DETROIT — Calvin Johnson’s numbers weren’t gaudy — four catches for 37 yards and no touchdowns despite coming close on two.
Still he played a huge role in the Lions’ 34-24 win over the Vikings on Sunday.
One Johnson catch was ruled a touchdown on the field and then overturned because he didn’t have complete possession — the ball rotated on the ground according to the officials.
He had a second potential touchdown — this one early in the third quarter — that was ruled incomplete because he got his right foot down but his left foot was on the line.
“I was ready on that one ... to get ready to challenge that one because I don’t know how many times, Calvin’s got fee that are ‘that’ long and he has an amazing way of getting those things down,’’ Schwartz said. “But, again, he was a little bit out on that one.
“But he affected the game in a lot of ways — might not have been with touchdown catches. ... I mean our touchdown to Joe Fauria, I don’t know if anyone else was looking, but there were a lot of guys who were on Calvin’s side. I think that’s the role he plays,’’ Schwartz said.
While Ndamukong Suh cleaned up his bad habits last season, his low-block penalty on Sunday, cost the Lions a touchdown.
It was on a play early in the second quarter that Darius Slay tipped a Christian Ponder pass into the hands of linebacker DeAndre Levy who ran untouched into the end zone for a touchdown.
Suh’s penalty negated the touchdown.
"Without question. On that particular play, I'm looking to make a block and I see (John) Sullivan, which I found out later who it was. I think it was Levy who had the pick-6 and I'm just throwing to make a block and really cut him off so he doesn't get a chance to get hold of him,’’ Suh said. “I spoke to him, we're good. So that's all that matters.’’
He said he was not going for Sullivan’s knees.
“He knows that. We had a great conversation about it at half-time. He understood,’’ Suh said. “My end point was his waist, to cut him off.’’
Much has been said about the revamped defensive line. They lived up to their billing.
Nick Fairley had 1.5 sacks and Ziggy Ansah a half. Stephen Tulloch’s sack wouldn’t have been possible without the defensive line’s pressure.
Suh had a quarterback hit and a pass defense.
Like in previous years there was heavy rotation along the line. Willie Young started at right defensive end, but Ansah saw plenty of time. Israel Idonije, C.J. Mosley and Justin Bannan also rotated in and out.
“I think that’s what the coaches and GMs and the guys upstairs are looking for, that’s why they were putting us together,’’ Fairley said. “The depth, and being able to keep us fresh through the fourth quarter. When the fourth quarter came we were rolling in and out. And we were making plays ...’’
In and out
Ziggy Ansah, the Lions’ rookie was really the only question mark heading into the game. He suffered a concussion on Aug. 24 and has only had one full practice since then. That was on Friday.
Young got the start but Ansah saw plenty of action.
Safety Louis Delmas and right defensive end Jason Jones, who both sat out practice on Friday, also started.
Delmas (knee) played in one preseason game and sat out most of training camp with the goal of being ready to play today.
Rookie running back Theo Riddick got the nod to play over veteran Mikel Leshoure.
Broyles, who is coming off ACL surgery, was getting in extra work after most players had left the field during warmups.
Lions’ inactives for Sunday were: quarterback Kellen Moore, wide receiver Ryan Broyles, running back Mikel Leshoure, defensive end Devin Taylor, cornerback Jonte Green, guard Leroy Harris and tackle LaAdrian Waddle.
Vikings inactives were: quarterback McLeod Bethey-Thompson, S Mistral Raymond, LB Gerald Hodges, LB Michael Mauti, G Jeff Baca, DE George Johnson and DT Kevin Williams.
This and that
Nate Burleson, who is coming off a broken leg, led all Lions’ receivers with six catches. He was targeted six times and caught them all for 78 yards with the longest at 7 yards. .... Linebacker DeAndre Levy led the defense with seven tackles, four of them solos. He also had an interceptions, a quarterback him and a pass defense. ... Linebacker Stephen Tulloch had a sack, an interception and a pass defense. ... Stafford completed passes to eight teammates. ... Tight end Brandon Pettigrew fumble and lost it, and also had a drop. ... Jason Hanson, who has started 21 seasons as the Lions’ kicker, was honored at halftime. His name was added to the ring of honor at Ford Field. ...
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