Lions defense struggling

Detroit facing tough road in weeks ahead

11/13/2012
ASSOCIATED PRESS
APTOPIX-Lions-Vikings-Football

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson eludes Lions safety Ricardo Silva to score on a 61-yard touchdown run in the second half on Sunday. He finished with 171 yards rushing.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson eludes Lions safety Ricardo Silva to score on a 61-yard touchdown run in the second half on Sunday. He finished with 171 yards rushing.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson eludes Lions safety Ricardo Silva to score on a 61-yard touchdown run in the second half on Sunday. He finished with 171 yards rushing.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions aren't a des­per­ate team yet. Coach Jim Schwartz pre­fers a slightly dif­fer­ent de­scrip­tion.

"I think our word is 'ur­gent.' We had six of our first nine on the road," Schwartz said Mon­day. "We now have a stretch of three in a row at home. We have to do some­thing with that."

After a loss at Min­ne­sota on Sun­day, the Lions (4-5) re­main in last place in the NFC North. Their play­off hopes are look­ing ten­u­ous, es­pe­cially with a tough sched­ule the rest of the way. Detroit does have that stretch of three straight home games com­ing up, but it starts Sun­day against Green Bay — not ex­actly an easy matchup.

The Lions al­lowed 45 points to the Pack­ers when the teams met at the end of last sea­son, and the ques­tions about Detroit's de­fense ha­ven't gone away. Adrian Peter­son rushed for 171 yards in Min­ne­sota's 34-24 win on Sun­day.

"We don't have a whole lot of wig­gle room for mis­takes down the stretch. We have to play our best," Schwartz said.

Schwartz spent some time Mon­day stand­ing up for his de­fen­sive line. Peter­son ran for a lot of yards Sun­day, but 61 of them were on one play — a touch­down in the fourth quar­ter that made it 31-17.

Schwartz was par­tic­u­larly en­cour­aged by Nda­mukong Suh and Nick Fair­ley.

"Nick had one of the best games he's played since he's been here, but a lot like the rest of our team, a cou­ple mis­takes over­shad­owed the good things that he did," Schwartz said. "I thought Nda­mukong Suh might have played the best game he's played since he's been here."

STEELERS 16, CHIEFS 13

PITTSBURGH — The Steel­ers es­caped with a vic­tory. The health of their fran­chise quar­ter­back is an­other mat­ter en­tirely.

The Steel­ers edged the woe­ful Chiefs in over­time on Mon­day night but lost Ben Roeth­lis­berger for most of the sec­ond half — and per­haps a lot lon­ger — with a right shoul­der in­jury.

Roeth­lis­berger left the game early in the third quar­ter af­ter get­ting slammed to the turf by Kan­sas City line­back­ers Tamba Hali and Justin Hous­ton and did not re­turn.

The Steel­ers (6-3) won their fourth straight any­way. Shaun Suisham kicked a 23-yard field goal 51 sec­onds into the ex­tra pe­riod, one play af­ter Law­rence Tim­mons in­ter­cepted Kan­sas City's Matt Cas­sel and re­turned to the 5.

Ja­maal Char­les ran for 100 yards and a score for the Chiefs (1-8).