DETROIT LIONS COACH JIM SCHWARTZ
"We lost this game to a very good football team today. The New Orleans Saints are a team that has won championships, and has obviously played well this season. As much as anything, we lost to the Saints, but we beat ourselves today. Our offense continually got derailed by penalties from before the snap, after the whistle, and during the snap. It was the only thing that took us out of scoring."
(on the play of the defense) "Defensively, we had some injuries, but that is absolutely no excuse. We have paid professionals that have a lot of experience who stepped in today. In the first half, we played poorly on defense. We never gave ourselves a chance. We didn't get the job done in coverage. We didn't get the job done in rushing the passer. We made a big point last year pretending that we were in a playoff run. Guess what? We're in one right now."
(on the play of Matt Stafford) "He did a good job of putting us in position. He kind of hung in and took some hits to get some balls off. I thought that he made really good decisions the entire game against a really good defense like that. But it wasn't enough. It wasn't enough when there is more than the other team that he has to overcome."
(on not winning today and being able to gain ground on the other NFC teams that lost) "The missed opportunity was not beating the Saints in a road game. If we would have won this, it really doesn't matter about those other teams. What mattered is that we beat the Saints down here, we pull ahead of the Saints. That was the only thing that mattered."
DETROIT LIONS PLAYERS
QB #9 MATTHEW STAFFORD
"We moved the ball really well tonight. We really did some dumb things that really set us back. We had a tough day with the penalties all day. I've never been in a game before when one player had three offensive pass interference calls. It's something we have to get better at. We have to lock it down and understand we can't beat ourselves like that.
"We played well. We were moving the ball well in the second half. We were in a position to win the game, but we can't continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.
"We had all the opportunities to make it happen, and it's upon us to do it. We had a great opportunity to do what we wanted to do. Obviously, we did not do it tonight. Smart football teams are still playing in January. Teams that make smart decisions don't beat themselves."
WR #81 CALVIN JOHNSON
"A lot of these games that we have been losing recently, we have been moving the ball. We get multiple penalties that end drives, and it's very difficult to overcome that.
"We experienced multiple penalties tonight. No matter where you are on the field, it's going to stall the drive.
(on Saints defense) "They had a plan. I saw a lot of 'roll' and 'invert two,' but we also experienced a lot of penalties and that killed us, and it's very hard to overcome that.
WR #13 NATE BURLESON
(on offensive pass interference penalties) "On the first penalty, I know I pushed off, but the other two, I'm going to have to see those on film. I did not put my hand on the DB at all on the other two.
"I will take full responsibility for the first one. Maybe you guys saw something that I did not."
DT #98 NICK FAIRLEY
"For the most part, I thought we put a lot of pressure on Brees, but they are a tough offense to handle. I also thought we did a great job of stopping the run, but in the end, we gave up too many big plays and that was the difference in the game."