Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp spoke to the media Thursday as they do every week. Here are my 10 biggest takeaways from those media sessions:
1. One of the things Glenn was most proud of from his defense last week was their performance in the red zone. That's been a big point of emphasis for him since the bye. Officially, the Vikings were 3-for-6 converting touchdowns in the red zone last week, but Glenn said that number is 3-for-9 in his book, because he counts the three two-point conversion stops his guys had that were huge plays in the outcome of that contest.
2. The Lions play in Denver this week against a Broncos' defense ranked third in points allowed (18.2) and eighth in total defense (325.5). When asked about Denver's defense, the first thing Lynn talked about was their safety tandem of Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons and how they can wreck a run game if Detroit doesn't get them blocked. But Lynn also said that if they don't beat themselves on offense, he likes their chances Sunday.
3. Fipp would like to see how the league tracks punting statistics tweaked a little bit. He doesn't like how all punts are lumped together in net punting numbers no matter where on the field the kick is taking place. Obviously, if a team is punting from midfield the net will look different than it does if a team is punting from their own 15-yard line. He said the Lions factor in where the punt is taking place when evaluating their own punting game.
4. Glenn was disappointed in the way his defense gave up a two-touchdown lead in the second half last week. He thought his guys got 'dog tired,' and didn't handle Minnesota's no-huddle coming out of halftime very well. He would have liked for his defense put the game away with a big lead, but it was the offense who won it for Detroit last week with a walk-off touchdown.
5. Quarterback Jared Goff pushed the ball down the field in the passing game more last week than we've seen all year, and it's a big reason why the Lions won the game. Lynn said Goff is a trust quarterback, and guys are earning his trust more by making plays for him down the field. Lynn said we can expect Goff to continue taking more shots down the field moving forward.
6. Philadelphia played a game in Buffalo in 2019 when Fipp was coaching with the Eagles similar to the one played there on Monday night this week between New England and Buffalo where the wind played a major factor. Fipp said there were gusts of 50 miles per hour and winds consistently at 30 miles per hour in the 2019 game. He enjoyed watching Monday's game to see how each team handled the elements, hoping to pick up something strategically he could maybe implement in case he's ever faced with playing in those conditions again.
7. As talented as the Vikings are at the skill positions on offense, Glenn thinks Denver is even more talented. He specifically pointed out how Broncos running backs Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, both of whom have rushed for more than 600 yards on the season, have also broken more tackles than any other running back duo in the league. Glenn said his guys really have to tackle well and rally at the ball this week.
8. The Lions avoided the penalties that have been killing them offensively all season last week against Minnesota. Outside of a couple delay of game penalties, one of which was intentional according to Lynn, the offense didn't beat themselves. Lynn said when they don't beat themselves, they can play with anyone.
9. Both Riley Patterson and Aldrick Rosas continue to be in the mix at kicker, according to Fipp. Even though Patterson was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals and hit both of his extra points last week, Fipp said he feels good about both kickers and hasn't settled on one permanently yet. Patterson is on the active roster and Rosas is on the practice squad.
10. Consider Glenn a big fan of cornerback Jerry Jacobs. The undrafted rookie has been really good for Detroit. Glenn said the best part about Jacobs is he's so young and there's so much room for growth, which is exciting.