ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) _ The team that couldn't win on the road now can't lose away from home.
Detroit's 28-13 win over the New York Giants on Sunday lifted the Lions to 3-0 as visitors this season after they set an NFL record with 24 straight road losses.
Coach Steve Mariucci has a simple explanation.
We have a better team that we put on the airplane,'' Mariucci said Monday.And, we're playing better. That's the trick.''
Detroit (4-2) hopes to keep up its trend this week at Dallas, which is 1-2 both at home and on the road.
The Lions have benefited from an influx of new players who don't know anything about their previous problems on the road _ and don't care.
There's definitely something to that,'' said guard Damien Woody, who signed with the Lions after helping New England win two Super Bowls in three seasons.There's a lot of new faces in this locker room, guys that weren't a part of the road futility.''
Rookies Roy Williams and Kevin Jones are not stunned with having success on the road because they enjoyed it while playing at Texas and Virginia Tech, respectively.
It's not new to me because I'm used to it,'' said Williams, who has caught five touchdown passes.We don't know any different and we don't know anything about the losing streak on the road.''
While returning players were thrilled to win at Chicago in Week 1 to stop the incessant talk about their woes away from home, it was just another win for the newcomers.
``With all the different players here, like myself, we didn't start the season with the weight of the losing streak on our shoulders,'' Jones said.
The Lions are one of three undefeated teams on the road, joining New England and Philadelphia, because they have a plus-9 turnover margin.
What we're doing is not a secret,'' Jones said.We're not turning the ball over on the road and we're forcing turnovers.''
Detroit is just 1-2 at home, with a win over Houston and losses to the Eagles and Green Bay, in large part because its turnover margin is only plus-1.
The Lions' dominating defensive line, led by tackle Shaun Rogers, has also spurred a turnaround for a team that won a league-low 10 games the previous three seasons.
``We've got 19 sacks by our defensive line alone, which leads the NFL,'' Mariucci said.
The Lions have turned the ball over only four times in six games and that has led to an efficient offense, which has deflated fans in hostile environments.
Quarterback Joey Harrington said he only had to use a silent snap count a few times against the Giants when he usually has to snap the ball without saying ``hut'' up to 50 times on the road.
Woody said it was wonderful to be able to hear Harrington in a quiet stadium.
``It reminded me of what Curt Schilling said about the Yankees and making 55,000 people shut up,'' Woody said.
Harrington might even be able to appease fans back home after completing 18 of 22 passes for 230 yards with two TDs and no turnovers against the Giants. The previous week in the loss to Green Bay, Harrington was booed often as he connected on 12 of 23 passes for 101 yards with a TD and an interception.
Mr. Overlypositive is not going to be down after one game,'' Harrington said.I'm not going to let one game kill me.''