On Saturday night, the Detroit Lions had the rebound performance they really needed in beating the Denver Broncos 42-17. They checked every box to re-assert themselves and win their 10th game of the season.
Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn executed a game plan heaving on trying to generate pressure on Russell Wilson. They had two sacks, and eight hits on the Broncos' signal caller, as he went 18-for-32 for 223 yards with a touchdown, a rushing touchdown in garbage time and a lost fumble (49.4 QBR, 88.4 passer rating). Wilson was not a factor with his legs like he can still be, registering six total rushing yards.
Overall, the Broncos had 287 yards of offense (62 on the aforementioned garbage time drive), while going 5-for-13 on third down. In the first half, they were shut out and had 75 total yards.
Russell Wilson just can't bring himself to praise the Lions' defensive effort against him
After the game, via Kory Woods of MLive, Wilson was asked about the Lions' defensive performance.
"I thought they did a good job of doing a lot of different things,” Wilson said. “I think that we just got to play cleaner. I mean, that’s just really (it). We can play a little cleaner, play a little sharper. They played well tonight. They played really well and we could have played better.”
After a bad loss, it's fine to be more introspective about what you could have done better and maybe really need to fix moving forward. So Wilson is good there.
It's not that he has to go deep in the weeds about what the Lions did strategically to hold the Broncos to under 300 yards of offense. And Wilson was complementary of the Ford Field crowd creating an advantage for the home team. But give some kind of praise to a defense that just shut you down, and if not for a garbage time touchdown drive it would've been even worse.
Wilson is not alone in being more loquacious after things went well in a game, and being more reserved when things went poorly. But his unwillingness to give much of any praise to a defense that just humbled him fits his personality to a 'T.'.
Yes, the Broncos could have played better offensively than they did on Saturday night. But they didn't, and the Lions' defensive performance had a lot to do with that. That Wilson was unwilling to fully acknowledge it doesn't make it any less true.