Lions Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Jim Schwartz
(On if it's difficult to reflect on the season after a loss) "I'm not reflecting on the season today."
(On if not taking advantage of the turnovers early in the game hurt) "Take advantage of the turnovers? We had 80 yards ahead of us after the turnovers. It wasn't like we were getting them at (their) 20 yard line."
(On the Saints' offense and the Lions' inability to capitalize when necessary) "Well, there is no question that they are a good team. They're 13-3, scoring 44 points a game (the last three weeks), and undefeated at home. There is no question that they are a good team, but when you face a team like that, you can't give them second opportunities.
"This is obviously a high-powered offense, so you need to take advantage of every opportunity that you get. In the first half, we were able to do that. There were a couple of times in the first half when we were able to do that. Too many other times we didn't take advantage of the opportunities"
(On missed opportunities) "That game had everything to do with missed opportunities on defense. (There were) three dropped picks, that all take points off of the board. (There were) two failed fourth downs. That's it. When you face a team like that, you have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. You've got to be able to get off of the field on the third downs and the fourth downs. We were awful on third and fourth down. We dropped chances to make interceptions."
(On reasons for the loss) "We missed opportunities to make interceptions. We failed on third and fourth downs, and we tackled poorly, too. (We gave up 35) points in the second half."
(On if he thought the team could pressure Drew Brees more) "I think that they do a lot of things to take pressure away. I thought that we were getting good inside pressure, forcing (him) into some errant throws. We didn't take advantage of the errant throws. The officials took the approach of letting them play."
QB #9 MATTHEW STAFFORD
"We came into the game confident. For everyone in the locker room it was our first playoff game. We learned a whole lot. We learned that we need to win our division so the next time we can have a home game and benefit from our home crowd like the Saints did here tonight. That's a huge difference.
"Watching Drew Brees and their offense is really impressive. They put up a lot of points on us in the second half and we just couldn't stop them. I mean it was a three point game until they scored touchdowns in succession and that was the difference in the game.
"We have a great team. We have a lot of young guys and we will be back. I am sure we will make regular appearances in the playoffs from this point forward. Tonight was a learning experience. It hurts, that's for sure, but I like the direction our team is going in."
WR #81 CALVIN JOHNSON
"Our defense was on the field for a long time in the second half and that was the difference in the game. The Saints are real good. They have a lot of firepower. Their offense really took it to us – especially in the second half.
"We did make the playoffs this year and that's a great accomplishment. We have some things to work on and we will in the off season. We know what we have to do to make the next step. We feel we have a chance to get into the playoffs each year.
"They didn't do a lot of things different to me from the first time we played them. They throw a lot at you defensively. And tonight I was able to get open a lot more and make plays. I felt in the first half we were moving the ball well and hanging with them. And we felt very confident coming back here to play them again. The first game we had a great chance to win the game. But we made too many mistakes in the first game, mostly from penalties. All week we looked forward to coming back here and playing the Saints."
WR #16 TITUS YOUNG
"We felt like we moved the ball on them; especially in the first half. But in the playoffs you have to find a way to win. And in the end we just couldn't stop their offense."
"Anytime you get this late in the season it's all about execution. I felt like we matched up well again them both times. But it was a matter of execution. Our team is really hungry, but right now we are a little wounded. A loss like this hurts. Anytime you get to this point in the season you don't want it to end this way. But I will say we will come back hungrier and better next season. You learn from a loss like this."
DT #98 NICK FAIRLEY
"For everyone in here it was our first playoff game. And while we didn't like the way it ended we learned a whole lot. The Saints are a great team. We have a lot of young guys on our team. We just have to learn from this experience and come back to camp and play better next season.
"We got a lot of pressure on him (Brees) in the first half. But in the second they made adjustments and we couldn't stop them. You have to give them all the credit."
DE #93 KYLE VANDEN BOSCH
"It was a tough loss for us. One thing's for sure; a game like this will make all of us in this locker room work harder for our team to get better. We know we have a special group of people on this team."
"It wasn't like we played bad defense out there. But we just didn't stop them on third down and on two occasions fourth down in the second half and that was the difference. A loss like this makes us want to return to the playoffs even more. It will be no surprise to everyone when the Detroit Lions start to make the playoffs each and every year."