Blogs > Lions Lowdown

One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions: Six reasons Matthew Stafford rates among NFL's best QBs

Seriously, questioning Matthew Stafford’s mechanics and accuracy is just wrong. Get over it.

The Detroit Lions quarterback is scary good. Watched the NFL Network replay of Sunday’s win over the Cowboys and was even more amazed by Stafford’s accuracy and performance under pressure.

Six reasons Stafford is among the league’s best:

1. His accuracy rating so far this season is 62.4 percent. Not nearly as good as Peyton Manning (71.2) but he’s out of his mind this season. Stafford is in good company if you look at career passing percentages of some of the best NFL quarterbacks  — Troy Aikman (61.5 percent), Dan Marino (59.4) and Brett Favre (62 percent). He threw at least two sidearm passes on Sunday that were completed. It's his way and it works for him. Who cares if it's not picture perfect?

2. Stafford is second in total passing yards this season with 2,617, second of course to Peyton Manning (2,919).  Stafford is on pace for his second 5,000-yard season in five years. He came up 33 yards short last season when the team was 4-12.

3. His ratio of touchdowns to interceptions also excels. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Five of those interceptions have come on tipped balls. He’s on pace for 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions which is the same exact number Scott Mitchell had in 1995 when the Lions had the NFL’s top-rated offense. (Scary thought, eh?)

4. Stafford’s average of 42.2 attempts per game this season is more than any other quarterback with a winning record. Only Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Matt Ryan average more attempts and they shouldn’t even be on the chart.

5. He’s 25 — he’s just getting started. He won’t be 26 until five days after the Super Bowl. 

6. His guts, toughness, preparedness and football smarts can’t be measured on any chart. If there was any doubt about any of these four I ask you to re-watch the game-winning drive on Sunday. It was all there. In the heat of the battle, with no time-outs left, he knew to target safety Jakar Hamilton who was on Kris Durham. Hamilton had been elevated from the practice squad the previous day. When the opportunity presented itself Stafford made the gut decision to go for the quarterback sneak. That was the play that stood out, but it was Stafford’s 488 passing yards to get to that point that were the most amazing.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Five most memorable moments from first 8 games

The five most memorable moments from the Lions first eight games. Some good, some not ...

1. Matthew Stafford’s goal-line sneak to win the game against the Cowboys and boost the Lions' record to 5-3 before the bye week.

2. Calvin Johnson’s 329 yards — every one of them — against Dallas.

3. Reggie Bush’s first game with the Lions. In the season opener against the Vikings he had 101 receiving yards and 90 rushing. If there were any questions about whether he would be a good fit, they were answered on the opening Sunday.

4. Joe Fauria’s three touchdowns in the win over the Cleveland Browns. An undrafted rookie tight end who could score TDs and dance too. An amazing effort.

5. Sam Martin’s shanked punt which allowed the Bengals to come back and score a field goal to win the game with time running off the clock. The loss was not all Martin’s fault, there were plenty of mistakes by others, but his shank is what sticks in the mind.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Transcript of live chat discussing Detroit Lions

If you missed today's live chat on the Lions, check out the transcript. It's the bye week, but we still had plenty to discuss. Join me next Thursday at 3 p.m. for the next live chat. The Lions will be preparing to play the Bears at Chicago.


Will Detroit Lions lose momentum after huge win over Cowboys? Not a chance

ALLEN PARK — Momentum in sports is a funny thing.

Some believe in it, some don’t.

Certainly there is merit in the argument for it.

So following a dramatic, last-second, comeback win on Sunday will the Lions lose that momentum with a bye weekend?

Not a chance.

“After that game I don’t think you can really lose the energy after that,’’ said wide receiver Kris Durham who caught a 40-yard pass as part of that final 80-yard drive.

The bye comes exactly midway through the season, that’s why Sunday’s win was so crucial Detroit wanted to savor a win and a 5-3 record while on vacation not thinking of what could have been.

“It’s a perfect time for a bye, it’s a perfect time for guys to get healthy and get refreshed,’’ center Dominic Raiola said. “The midway point is an ideal time for a bye and we got it this week.’’

Even a rookie like offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle thinks the momentum will continue when the Lions get back to practice next Tuesday.

“I think this game creates momentum going into the second half of the season,’’ Waddle said. “I really feel that this team is heading in the right direction as long as we keep our foot on the gas and keep going forward we’ll be fine.’’

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Mikel Leshoure trade rumors abound

ALLEN PARK — Mikel Leshoure has just been active for just two games this season.

The Detroit Lions running back, who was a second-round pick in 2011, has two carries for nine yards.

It’s uncertain if the Lions will keep him or move him on Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline day. They could be in the market for a wide receiver with Ryan Broyles lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.

Jim Schwartz is not tipping his hand. He said he has not had conversations with Leshoure involving trade rumors.

“You guys handle that for me. He hasn’t played very much this year, but I know he’s ready to play,’’ Schwartz said. “If he’s called on, he’ll do well out there. It’s just the way it is right now. Reggie (Bush) is in his role and Joique (Bell) is doing well in his role. Theo (Riddick) came back and played well especially. He had one play on special teams where he blocked three guys on the same play. Theo has really stepped in and has done a nice job on teams. You can only keep up 46 on game day. I would like to have all 53 guys up, but it’s just not in the rules.”

The Lions do have one vacant spot on the 53-man roster since losing Broyles.

And they do have running back Montell Owens coming off short-term injured reserve. Owens has practiced with the team for two weeks and will be eligible to play on Nov. 10, the first game after the bye week.

Owens was signed mostly for his special teams’ acumen. Leshoure doesn’t play much special teams.

“Montell has been a proven contributor on offense and also on special teams. That’s the role that he was working in as the preseason went,’’ Schwartz said. “It’s still too soon to see (what his role will be). He’s been on the practice field. Those are the decisions that will be made as we go forward. It might be game plan. It might be week thing. He certainly can do that and that would be the plan.”

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Ryan Broyles out for season, to have surgery Tuesday

ALLEN PARK — Ryan Broyles has suffered another season ending injury.

The second-year Detroit Lions wide receiver will have surgery on Tuesday after rupturing his Achilles' in Sunday’s comeback win over Dallas.

“The last two years — and three years in a row — he’s had season-ending injuries, those are not easy things to come back from but he’s a tough guy and if anybody can come back from it he can,’’ coach Jim Schwartz said in his Monday press conference.

Broyles, a second-round pick in 2012, was on the field as a punt returner. 
He had made the decision to let the ball go into the end zone. It was an innocent looking play which is not uncommon for Achilles’ injuries. 

This will be the third Lions’ offseason where he is rehabbing instead of practicing but that doesn’t seem to be a concern for Schwartz.

“He’s a smart guy, his ability to be what we hoped he would really has nothing to do with his development as it is his health,’’ Schwartz said. “Even with the time he’s missed he found a way to come in and contribute. He just hasn’t been 100 percent his first two years and now he’s going to be going through the same thing again.’’

In six games this season he had eight catches for 85 yards. Sunday was the first day he’d been asked to return punts.

Broyles tore his anterior cruciate ligament in one knee in his senior year of college and was undergoing rehab when the Lions drafted him in the second round (54th overall) in 2012.

He played in 10 games in the 2012 season before he tore the ACL in his other knee on Dec. 2. He missed the first two games of this regular season.

“His experience in going through it, I’m sure will help,’’ Schwartz said. “It’s a tough thing to go through for any player much less three years in a row. ... We have confidence in Ryan and he’ll find a way to get back and contribute to our team.’’

(Follow @PaulaPasche on and Read her Lions Lowdown blog at Join her weekly live chat at 3 p.m. Thursdays at


Detroit Lions: Ryan Broyles possibly lost for season with ruptured Achilles

It was not all good news for the Lions following their 31-30 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

It’s possible they’ve lost wide receiver Ryan Broyles for the season.

Coach Jim Schwartz said the initial diagnosis is that Broyles ruptured his Achilles. 

Schwartz offered a small ray of hope, saying more tests would be done.

If it’s indeed a ruptured Achilles’ Broyles will be done for the season.

Broyles left the game and could not return.

It’s got to be heart-breaking for the second-year player.

When he was drafted in 2012 he was coming off ACL surgery from a college injury. 

During the 2012 season, he tore his other ACL and is coming back from that surgery.

The numbers are down in the wide receiving corps with Nate Burleson out since Sept. 24 after he broke his left forearm in a freak pizza-related accident. Burleson is hoping to come back in two weeks after the bye but that is certainly not a certainty.

The NFL trading deadline is 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

By the numbers: Look at Detroit Lions' 31-30 win over Dallas Cowboys

Here's a look at Sunday's win by the numbers: 

The Lions defense had zero sacks, while the Cowboys had one. ... Stephen Tulloch led the Lions with eight tackles. ... Nick Fairley had three quarterback hits. ... Matthew Stafford’s 488 passing yards were his best for this season. ... Stafford connected with eight different receivers. ... Reggie Bush combined for 122 yards (92 of them rushing). ... Calvin Johnson’s 329 yards came on 14 catches (23.5 yard average). He caught balls 14 of 16 targets. ... Dallas’ Dez Bryant who tried to compare himself to Johnson, caught three passes for 72 yards. One of this two touchdowns was for 50 yards. ... Lions won time of possession 35:11 to 24:49. ... The Lions are 5-3 heading into the bye. The Cowboys drop to 4-4.

Detroit Lions: Returner Micheal Spulock inactive; LaAdrian Waddle to start at right tackle

DETROIT — Returner Micheal Spurlock is inactive for the Lions today. He was not on the injury report this week. Expect to see Jeremy Ross on return duty, possibly Ryan Broyles and Theo Riddick too.

Jason Fox is active, but rookie LaAdrian Waddle will start at right tackle. Riley Reiff (hamstring) will start at left tackle. It’s Waddle’s first start. He filled in at left and right tackle during last Sunday’s game with injuries to Corey Hilliard and Reiff.

Fantasy folks nearly blew up Twitter when it was discovered that Reggie Bush (knee) didn’t practice on Friday. It was a rest day and he was listed as probable on Friday’s injury report and he is active.

 Corey Hilliard (knee) and Nate Burleson (broken forearm) were listed as out on the injury report. Hilliard injured his knee last Sunday in the loss to the Bengals and did not practice all week. Burleson broke his forearm Sept. 24. His return is expected in the first few weeks after the bye.

 Other Lions’ inactives were: QB Kellen Moore, G Leroy Harris, CB Jonte Green and RB Mikel Leshoure.

Key Cowboys' inactives include RB DeMarco Murray, DE DeMarcus Ware and WR Miles Austin.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Five keys to Sunday's game vs. Cowboys; plus prediction

Coming off a home loss, the Lions are looking to boost their record to 5-3 before their bye week.

It won’t be easy against the Dallas Cowboys who hold an identical 4-3 record.

Here are five keys to Sunday’s game at Ford Field.

1. Dez Bryant is no Calvin Johnson, but he is a fine wide receiver and always dangerous. He’ll provide a challenge for the Lions’ secondary which has given up big plays in each game this season. 

2. After some trouble getting the running game going against the Cleveland’s defensive front seven, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell should have an easier time of it against the Cowboys’ injury-riddled defensive line. 

3. Stats and sacks aren’t everything, but the Lion’s defensive line should get to the quarterback more often than they do. Tony Romo has been sacked 16 times — more than twice a game — so the Lions should be able to get to him too. The Lions’ defense has just 13 sacks in the first seven games .

4. Matthew Stafford’s completion percentage is 61.4. Reports of his accuracy woes are misguided. No NFL quarterback is going to complete every pass. He has thrown 15 touchdown passes against only four interceptions (all of which were on tipped balls). He just needs to have another solid game.

5. Get the ball to Calvin Johnson. He’s healthy and, like Jim Schwartz said, last Sunday he was not Calvin he was Megatron.

Prediction:  Lions 31, Cowboys 24

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush not practicing today

ALLEN PARK — Reggie Bush didn’t practice today (Friday) which was a surprise.

He practiced full-go on Wednesday and Thursday. He wasn’t on the injury report.

Bush missed the game at Washington in Week 3 with a knee injury, but has been fine since then.

It’s possible it was just a rest day.

Also missing from practice were Corey Hilliard (knee) who hasn’t practiced this week; Louis Delmas (knee) who routinely takes Fridays off; and Nate Burleson (broken forearm).

The Lions play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Ford Field. Both teams are 4-3.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Former Lions' first-round pick Reggie Rogers found dead

Former Lions defensive lineman Reggie Rogers was found dead in Seattle on Thursday according to a story in the Seattle Times. He was 49.

Rogers, a first-round pick of the Lions in 1987,had his career come to a premature end when he killed three teenagers after running a red light while driving drunk on Wide Track Avenue in Pontiac on Oct. 20, 1988.

His blood alcohol level was .15 when the limit at the time was .10.  He spent a year in prison.

Rogers broke his neck in the accident. The Lions waived him in July 1989.

He played a half-dozen games as a rookie due to emotional problems and five in 1988 prior to the accident.

He had brief stints with the Buffalo Bills (1991) and Tampa Bay Bucs (1992).

Rogers had been an All-American at the University of Washington in 1986 and played on the national championship team in 1984.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

A rat eats a snake: Lions' Louis Delmas' wildlife adventures

ALLEN PARK — So you cover a Lions safety for almost five seasons and turns out he’s a zookeeper — of sorts.

Who knew this about Louis Delmas?

Well, Kevin Ogletree for one who wouldn’t accept Delmas’ invitation to stay with him until he moved his pet gator out of the house

. Mojo the 5-year-old alligator is now at a pet shop awaiting a trip to the Detroit Zoo which will be his new home.

Delmas’ affection for wild animals goes back to when he was 9 and living in Miami.

“When I was younger I was swimming in the lake and then I caught an iguana — I thought it was an iguana,’’ Delmas said. “I took it home and put it in the back yard. My brother came home and he was like ‘Lou, what are you doing?’ I was like, ‘I got an iguana.’ He said, “it’s a (expletive) gator.’’’

Then the brother killed it.

“It was a baby alligator, I thought was an iguana. Ever since then I wanted an alligator,’’ Delmas said.

Then when he got to Detroit he got an albino python who died unceremoniously two years ago. (Yes, he had an alligator and a snake for pets at the same time. They both ate live rats so it was convenient.)

Didn’t catch the python’s name, but here’s what happened.

“Snakes when they are full and not hungry, they would not eat no matter what,’’ Delmas said. “My dumb behind, I put a rat in twice a week. (Then one day) he ate the first one, the second one he sat there and let the rat feed off him. Basically the rat chewed him to death.’’

Ahh, the circle of life.

His gator, named Mojo, also ate live rats. “It’s no excitement if it’s dead,’’ Delmas said.

A pet shop breeds certain rats to feed the slithery creatures.

“They’re big —  real, real big — like cats,’’ Delmas said.

OK, enough. 

Now we know another side of Delmas. Not sure if that’s a good thing.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, Calvin Johnson return to practice; only Hilliard, Burleson out

ALLEN PARK — Only two Lions did not practice today (Thursday). That’s a remarkably low number for week 8 of the NFL season.

Right tackle Corey Hilliard (knee) was out along with Nate Burleson (broken forearm).

Calvin Johnson (knee), Riley Reiff (hamstring), Andre Fluellen (concussion) and Louis Delmas (knee) all returned after sitting out Wednesday’s practice. They were all working in the early portion of practice open to the media.

Reiff’s return is big especially with Hilliard out. 

Also right tackle Jason Fox, who missed two games, was back for the second-straight day.

The NFL announced this morning that the Lions will play a road game at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2014 against the Atlanta Falcons.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions to play in London against Atlanta Falcons in 2014

ALLEN PARK — Talk about an away game.

The Detroit Lions will play their first international regular season game At London’s Wembley Stadium next season.

The NFL made the announcement Thursday morning.

It will be considered a home game for the Lions’ opponent, the Atlanta Falcons.

“We are excited for the opportunity to play on an international stage against a quality NFC opponent. It will be a different challenge for our football team; one that we fully embrace,’’ Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement.
“The global platform also presents a unique and special opportunity for our fans and business partners to join us in sharing the many positive stories about the City of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the Lions.’’

It will be one of three games in London during the 2014 season. The others will be Dallas vs. Jacksonville and Miami vs. Oakland.

In 1993 the Lions played a preseason game at Wembley Stadium.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Releasing Tony Scheffler was tough decision

It was a hard decision to release tight end Tony Scheffler, who was in his fourth season with the Lions.

With Scheffler gone the Lions had room on the roster to sign veteran offensive tackle Barry Richardson, a necessity with injuries to Corey Hilliard (knee), Riley Reiff (hamstring) and Jason Fox (knee).

Scheffler had missed the last two games after suffering a concussion on Oct. 6 in Green Bay. He had been cleared for contact.

“They’re all difficult decisions. Where we are on the offensive line, we had a couple of guys that weren’t able to finish the game and we needed to sign another guy,’’ coach Jim Schwartz said. “We had played the previous two games without Scheff, so we had sort of a plan for being able to deal with that, particularly in the short term. It’s a very difficult situation. He has been a really productive player for us who made a lot of plays for us. We have to move on and we have to concentrate on the Cowboys.”

Rookie tight end Joe Fauria stepped up in recent games and has seen much more playing time. Brandon Pettigrew is the only other tight end on the roster.

The 30-year-old Scheffler had seven catches for 82 yards in five games. 

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Transcript of Thursday's Detroit Lions' chat

If you missed Thursday's live chat on the Lions, check out the transcript. We chat at 3 p.m. each Thursday. Join in, it's a fun thing ...

Detroit Lions: Jason Fox returns to practice; Calvin Johnson out

ALLEN PARK — Right tackle Jason Fox returned to practice today (Wednesday) for the first time since he injured his knee in the Oct. 6 loss at Green Bay.

It’s good news for the Lions with injuries to Corey Hilliard (knee) and Riley Reiff who did not practice. Coach Jim Schwartz said on Monday that Hilliard is not day to day but he’s also not long term. Reiff was able to finish Sunday’s game.

Calvin Johnson did not work on Wednesday, but it’s not unusual for him to sit out an occasional practice.

Also out Wednesday were defensive tackle Andre Fluellen, safety Louis Delmas (who rarely practices on Wednesdays with his bum knee) and wide receiver Nate Burleson (broken forearm).

The Lions play the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field on Sunday. Both teams have 4-3 records.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Tony Scheffler released; OT Barry Richardson signed

Veteran tight end Tony Scheffler was released today (Tuesday) after he was cleared to return from his concussion suffered in Green Bay on Oct. 6, according to the team web site.

The Lions signed offensive tackle Barry Richardson.

Scheffler, 30, had not practiced or played since the concussion which was his third in four years.

In five games this season, Scheffler had seven catches for 82 yards.

This was Scheffler’s fourth season with the Lions following a trade with the Broncos in 2010. He grew up in the area and attended Western Michigan University. He was in the final year of his contract.

Richardson had been cut by the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 26.

He started every game at right tackle the past three seasons for the St. Louis Rams (2012) and the Kansas City Chiefs (2010-2011).

Right tackle Corey Hilliard couldn’t finish Sunday’s game due to a knee injury. He was replacing Jason Fox who injured his knee on Oct. 6 and hasn’t played or practiced since. Left tackle Riley Reiff was injured Sunday, but was able to go in and finish the game once Hilliard was hurt.

The Lions play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Ford Field. Both teams are 4-3.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, Corey Hilliard injuries don't appear serious

ALLEN PARK — It’s too early to know if the Lions will have to make a move for an offensive tackle this week.

Right tackle Corey Hilliard sustained a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals. Coach Jim Schwartz said it’s not a day-to-day type injury, but also it’s not long-term.

Left tackle Riley Reiff left the game, but was able to return once Hilliard was out.

“He was limited when he did return, but he was able to return,’’ Schwartz said. “I kept a close eye on the sideline to make sure it wasn’t a situation he was going to hurt himself or the team. He was doing his job, I think that’s a little bit encouraging.’’

Jason Fox has missed the last two games with a knee injury and has not practiced during that time.

“He’s improving we’ll see where he is. We could potentially be forced to make something. It’s too soon to tell,’’ Schwartz said.

Rookie LaAdrian Waddle filled in first at left tackle for Reiff, then at right tackle for Hilliard. If Reiff could not have returned, Dylan Gandy would have filled in at tackle.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who hasn’t missed a game, has been fighting a nagging groin injury for a few weeks and wasn’t able to finish Sunday’s game. 

“He’s no worse for wear. He really stepped in and did a nice job, he went as long as he could and was able to get us into the fourth quarter,’’ Schwartz said. “That was positive.’’

Reggie Bush finished the game but afterward said his neck hurt. Schwartz said a lot of guys get stingers during a game. Bush did an appearance at a Detroit elementary school Monday.

Calvin Johnson, who played in just half the game a week ago, was on the field for 91 percent of the offensive snaps.

Schwartz said he was sure Johnson was sore after the game but no more than the other 45 Lions who played.

“He wasn’t Calvin yesterday, he was Megatron yesterday,’’ Schwartz said.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Chris Houston takes blame for loss to Bengals

Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston puts blame for Sunday's 27-24 loss to Cincinnati on his shoulders even though it was a team effort.

Houston was the goat on the 82-yard touchdown play from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green early in the game.

“It was a double-move. He just went to the D-route, out and up, that’s all he did,’’ Houston said. “Double-move and I’m getting these moves they just double-move me every week. 

“I put this loss on me, not anybody else. I put it on me, I will be better at things. This total loss is on me,’’ Houston added.

The veteran cornerback gave up a second touchdown — a 12-yarder to Marvin Jones (see photo) — and was not having a good day. He was benched in favor of rookie Darius Slay.

Schwartz danced around the question when asked about benching Houston who ended up back in the game after Rashean Mathis couldn’t finish.
Houston said he didn’t remember being benched previously.

“If I kept playing like that, I would have took myself out and put somebody else in there,’’ Houston said. “Because, like I said, I let my team down.''

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Joique Bell active, Theo Riddick is not; inactive list

DETROIT — Running back Joique Bell, who injured his ribs a week ago, was back on the field Sunday against the Bengals. He had been listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report and had limited practice all week.

Calvin Johnson, who practiced all week on a limited basis, is a full go. He was listed as probable and will start.

Running back Theo Riddick, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago, is inactive today. He practiced for the first time on Friday on a limited basis and was questionable.

Tony Scheffler, who also suffered a concussion in that loss at Green Bay, was ruled out on Friday. This is his third concussion in four years.

Other Lions’ inactives: Wide receiver Nate Burleson, quarterback Kellen Moore, OL Leroy Harris and CB Jonte Green.

If you missed it  on Saturday the Lions released TE Dorin Dickerson who they had signed on Monday. They signed wide receiver Jeremy Ross from the practice squad. Ross is active.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Five keys to game against Cincinnati Bengals

Bringing in identical 4-2 records, the Detroit Lions play just their third home game of the season when they welcome the Cincinnati Bengals to Ford Field on Sunday.

Here are five keys to the game:

1. Neutralize Bengals’ defensive tackle Geno Atkins, one of the NFL’s best at what he does. He’s got four sacks in the first six games. The Lions’ offensive line has played well, Atkins is just their next challenge.

2. The Lions’ defensive line must put pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton from the get-go and not give him time to find wide receiver A.J. Green and his buddies. Last week the Lions’ defense came together in the second half to get to Browns’ quarterback Brandon Weeden. But until then they let him have way too much time. Dalton has been sacked 14 times in first two games.

3. With the presence of Atkins and the rest of the defensive line, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell have to be patient. Pick up 2 or 3 yards or so at a time and wait to break through. 

4. Target tight end Joe Fauria more often and not just in the red zone. Of his seven receptions in the first six games, five of them are touchdowns. Drops are way too common for Lions’ receivers and tight ends with Fauria as an exception. He is not only tall, he’s athletic and seems to have sure hands. He hasn’t dropped a pass yet. It should be easier to get him more involved with Tony Scheffler (concussion) out.

5. With Calvin Johnson healthy/healthier it should be easier to get him the ball. His drops last week were unlike him. Even though the Bengals’ have a solid secondary with corners Leon Hall (Michigan) and Terrence Newman and safeties George Iloka and Reggie Nelson, Johnson should have a better day.

Prediction: Lions 27, Bengals 13

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Marathon could snarl traffic for Sunday's game

If you’re going to the Lions’ game at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ford Field, keep in mind that the Detroit Free Press Marathon will be run Sunday too.

It might be a good idea to leave home early.

The marathon will cause additional traffic downtown and challenges for those coming from the RenCen/Detroit-Windsor Tunnel area, including the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. 

Those coming from the north and from the south via I-75 will not be affected directly by closures, but should still plan accordingly based on the additional downtown traffic.

These closures may have an impact for those attending the Lions-Bengals game:
—  Michigan Ave between 6th and Campus Martius will be closed 6 a.m.-12 p.m.
—  I-375 Jefferson Ave East exit ramp will be closed 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
—  I-375 Jefferson Ave West exit ramp will have controlled access 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
—  I-375 Lafayette exit ramp and service drive area will have controlled access 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson practices third straight day; Riddick returns

ALLEN PARK — With Calvin Johnson (knee) returning to practice for the third straight day today (Friday), the question for Sunday isn’t whether he will play but how much.

The Lions wide receiver was in for about half the offensive snaps in last week’s win at Cleveland and had three receptions for 25 yards. Expect to see him more Sunday at Ford Field against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Running back Theo Riddick, who suffered a concussion on Oct. 6, returned to practice for the first time on Friday.

Missing from Friday’s practice were: Tony Scheffler (concussion), Jason Fox (knee) and safety Louis Delmas who takes Fridays as a rest day.

Nate Burleson (broken forearm) did not practice, but he was back on the field with his teammates wearing a protective sleeve on his left arm. The wide receiver said on Thursday he would love to be back for the Dallas game on Oct. 27. He's waiting for the bone to heal so it's too early to set a return date.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die here. It’s also available at bookstores.)