Lions coach Jim Caldwell has given the locker room

center_img The Lions’ entire defense has been noteworthy this season, but the team has been nearly-unstoppable against the run. Ranked second in the league, allowing 71.3 rushing yards per game, here’s some of the numbers for the defense’s great start.• Caldwell ignoring early playoff talk ( the NFC North with a 7-2 record and the best defense in football isn’t enough to get Lions’ coach Jim Caldwell to talk about his team’s future in the playoffs. Caldwell is rebuffing all postseason questions, promising that this team won’t get caught looking past the next matchup.• Rookie Swanson is up to the task for the offensive line ( Swanson was drafted in 2014 as the apparent heir to the starting center position, expected to be groomed for the spot throughout the season. But due to injuries on the line, Swanson was thrown into the lineup as a right guard on Sunday, and is earning praise for his solid performance. Friday, November 14• Five keys in the Lions-Cardinals matchup ( Lions awful history in Arizona, a game with very little rushing threat, and the high stakes for NFC supremacy, plus other things to keep in mind as the two teams face off.• Early practice times are helping the Lions late in games ( Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals come out of yet another week with a victory, but the loss they suffered may be the bigger story in the desert.The Cardinals beat the visiting St. Louis Rams 31-14, giving them an 8-1 record and a full one-game lead for the top-spot in the NFL. The win came in spite of the injury to quarterback Carson Palmer, who was lost for the year with a torn ACL.Backup Drew Stanton will fill in for Palmer for the rest of the season. Stanton is already 2-1 as the starter in 2014, replacing Palmer while he was recovering from a nerve injury earlier in the season. Wednesday, November 12• Morning Roar: Matthew Stafford’s comebacks ( Stafford has a case for being one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the NFL. Of his 31 career wins, 15 were won by game-winning drives in the fourth quarter, including three straight games for the Lions this season. No other quarterback has done that as many times in their first six seasons.• Detroit Lions’ rush defense has posted some astonishing numbers ( ranks in the top three in the NFL for almost all defensive categories, including first in points allowed per game and total yards. They are especially good at rushing defense, giving up only 71.3 rushing yards per game. Head coach Jim Caldwell says this success is thanks to his defensive coaching staff and the group’s high chemistry.• Showdown: Detroit Lions’ WRs face two of NFL’s best CBs (Detroit Free Press)Sunday’s matchup between the Lions and the Cardinals will feature one of the top cornerback duos in the league — Arizona’s Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie — going against a top wide receiver tandem — Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Tate has been the better player this year, but is not great historically against the Cardinals, while Johnson scored two touchdowns against Arizona last year. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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