NFL Notebook

2013-12-17T17:27:07Z 2013-12-17T22:51:05Z NFL NotebookThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 17, 2013 5:27 pm  • 

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn’t interested in talking about his job security.

The Lions blew another late lead and lost at home Monday night to Baltimore 18-16. The Lions (7-7) have led the NFC North much of the season, but may miss the playoffs after losing four of their last five games. Detroit needs to win its final two games and hope for a combination of losses by division leader Chicago and Green Bay to secure a playoff berth.

If job security is on Schwartz’s mind, it didn’t show Tuesday.

“I don’t think it does any good for me or my team to keep focusing on that,” he said after being asked if he’s worried about losing his job. He declined to elaborate on what he’s thinking about his future or if he has spoken with owner William Clay Ford recently.

“I look at it like we’re one game down with two to play,” he said. “As much as it keeps sounding like the same thing, it’s true. We can’t let anything detract from that.”

The luster of the Lions’ 6-3 start has faded, and the team, which entered last weekend with the division lead, walked off the field Monday third in the division. The Lions are 1-4 since a Nov. 10 win at Chicago left them in the driver’s seat. Losses at Pittsburgh and at home to Tampa Bay were among the lowlights.

Broncos’ Prater agrees to send shoe to Hall of Fame

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Pro Football Hall of Fame will get the right cleat that Matt Prater wore when he kicked the longest field goal in history.

Just not for a while.

“Yeah, they asked for the cleats. I said I’d give them to them after the season,” Prater told The Associated Press.

Prater kicked a 64-yard field goal on the last play of the first half against Tennessee in 14-degree weather on Dec. 8 in Denver, sparking the Broncos’ 51-28 comeback win over the Titans.

That broke the record of 63 yards set by Tom Dempsey in 1970 and tied by Jason Elam, Sebastian Janikowski and David Akers.

Saints cut kicker Hartley

METAIRIE, La. — The Saints released kicker Garrett Hartley, two days after he had one field goal blocked and hooked another wide in a 27-16 loss at St. Louis.

Hartley has been with the Saints since the middle of the 2008 season and made several crucial kicks during the Saints’ 2009-10 run to a Super Bowl championship.

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