CB Nevin Lawson's play one bright spot in dismal Lions' display

By Matt Schoch
Special to The Detroit News
Nevin Lawson

Allen Park — For all that went wrong on Sunday, one former Lions’ star maintained his place in history.

Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had his streak of games with at least 100 receiving yards  halted at eight, preserving a tie for the record with Calvin Johnson from 2012.

Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson had the task of stopping Thielen, who had four catches for 22 yards in the 24-9 win for the Vikings, who were without the injured Stefon Diggs.

But Thielen’s 2-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) was the one that bothered Lawson on Monday.

“I wasn’t try to hold him under 100 yards, that wasn’t my goal,” Lawson said. “My goal was trying to make him not a factor in the game. But he scored a touchdown.”

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On the route, Thielen made an emphatic cut across Lawson’s body, getting open in the back of the end zone for a 14-6 lead.

“He’s a good receiver, but at the end of the day, he’s a receiver,” Lawson said. “I go against good receivers every day in practice. I just felt I was locked in and ready to go, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t good enough. He still scored a touchdown.”

Lawson got the assignment of the versatile Thielen, who has lined up on the outside and in the slot this season. That versatility is mirrored by Lawson, who has covered Thielen in the past and others in both alignments.

“I’m just trying to do the best that I can for my team, wherever they want me to play, inside or outside,” Lawson said. “Our coaching staff does a great job of understanding what’s our strength and weakness and what will work best for us.

“I felt like that was a great matchup for me, and I felt like I could do good against a guy like that. I’m always going to have my confidence, regardless of what it is. I play DB, you’ve got to have confidence.”

Thielen is still leading the NFL with 78 catches, eight more than the next best output, Michael Thomas of New Orleans. Thielen’s 947 receiving yards leads the league by 14 over Atlanta’s Julio Jones.

That ‘amazing’ feeling

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah returned to the field for the first time since Week 1 on Sunday and deadpanned that he felt “amazing” the day after, without any physical setbacks.

Ansah, who played 12 snaps and had a sack Sunday, was dealing with a shoulder injury that he’s been inching toward working back from.

“I’ve just been working hard every day just to be able to be out there with my teammates,” said Ansah, playing under a $17.1 million franchise tag this season. “It’s a process. We’re just taking it week in, week out. We’ll see how it goes during the week and we’ll all find out on Sunday how many reps I get.”

Matt Schoch is a freelance writer