The Notebook

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NOTEBOOK: Lions turning the page to Chargers

Win, lose or tie, safety Quandre Diggs has a 24-hour rule to reflect on the previous week’s performance. Then it’s on to the next one.

“New week. New me,” Diggs said in the locker room Wednesday. “I don’t know nothing about last week.”

With only 16 opportunities to get a win in the NFL, Diggs said it’s important for players not to dwell on what happened the previous week.

“Each week presents new challenges,” Diggs said. “So, for us, I think that’s the best thing we can do. The only thing we can do is move on because the Chargers don’t care about what happened last week. It’s all about how we prepare this week, bring our A game and be ready to go.”

The Lions have a tough task ahead of them this week facing a Chargers team littered with tremendous talent on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen are two of the best in the business on the offensive side of the ball. Edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can wreck a game on defense.

Lions head coach Matt Patricia said his players came in Wednesday, and were “dialed in” on Los Angeles.

It was obviously a disappointing tie last week in Arizona, blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead, but quarterback Matthew Stafford said turning the page is just part of the gig.

“You just start watching tape on the other team,” Stafford said Wednesday, when asked how he gets over a tough tie. “You can’t dwell on it, whether it was a great win and great performance, or a blowout loss and a terrible performance.

“If you do this a long time you understand that. If you don’t understand that you probably don’t do this for a long time. It’s part of what is ingrained in us. We move forward. You have to. You watch the tape, the other team grabs your attention, and you just get lost in trying to prepare for that team.”

The Lions have turned the page on Arizona. The Chargers are too good of a football team to not have Detroit’s full attention. It’s on to the next one in Allen Park as the Lions look to put one in the win column Sunday at Ford Field.

View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019

STRENGTH ON STRENGTH

One of the real positives to come out of Sunday’s game in Arizona for Detroit was seeing some of the explosive plays in the passing game. Stafford connected on seven pass plays of 20-plus yards vs. Arizona, which was tied with Dallas for the most in the NFL Week 1.

That part of Detroit’s offense will be tested this week vs. the Los Angeles Chargers and their Cover 3 zone scheme.

The Cover 3 is a balanced scheme that typically keeps an extra defender in the box defending the run, while also covering the deep outside and middle thirds of the field with an extra defender.

Gus Bradley is Los Angeles’ defensive coordinator. He had the same role in Seattle from 2009-12. In 2011 and 2012, Seattle became one of the best defenses in the league featuring a Cover 3 with the Legion of Boom.

“I think Gus Bradley has done a really good job of this unit kind of in that transition to the Seattle type “Cover 3” defense. The pass rushers up front, two great guys on the edge, the linebackers fly around,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said.

“They make a lot of plays, they are fast, and I think the whole key for them on defense is not give up big plays and just make you try to drive downfield and earn it. It will be a tough battle.”

Last week vs. Indianapolis, the Chargers allowed just two passing plays of 20-plus yards, the second fewest in the league through Week 1.

Will the Lions be able to have the same success pushing the ball down the field in the passing game?

ANOTHER TOUGH TEST

Last week, the Lions faced the terrific edge-rushing duo of Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs. The pair gave the Lions fits on the edges, combining for three sacks, nine tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, helping Arizona to a 27-27 tie.

It doesn’t get any easier for Lions tackles Taylor Decker, Rick Wagner and co. this week with the Chargers coming to town and bringing with them Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

“They present quite a problem,” Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “(Joey) Bosa and (Melvin) Ingram are great athletes. I think the thing that impresses me is their motor, I mean they go and go and go and they continue to get after the quarterback.

“They also move them around, so they are not as easy to find, just in terms of some of the schemes that you might try to use against them. That’s definitely a big challenge for us this week, and making sure we handle those two guys.”

Bosa had eight tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss against Indianapolis’ talented offensive line last week in Los Angeles’ overtime victory. Ingram also recorded a sack and had three quarterback hits and a tackle for loss.

EXTRA POINTS

  • Linebacker Jarrad Davis, who missed last week’s game in Arizona with an ankle injury, looked much better in the open portion of Lions practice Wednesday than he did in the three open practices leading into the Arizona game last week. Davis took part fully in individual drills, which is obviously a good progression for him in his attempt to get back on the field on gameday.
  • The Lions signed free agent running back David Williams to the practice squad and released quarterback Chad Kanoff from the practice squad.
  • Chargers tight end Hunter Henry suffered a tibia plateau fracture near his left knee during last week’s game vs. Indianapolis, the team announced Wednesday. Henry missed most of last season with a torn ACL, and was expected to play a big role in 2019. Henry will continue to be evaluated, though the team did not provide a timetable for his return.

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