NOTEBOOK: Boldin so clutch for Lions

An argument can be made that signing veteran receiver Anquan Boldin right before the start of training camp was GM Bob Quinn's most savvy move this offseason.

Boldin's been clutch for the Lions not just on the field, but also in the meeting room and in the locker room.

The 14-year veteran caught three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in Detroit's 20-17 win over Chicago. The touchdown grab was the 1,063rd reception of his career, moving him into 10th place all-time on the career receptions list ahead of Andre Johnson.

Boldin will probably look back on that accomplishment with pride some day, but Sunday, following another hard-fought and tough win, his mind wasn't on personal accomplishments.

"At this point I'm trying to win a championship," Boldin said. "I couldn't really care less about stats."

But the stats do look good. Not only his career stats, but his season stats, too.

Boldin now has 55 receptions for 481 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns.

"Yeah, I mean he's invaluable, just in terms of his presence," head coach Jim Caldwell said of Boldin. "He sets a great example, no one works harder, no one's more diligent in their preparation, no one's more diligent in terms of studying and making sure he's prepared for the game.

"He's a great communicator, but we've also had him speak to our rookies. We had all our rookies come in and some guys that have been here a year or so that kind of need to know what it takes to be able to play as long as he played with the level of excellence that he's certainly displayed week in and week out. Tremendous guy."


The Lions worked linebacker DeAndre Levy into the game in spots after he'd missed 11 straight games this season due to quad and knee injuries. Levy only played in two games the last two seasons coming into Sunday.

In limited action, Levy was able to affect the game with four tackles (three solo).

"I haven't put on shoulder pads since Week 1," Levy said afterward. "I haven't hit anybody. I haven't done a lot of things, so I had to kind of get my feet back under me."

The Lions are certainly hoping Levy can be the same player he was in 2014, when he was considered one of the best outside linebackers in football. If he can get to that point, it will be a huge boost for Detroit's defense down the stretch.

"He ran around and it'll be interesting to look at the film and see how he did completely," Caldwell said. "But, you know, you just don't come in and pick up right where you left off in this game.

"Guys are moving too fast. So he's got to get back in the swing of things, but it was good to see him out there. Certainly adds a little lift to you. He's going to make some plays when he's on the field."


Kicker Matt Prater connected on a 54-yard field goal in the third quarter, which makes him a perfect 6-for-6 from 50 yards or beyond this season.

Prater was 2-for-2 in the game (he also hit from 29 yards), improving his consecutive field goal streak to 17 in a row.


The Lions have won five straight games and eight of their last nine since starting 1-3. The last time the Lions won eight games in a nine-game stretch was 1995.

Still, by no means are they getting complacent. Caldwell is a big reason why.

"We don't just glance over the things we didn't do well, we try to make it a point," Caldwell said. "Try to improve those in practice, we point them out.

"Even though we do have a lot of positive we also talk about the negative. I think that in itself kind of in this game is the challenge, and it has a way of keeping you humbled."

The Lions kept their two-game lead in the NFC North intact with the victory.

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