and be locked in and be focused, and we can do that every week.”
After being shut out in the first half, the Raiders quickly scored on their first three possessions of the second half, after some halftime adjustments.
But then the Lions adjusted on the fly, and that was it for Oakland.
The Raiders finished with just 214 total yards, 170 yards below what the Lions’ defense had been averaging.
Bynes, when asked, after two wins in a row, if the struggles of the first half seem so far ago: “You can’t flip the record around, but at the same time, we can’t look at the past. The guys in the locker room are looking forward, we’re not stuck in the past. Of course, the media, that’s what you guys are gonna do, throw out some hoopla to make everybody divide, whatever. Everybody’s got the same mindset: to win the next game.”
... Stafford on his respect for Woodson, who has eight career interceptions against hte Lions: “I asked him what he was taking because he’s still playing so dang good at this game. We just had a good laugh about that. He’s a special player, does some really smart, heady stuff in the back end and makes it tough on quarterbacks. I had my eye on him all day today.
“I just have a lot of respect for him. He’s played for a long time in this league at a position that’s physically demanding, and to see him play the way he still does is pretty awesome.
... The Lions were without right tackle LaAdrian Waddle, despite not being listed on the injury report last week. In addition, wide receiver TJ Jones, safety Isaiah Johnson, offensive tackle Corey Robinson and defensive tackles Gabe Wright and Jermelle Cudjo were inactive for the Lions.
The Raiders’ inactives: cornerback Dexter McDonald, running back Roy Helu Jr., linebacker Neiron Ball, offensive lineman Matt McCants, wide receiver Rod Streater and tight ends Gabe Holmes and Lee Smith.