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Lions notebook: Can Detroit outgun Giants?
Team Notebook: Defensive end Dewayne White has an injured triceps and isn't sure if he will play against the Giants. He did not enjoy sitting out against the Cardinals. "Not playing has its own frustration," White said. "You feel as if, if you could play, you could help the team. It's sort of like watching your child do something and you can't help them. So that's kind of how it felt like. "I wanted to be there, but I couldn't do anything." If the Giants stack the box against the run like the Cardinals did Sunday, shouldn't that open up things for the Lions' receiving corps? "Usually the Giants don't have to put eight in the box because they've got those two rushers that can get there in a hurry," wide receiver Roy Williams said. "We still have to run the football. We still have to execute. Everybody got upset about (offensive coordinator Mike Martz) not running the football, but I mean, some of those passes that we called are run plays. We just have to execute, and on third downs, wide receivers have to know where the chains are. I caught a couple balls short, and it was third-and-inches, we didn't convert. If I get the first down, it's a whole different ball game. Receivers have to know where we're at, and the running game will follow after that." A reporter asked Williams if he had one of his better games against the Giants his rookie year. "Yeah," Williams said, breaking into a big grin. "I did. I did. I did. I did. I did. I remember that. It was a fun game. I think we were victorious in that game. And I'm looking to do the same this week." Williams had four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown Oct. 24, 2004, at Giants Stadium. It wasn't really one of his better games. He had two games with 100-plus yards and two TDs that year. But the Lions did win, 28-13. The Lions are converting only 32.1 percent of their third downs, third worst in the NFL. "I think we're getting better," QB Jon Kitna said. "Last week we missed a couple of good opportunities, probably should have converted on at least three more third downs and that hurt us in that football game. But it didn't hurt us as much as the turnovers." The Lions turned over the ball five times against the Cardinals. "You can't have turnovers and not convert on third down," Kitna said. "That's the biggest thing." Kitna said the Lions weren't built to be a good third-down offense, though. They have a big-play offense. They average 6.02 yards per play on first down, third best in the NFL. They try not to get to third down. When they end up in third-down situations, they're often third-and-long, not third-and-short. "When we're at our best is when we're making six, seven yards on first- and second-down plays," Kitna said. "That's why our third-down percentage I don't think is ever going to be really great in this system. ... We don't go for two- and three-yard gains. Sometimes you go backwards, and when you get to third-and-eight or more, that's always hard." Williams usually speaks to the Detroit media on Thursdays. But this week, he spoke on Wednesdays. Why did he deviate from his routine? "Well, routine is important," Williams said. "It really is. Jacked-up. Hyped-up. Ready to play. Ready to play today if we had to. Just wanted to talk to my people." Williams wants to talk to all the people, though. "This is real special, man," he said. "You've got the New York media. Not putting you guys down or anything. But it's the New York media. It's the biggest stage on earth. And their team is coming in to play, and they're playing good football as well. They're 6-3. They came off a tough loss against Dallas, so they have a chip on their shoulder. And we do as well. So it's going to be a great clash of the titans." BY THE NUMBERS: Minus-18 -- Rushing yards for the Lions last week at Arizona, the lowest in the NFL since sack yardage stopped being included in rushing totals 60 years ago. QUOTE TO NOTE: "If we were to ask any of you -- any of you viewers as well -- if after nine games the Lions would be 6-3, there would be nobody who would say that. Nobody at all. But we're a 6-3 ball club, still pretty good, tied for third in the NFC." -- WR Roy Williams, speaking to a group of reporters and TV cameras this week.
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