The Detroit Lions have had plenty of peaks and valleys over the course of the season. What makes this week different, however, is the margin for error.
With only three weeks remaining, the Lions have to win out in order to control their own fate and ensure an NFC North title. Other combinations of wins and losses could result in the Lions taking the division, but that would mean relying on Chicago and Green Bay.
"Obviously we are in a race for the division title," head coach Jim Schwartz said Monday.
"We have three games to play. You say it all the time that you can't really worry about what's happened in the past. You have to keep your eyes focused on the future. It starts Monday night with the Ravens. That's about all you can really say about that."
The recurring theme during this tough stretch of games for the Lions (they have lost three of their last four) is getting out of their own way.
"The only team that can stop us from doing what we want to do is the Detroit Lions," wide receiver
"The only team," Burleson repeated for emphasis. "And I'm very confident of that. There's no team that pumps fear in me. There's no team on the schedule I'm like 'Oh, boy.' We are that talented, but we just have too many mistakes right now."
HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK'S PREPARATION:
- The Lions will more than likely be playing without cornerbacks
Chris Houstonand Darius Slay, who were listed as doubtful on the Saturday's injury report.
- Defensive end Ziggy Ansah and running back
Reggie Bushwere listed as questionable on Saturday's injury report. The Lions missed Ansah, who left last week's game with a shoulder injury, in the second half. Bush re-aggravated a calf injury during warm-ups in the same game and was consequently unable to play.
- Bush and
Glover Quinhave the kind of veteran leadership and playoff experience the Lions are hoping will help then down the stretch run.
- With the Monday Night Football crew in town, Tim Twentyman had the chance to talk to former NFL coach and color analyst Jon Gruden.
- One statement that made headlines this week was that of rookie safety Matt Elam and the response by wide receiver
- "He's pretty old, so I don't know how physical he'll be,'' Elam told Baltimore reporters.
- "He's a big guy, but he's older. I guess when they get older they're not going to be as physical, you know what I'm saying? We're going to have to be physical, make him uncomfortable."
- Will wide receiver
Jeremy Rosscontinue his streak of hot performances? He's scored three touchdowns the past two games, including two on returns.
- The Detroit Lions are asking all fans to wear their Honolulu Blue on Monday for the first-ever "Blue Out" at Ford Field!