In the locker room: Commanders QB Carson Wentz say Lions brought more heat than expected

DETROIT — The Detroit Lions had the Washington Commanders in a 22-0 hole at halftime, thanks to their pass rush and the great playing ability of D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

That pass rush was good for four sacks in the first half, with good security thrown in. Acclaimed rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had three sacks in the first two quarters. And Charles Harris added the strip-sack safety from the other end of the line. Quarterback Carson Wentz had just 59 passes at halftime, leading Washington to just two first downs in the first half. The commanders didn’t move the chains until the second quarter home stretch.

“Hard to say, hard to say. I know they probably put a little more pressure on the first and second hits than we might have thought,” Wentz said. “But again, they had a different type of attack plan every week. So I think — I thought we had adapted well to it. Again, it was just a little something here and there. And before you know it, it’s rest and a bad feeling.

“This competition is tough and I wish I had the magic answer because last week we came out. We came out hot the first few stages, and this week we’re terrible. We were terrible in the first half and yes, I have to own those and find a way to stay on the field and convert some things to get a little momentum and we couldn’t find it at all.”

Related: Lions RB D’Andre Swift has electric show in victory despite butt ankle: ‘I wish I was 100%’

Related: Watch the Detroit Lions locker room celebration as you sing Dan Skipper’s name

Commanding head coach Ron Rivera said he felt that Detroit’s defense line was doing its stunts well and that its line of attack was too late to pick it up. The Lions finished with five sacks.

It was a welcome sight for the Detroit defense to have such an impressive piece. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles gave them attacks in the season opener. They nearly argued with the mobile quarterback, but struggled to get him down. Most of the talk this week has been about the chance to take on a more traditional pocket passer like Wentz. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn certainly had upped the pressure in the first half and then handled the pass-lucky second half.

“I thought all those guys up front were doing well,” said Lions coach Dan Campbell. “They were much better than last week because they were much more disciplined and stayed true to what we were trying to do with the stunts. (defensive line coach Todd) Wash did a great job with them. But they were thorough and detailed with it. And when you do that, it helps a man like Hutch, it helps a man Charles, it helps a man like (Alim McNeill) Lim, it helps a man like (Julian Okwara) JO. So it helps everyone in advance. And we were disciplined with that and it showed up.”

See below for more information from the locker room:

Commanders HC Ron Rivera in defense of Detroit: “Well, I think you should give them credit for coming off the ball and standing up vertically, getting into the fold. That is their aggressive nature. That’s how they do things. But you can get them with some misleading stuff, which we did. You can get them for some play action stuff, which we did. But if they guess right and put themselves in position, they’ll play a few games too. Again, like I said, that’s a very rough football team out there. I think what Coach Campbell is doing there is really solid.”

Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson on what has changed in Week 1: “You learn from things and you move on. I don’t think I played badly in the first game. But definitely, I had a lot more opportunities that I felt in this game and I made the most of it. Yes, I think I played well in both games, but I definitely took my chances in this game.”

Lions HC Dan Campbell on why it was Dan Skipper to start on watch: “Well, because Dan has been here for two years — since we got here. I know he’s been here longer. But he knows our offense through and through, he knows all the positions, and look, this isn’t the easiest offense to just walk in and learn. We have two new guards, (Drew) Forbes has been here longer than Kayode (Awosika). We just felt like Skip, man, has a really good understanding of it. And we had a feeling that even though he’s never been a guard in a game, we felt like he’d hold out, you know. We trust him. I trust him. He is a warrior. It won’t go in the tank if something happens. He would fight, he knows how to work with those guys. (Taylor) Decker knows him well, Evan (Brown) has been with him. So it just felt like it was the right thing to do and he fought there.”

Lions C Evan Brown on how OL coach Hank Fraley prepares them through all the injuries: “I think how he prepares us for the week. I think he’s doing a great job with the game plan, how it’s installed, and communicating the message about what to do. So I think that’s what he does well, and then on the field, bringing us in – you know, it’s a combination of him and Ben Johnson – to make us look advantageous, make plans, things like that to take advantage of what a defense does.”

Lions CB Jeff Okudah on where his confidence is: “I think with me, the most important thing is just playing more and more. The more I play, the more confidence I get. I think those two things just go hand in hand. The confidence I had after that game in Atlanta is nowhere near the confidence I have now four games later.”

Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown on his record breaking piece: : “I don’t really think about it. I just go out and play ball, get ready all week. Coaches put us in great positions to make plays and I just go out and play the ball. I don’t think too much about records, this, that or the other, how I play. Every week is a new week – it’s a new opponent, maybe they’ll give you a different look. So just go out and play and see what happens… I’d say I appreciate it right now. When next week comes, I won’t even think about it. I may think about it today, but like I said next week it’s a new opponent. It’s 0-0 that week, we have to win that week. But I would say the end of my career is when I really look at everything. But enjoy today, when next week comes we’ll have the Vikings, so it’s all Minnesota.”

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