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2023 Game Preview: Lions-Buccaneers, Week 6

The Buccaneers' long-awaited 'Creamsicle' game on Oct. 15 will be the NFL's only battle of separate division leaders in Week Six, as Jared Goff and the high-flying Detroit Lions come to town


Three weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played host to the Philadelphia Eagles in the only meeting of undefeated teams on that weekend's slate, and it was contested before a national audience on Monday Night Football.

Three weeks later, the Buccaneers are set for yet another marquee matchup on the NFL's docket with the surging Detroit Lions coming to town. Detroit (4-1) versus Tampa Bay (3-1) will be the only game in Week Six that features two first-place teams from different divisions. As the NFC hierarchy begins to take shape behind the 5-0 Eagles and the 5-0 San Francisco 49ers, the Buccaneers and the Lions have an excellent opportunity to declare that they are also one of the top contenders in the conference.

The NFL clearly recognized the heightened stakes of Sunday's matchup at Raymond James Stadium because the game was 'flexed' from its original 1:00 p.m. start to the 4:25 p.m. slot that carries a larger national audience. That also means more viewers will be treated to the visual delight of seeing the Buccaneers break out their iconic 'Creamsicle' uniforms for the first time in over a decade. That it is the Lions, who shared a division with the Buccaneers for a quarter-century, most of that during the latter's orange-and-white era, is particularly fitting.

Detroit brings a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense to the battle, plus the carryover momentum from last year's 8-2 finish to the season. The Lions are two games clear of the Packers and three of the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North and are clearly favorites to take their first division title since 1993. Detroit's offense came to life in 2022 behind resurgent quarterback Jared Goff and the creative play-calling of first-year Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson. Wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown was the top weapon for an offense that finished fourth in the NFL in yards and fifth in points, but the Lions have added significantly to that group in 2023. High draft picks were spent on running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta, and running back David Montgomery (371 rushing yards) came over from the Bears in free agency. The Lions are the only team in the NFL with six players who have more than 200 yards from scrimmage so far, and they just got speedy wide receiver Jameson Williams back from a suspension. Detroit also continues to field one of the NFL's most powerful offensive lines, a crew that includes three Pro Bowlers from the past two seasons in right tackle Penei Sewell, center Frank Ragnow and left guard Jonah Jackson.

The Lions have moved to the top of the NFC North food chain in 2023 thanks to a much improved defense. Detroit was dead last in yards allowed last year and 30th in points allowed but with second-year edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson (4.5 sacks) leading they way they are currently sixth and 15th in those two categories. The Lions' attempts to bolster a secondary that was porous in 2022 have been stymied a bit by injuries to C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley but third-year cornerback Jerry Jacobs has taken on a larger role and has three interceptions while rookie second-rounder Brian Branch has solidified the slot corner position.

Detroit has scored at least 20 points in all five of its games so far this season but Tampa Bay's defense has held three of four opponents to 17 points or fewer and could be getting first-round defensive lineman Calijah Kancey back in the mix this week. The Buccaneers took over first place in the NFC South with a convincing 26-9 win in New Orleans in Week Four and are hoping to stay on a roll after taking a week off with an early bye. Like the Lions, Tampa Bay has a former first-overall draft pick leading its offense in Baker Mayfield, who has compiled a passer rating of 101.5 so far and has been the NFL's most effective passer on third downs. Wide receiver Mike Evans, who turned 30 in August, is moving like a 25-year-old and is the team's leader with 337 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He is also hoping that the bye week will help him overcome a hamstring strain that knocked him out for the second half in New Orleans.

The last time the Buccaneers and Lions went to the playoffs in the same season was 1999, back when current Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Charlie Batch was sharing starting quarterback duties for the Lions with Gus Frerotte. While the Buccaneers have had recent success with three straight postseason appearances and a Super Bowl LV victory, the Lions are tantalizing their fans with their best start in decades. One of those teams will continue its momentum into Week Seven, and perhaps emerge as one of the top contenders in the NFC.


Detroit Lions (4-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Sunday, October 15, 4:25 p.m. ET

Raymond James Stadium (capacity: 65,844)

Tampa, Florida

Television: FOX (Local WTVT Channel 13)

TV Broadcast Team: Adam Amin (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (analyst), Pam Oliver (reporter)

Radio: 98Rock (WXTB, 97.9 FM), Flagship Station

Radio Broadcast Team: Gene Deckerhoff (play-by-play), Dave Moore (analyst), T.J. Rives (sideline)


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The Buccaneers have won their last two games against the Lions, both in the month of December in 2019 and 2020, in the process pulling closer to evening the all-time series. Detroit still leads that series, 31-28, including a 15-13 mark in games played in Tampa. The series is even closer to being tied if we include the one postseason contest played between these two clubs – the Buccaneers beat the Lions, 20-10, in the Wild Card Round of the 1997 playoffs in the last game ever played in Tampa/Houlihan's Stadium.

The Bucs two recent wins were both blowouts, at least in terms of the final score, but of course the Lions' roster has been revamped considerably since the last meeting. In 2019, Tampa Bay left Detroit with a 38-17 win in Week 15, and almost exactly a year later went back to the Motor City for a dominant 47-7 rout. In the former game, the Bucs ran out to a quick 21-0 lead on three long touchdown passes by Jameis Winston, two to Breshad Perriman and one to Scotty Miller. Detroit rallied behind fill-in quarterback David Blough, eventually pulling to within seven points in the fourth quarter, but Detroit native Sean Murphy-Bunting ended any comeback thoughts with a 70-yard pick-six. In the latter game, Tom Brady had four touchdown passes by halftime so he ceded the second half to Blaine Gabbert, who threw two more. Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski were both on the receiving end of two of those scoring passes. The Lions avoided a shutout thanks to a 74-yard Jamal Agnew punt return touchdown, but the Bucs finished the game with a yardage advantage of more than 400 yards, 588-186.

The Bucs have a long history with the Lions because they were fellow NFC Central members from 1977-2001. Then the NFL realigned in 2002 and the five-team NFC Central became the four-team NFC North, with only the Buccaneers departing to start over in the more geographically accurate NFC South. Despite that split, the Buccaneers and Lions still saw each other frequently in the years that followed. In fact, from 2005-17, the two teams met eight times, with the Lions holding a 5-3 edge in that span. That included the two most recent meetings before the 2019 rematch, a 24-21 Detroit win in Tampa in 2017 and a 34-17 Lions decision in Detroit in 2014. Tampa Bay's best run in the series spanned that 2002 divisional divorce, with the Bucs winning six of the eight games played between 1999 and 2005.

The Buccaneers and Lions spent most of their shared 25 years in the NFC Central punting the series lead back and forth. The head-to-head record was tied at 5-5 after the first 10 games, 11-11 after the first 22, 15-15 after the first 30, and so on. Detroit did pull away a little bit in the first half of the 1990s by winning five straight, at a time when the great Barry Sanders was often tormenting the Buccaneers, but the aforementioned 1999-2005 run evened things back up a bit.

In that aforementioned postseason contest at the end of the 1997 season, Tampa Bay broke a 15-year playoff drought that season by going 10-6 and winning a wild card berth, in a season in which, incredibly, four teams from the "Black and Blue Division" made the playoffs. The Bucs and Lions had split during the regular season but the playoff game in Tampa on December 28 was all Tampa Bay in a 20-10 final that wasn't that close. RB Warrick Dunn and FB Mike Alstott combined for 140 rushing yards and Alstott's 31-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Bucs a 20-0 lead that was enough to send them to the next round of the playoffs at the home of yet another NFC Central team, the Green Bay Packers.

Even though that's the only time Tampa Bay and Detroit have met in the postseason, it wasn't the first time they played what was essentially an elimination game. The Buccaneers visited Detroit in the final week of the 1981 regular season, with each team owning an 8-7 record. The winner would take the NFC Central crown and a playoff berth; the loser would be eliminated. The Buccaneers won, 20-17, keyed by an 84-yard Kevin House touchdown catch and a 21-yard fumble return by DT David Logan after a sack by DE Lee Roy Selmon.

The situation was very similar a year later when the Bucs and Lions matched up in Tampa in the penultimate week of the regular season. Due to a players' strike that shaved seven games out of the middle of the season, the Bucs and Lions were each 3-4 with two games to go. Tampa Bay rallied from a 21-6 deficit to win 23-21, then won again the next weekend against Chicago to sneak into the playoffs.  This time, however, the Lions also won their last game and made the playoffs, too, at 4-5.


  • Buccaneers DL Patrick O'Connor was a seventh-round draft pick by the Lions in 2017. He had a brief stint on Detroit's practice squad to start his rookie season but later that year ended up on the same crew with the Buccaneers.
  • Tampa Bay Pass Game Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach Larry Foote played 13 seasons in the NFL, including one with the Lions. Foote started all 14 games in which he appeared for Detroit in 2009, recording 99 tackles and two sacks.
  • Buccaneers Senior Offensive Assistant Tom Moore has spent more than four decades coaching in the NFL, and unsurprisingly that included a stint in Detroit. From 1994-96 he served as the Lions' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Wayne Fontes' staff, working with the likes of Barry Sanders, Herman Moore and Scott Mitchell. The Lions made the playoffs in two of his three seasons with the team.
  • John Spytek is in his first season as the Buccaneers' assistant general and his eighth season overall with the team. His first job in the NFL was as an operations intern with the Lions in 2004.
  • Lions Wide Receivers Coach Antwaan Randle El began his NFL coaching career in Tampa, serving as an offensive assistant for two years (2019-2020) and winning a Super Bowl championship ring to pair with the one he won as a player with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Tampa Bay:

  • Head Coach Todd Bowles
  • Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin
  • Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales
  • Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Kacy Rodgers
  • Pass Game Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach Larry Foote
  • Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong


  • Head Coach Dan Campbell
  • Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson
  • Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn
  • Special Teams Coordinator Dave Fipp



  • LB SirVocea Dennis (fifth-round draft pick)
  • OLB Yaya Diaby (third-round draft pick)
  • TE Payne Durham (fifth-round draft pick)
  • RB Chase Edmonds (FA)…currently on injured reserve
  • G Matt Feiler (FA)
  • DL Greg Gaines (UFA)
  • CB Josh Hayes (sixth-round draft pick)
  • S Christian Izien (UDFA)
  • WR Rakim Jarrett (UDFA)
  • DL Calijah Kancey (first-round draft pick)
  • G Cody Mauch (second-round draft pick)
  • QB Baker Mayfield (UFA)
  • K Chase McLaughlin (UFA)
  • S Ryan Neal (FA)
  • WR Trey Palmer (sixth-round draft pick)
  • RB Sean Tucker (UDFA)


  • S Brian Branch (second-round draft pick)
  • QB Teddy Bridgewater (FA)
  • LB Jack Campbell (first-round draft pick)
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson (UFA…currently on injured reserve)
  • RB Jahmyr Gibbs (first-round draft pick)
  • QB Hendon Hookier (third-round draft pick…currently on NFI list)
  • WR Marvin Jones (UFA)
  • TE Sam LaPorta (second-round draft pick)
  • NT Brodric Martin (third-round draft pick)
  • RB David Montgomery (UFA)
  • CB Emmanuel Moseley (UFA)
  • K Riley Patterson (T-JAX…second stint with Lions)
  • LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (FA)
  • T Colby Sorsdal (fifth-round draft pick)
  • CB Cameron Sutton (UFA)
  • RB Zonovan Wright (FA)



  • Todd Bowles enters his second season as the Bucs' head coach with a new offensive coordinator on his staff. Former Seahawks Quarterbacks Coach Dave Canales takes over for Byron Leftwich, who spent four seasons in that role, the first three under Head Coach Bruce Arians. Canales helped quarterback Geno Smith go from journeyman to the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2022 and has roots in the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay systems.
  • The Buccaneers made a number of other changes to Bowles' staff after the 2022 season, bringing in George Edwards (a former Vikings defensive coordinator) to coach outside linebackers, Brad Idzik to tutor wide receivers, and Skip Peete to take over the running backs room. David Raih and Jordan Somerville also joined the team as senior offensive analyst and assistant quarterbacks coach, respectively. With the arrival of Edwards, defensive Pass Game Coordinator Larry Foote switched from the outside linebacker room to the inside linebacker group. Thaddeus Lewis, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant wide receivers coach, was promoted to quarterbacks coach.
  • After winning a Super Bowl and two division titles over the past three years, the Buccaneers saw an era come to an end when quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement in late January. To move on at the game's most critical position, the Buccaneers brought in former number-one overall draft pick Baker Mayfield to compete with 2021 second-round selection Kyle Trask. Former Ram John Wolford was also added for experienced depth in the quarterback room. Mayfield was named the opening-day starter by Bowles between the second and third preseason games in August.
  • After largely "keeping the band together" for the 2021-22 seasons after their Super Bowl LV victory, the Buccaneers parted ways with a number of prominent players in 2023. Donovan Smith, who occupied the Bucs' starting left tackle spot for eight seasons, was released in March, as were tight end Cameron Brate, running back Leonard Fournette and kicker Ryan Succop. Safety Mike Edwards, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, safety Keanu Neal, defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches, wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tackle Josh Wells all found new homes in free agency while defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, wide receiver Julio Jones, outside linebacker Carl Nassib, tight end Kyle Rudolph and safety Logan Ryan were not re-signed.


  • After ranking 30th in pass defense in 2022, the Lions overhauled their secondary during the 2023 offseason, as partially indicated above in the list of roster newcomers. While Gardner-Johnson, Moseley and Sutton were added in free agency and Branch came aboard in the draft, the team let safety DeShon Elliott and cornerbacks Mike Hughes and Amani Oruwariye walk in free agency. Later, a couple weeks before the 2023 draft, the Lions traded cornerback Jeff Okudah, the third overall pick in the 2020 draft, to the Atlanta Falcons. Gardner-Johnson and Moseley are currently on injured reserve.
  • Detroit also completely revamped its offensive backfield. Running back Jamaal Williams, who led the team with 1,066 rushing yards and led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns, was not re-signed after hitting free agency and ended up in New Orleans. Instead, the team signed a different free agent back, former Bear David Montgomery, to a three-year deal. During the second day of the draft, the Lions traded D'Andre Swift, their second-leading rusher in 2022 and a former second-round pick, to Philadelphia for, essentially, a fourth-round pick in 2025. That move was telegraphed the day before when Detroit picked Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick of the first round. The Lions also signed former Jets back Zonovan Knight off New York's practice squad in September.
  • The Lions used the 12th-overall pick in the 2021 draft on blazingly-fast receiver Jameson Williams, knowing that the former Alabama star would still be recovering from the knee injury he suffered in his final college game. As such, Williams spent a good portion of his rookie season on the reserve/non-football injury list and only caught one pass, albeit a 41-yard touchdown. The Lions obviously expected much more production from Williams in his second season but had to wait a while to get it because he was suspended for the first four games of 2023 due to a violation of the league's gambling policy. Williams made his 2023 debut last weekend against Carolina and caught two passes for two yards.
  • After Detroit's breakout season in 2022, both of its coordinators – Ben Johnson on offense and Aaron Glenn on defense – landed interviews in the head coaching market but neither left. Both Johnson and Glenn then got contract extensions with the Lions. Detroit added another very experienced football mind to its staff by naming former Panthers/Broncos/Bears Head Coach John Fox as a senior defensive assistant. Other additions to the coaching staff included Jim Hostler (senior offensive assistant), Scottie Montgomery (running backs coach), Dre' Bly (cornerbacks coach) and Steve Heiden (tight ends coach).



DNP: Did not participate in practice

LP: Limited participation in practice

FP: Full participation in practice

NL: Not listed


  • OLB Shaquil Barrett (illness) – WEDS: NL; THURS: DNP, FRI: DNP. Game Status: Questionable.
  • LB Lavonte David (rest) – WEDS: NL; THURS: NL; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • CB Jamel Dean (neck/shoulder) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • LB SirVocea Dennis (hamstring) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • WR Mike Evans (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: LP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • T Luke Goedeke (calf) – WEDS: LP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • DL Calijah Kancey (calf) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • S Ryan Neal (concussion) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • OLB Anthony Nelson (concussion) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • CB Derrek Pitts (hamstring) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • LB Devin White (foot) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.


  • S Brian Branch (ankle) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
  • QB Teddy Bridgewater (personal) – WEDS: NL; THURS: NL; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • T Taylor Decker (ankle) – WEDS: LP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • CB Khalil Dorsey (illness) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Questionable.
  • RB Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
  • G Jonah Jackson (ankle) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
  • RB Zonovan Knight (shoulder) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
  • TE Sam LaPorta (calf) – WEDS: NL; THURS: DNP; FRI: LP. Game Status: Questionable.
  • TE James Mitchell (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
  • CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
  • DL Josh Paschal (knee) – WEDS: NL; THURS: NL; FRI: LP. Game Status: Out.
  • C Frank Ragnow (toe) – WEDS: FP; THURS: DNP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdomen) – WEDS: LP; THURS: FP: FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.


High of 80, low of 67, 24% chance of rain, 81% humidity, winds out of the NNW at 7 mph.


Head referee: Clay Martin (ninth season, sixth as referee)


· Favorite: Lions (-3.0)

· Over/Under: 44.0



  • Points Scored: K Chase McLaughlin, 28
  • Touchdowns: WR Mike Evans, 3
  • Passing Yards: QB Baker Mayfield, 882
  • Passer Rating: QB Baker Mayfield, 101.5
  • Rushing Yards: RB Rachaad White, 206
  • Receptions: WR Chris Godwin, 21
  • Receiving Yards: WR Mike Evans, 337
  • Interceptions: Dee Delaney/S Christian Izien, 2
  • Sacks: DL Vita Vea, 3.5
  • Tackles: S Antoine Winfield Jr., 31


  • Points Scored: RB David Montgomery, 36
  • Touchdowns: RB David Montgomery, 6
  • Passing Yards: QB Jared Goff, 1,265
  • Passer Rating: QB Jared Goff, 104.4
  • Rushing Yards: RB David Montgomery, 371
  • Receptions: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, 26
  • Receiving Yards: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, 331
  • Interceptions: CB Jerry Jacobs, 3
  • Sacks: DL Aidan Hutchinson, 4.5
  • Tackles: LB Alex Anzalone, 34



  • Scoring Offense: 21st (21.0 ppg)
  • Total Offense: 22nd (301.5 ypg)
  • Rushing Offense: 25th (87.0 ypg)
  • Passing Offense: 14th (214.5 ypg)
  • First Downs Per Game: t-27th (17.0)
  • Third-Down Pct.: 6th (47.4%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 2nd (3.17%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct.: t-20th (50.0%)
  • Scoring Defense: 8th (17.0 ppg)
  • Total Defense: 11th (318.5 ypg)
  • Rushing Defense: 10th (94.8 ypg)
  • Passing Defense: 16th (223.8 ypg)
  • First Downs Allowed Per Game: 12th (18.8)
  • Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 29th (47.4%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 16th (8.05%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 2nd (27.3%)
  • Turnover Margin: t-1st (+7)


  • Scoring Offense: 4th (29.6 ppg)
  • Total Offense: 6th (384.4 ypg)
  • Rushing Offense: 7th (141.0 ypg)
  • Passing Offense: 9th (243.4 ypg)
  • First Downs Per Game: t-8th (22.0)
  • Third-Down Pct.: 18th (38.8%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 4th (4.40%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct.: t-7th (63.2%)
  • Scoring Defense: 16th (21.4 ppg)
  • Total Defense: 6th (292.8 ypg)
  • Rushing Defense: 3rd (68.4 ypg)
  • Passing Defense: 17th (57.5 ypg)
  • First Downs Allowed Per Game: t-19th (20.4)
  • Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 10th (36.7%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 21st (7.18%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 24th (64.7%)
  • Turnover Margin: t-14th (+1)


  • Wide receiver Mike Evans has three touchdown receptions already in 2023, giving him 84 in his career, which ties for the 21st most in NFL history. One more and he would move up into the group tied for 18th, which consists of Lance Alworth, Hines Ward and Paul Warfield. Evans also could tie Saints tight end Jimmy Graham for 17th place on that list with two touchdowns on Sunday, though Graham is active and could obviously increase his own total as well.
  • Wide receiver Chris Godwin needs one more touchdown catch to tie Ring of Honor member Jimmie Giles in terms of total TDs scored and tie Cameron Brate for touchdown receptions. Godwin currently has 33 touchdowns on his resume (32 receiving and one rushing), while Giles has 34, all receiving, and Brate has 33, all receiving.
  • Bucs 11th-year veteran Will Gholston has played in 157 games, the most by a defensive lineman in franchise history and the ninth-most among all Tampa Bay players. With his next game, Gholston will tie Ring of Honor member Mike Alstott for the eighth most games played as a Buccaneer.
  • Cornerback Dee Delaney has intercepted in pass in each of the Bucs' last two games. If he can secure another pick against Detroit he would be the first Tampa Bay defender with an interception in three straight games since Lavonte David in Weeks 11-13 of 2013.
  • If the Bucs can secure a victory against the Lions and improve to 4-1 on the season, it would mark the sixth time in franchise history that the team started out 4-1 or better. The Bucs opened 5-0 in 1979 and 1997 and 4-1 in 2002, 2005 and 2021.


  • Head Coach Todd Bowles on coming off the bye 3-1 and anticipating the 'Creamsicle' game: "It's the second quarter. We haven't done anything. We went 3-1 – that's it. That doesn't mean anything. Nobody remembers September once you get to December. We've got to take care of business, we've got to grind, we've got to work, we've got to scratch, we've got to claw. The Creamsicle is nice for the fans, even some of the players looked at it nice, but the game is played the same way. We're not going to win the game because we put on different colored uniforms. We've got to get back to the grind, we've got to work, we've got to scratch, we've got to claw, we've got to do all of the little things right to give ourselves a chance."
  • Quarterback Baker Mayfield on playing well in the second halves of games: "In this league, you have to be able to adjust. I think, as a team, as a whole, we've done a good job of adjusting. You go into halftime, you have your script, you have your gameplan ready to go – but a team can play you differently then you expect. You have to be able to adjust, make adjustments at halftime, communicate with the receivers on different looks – what we're going to get to and being on the same page. For us, it's doing the little things right and just staying on the same page when it comes to getting in the second half."
  • Wide receiver Chris Godwin on the Lions' defense: "I think the first thing that kind of jumps off is the effort that they play with – they've got a lot of guys with a high motor. Adain Hutchinson is doing a great job, I think they've got some experienced DBs that fly around. From the top down, their coach is a high-energy guy and they've really built that team around playing their tails off and playing with high energy. That's probably the first thing that jumps off. And then, they play with a lot of physicality. It's going to be a physical game. I'm looking forward to it, though. We've got to go out there and we've got to get to it."
  • Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. on what QB Baker Mayfield's toughness does for the team: "It's just makes you want to go harder. You see him going out there balling, making plays, fired up, and it gets everybody jacked up, so that's what you need on the team like this. Having him up there has been huge for us, and he's playing well."
  • Defensive lineman Calijah Kancey on what he can add to the defense upon his return from injury: "I definitely know I can bring that extra juice to the table with what we already have, with guys already flying around making plays. I think I'll help out a lot."

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