The Lions recorded a come-from-behind, last-second victory Sunday in Atlanta, 23-22, to win their second straight contest and get back to the .500 mark (3-3) on the season heading into this week's game at Ford Field against the Indianapolis Colts (4-2).
Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday following Detroit's dramatic win over the Falcons, and answered the key questions facing the team to start a new week of preparation for the Colts:
Was there ever an explanation given as to why the last offensive snap took place from the 11-yard line, when it appeared wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught the ball at the 8-yard line and was touched down there?
Patricia said there was a lot going on at the end there for the officials, and he doesn't have any clarification. It just appears to be an incorrect spot by the officials.
In hindsight, maybe it gave the Lions a little bit more room to work with for that last touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson. The red zone is always a tough place to score because things are so condensed down there. In the end, it all worked out for the Lions.
What does Patricia like about the way the defensive line has played the last couple weeks?
Detroit's been very good against the run and generated some good pressure upfront the last two weeks compared to some of the inconsistencies we saw in those departments the first month of the season.
The Lions have mixed up some personnel groupings the last couple weeks between Danny Shelton, Nick Williams, John Penisini and Da’Shawn Hand. All four of those players have played well the last couple weeks, and there's some versatility amongst that group to move guys around and get some good matchups and gap schemes.
Patricia said that all four guys inside are playing well right now, which allows them to pull back some reps and keep guys fresh, which he thinks has been key both in the run game and in pass rush situations.
"Just feeling more comfortable with those guys after the first four games and putting them in different positions that we thought maybe they could perform better in," Patricia said. "So I think it was a good job taking a look at some of those sets."
What's been the reason behind a much more even split the last few weeks between man and zone coverage?
Patricia said he's run just about every coverage there is in his tenure as a defensive coordinator and head coach in this league. Really it just comes down to whatever you feel is working for you that particular week.
Detroit played man coverage more than 80 percent of the time the first two weeks of the season, per ESPN Stats and Info. They played 39 percent man last week and were a 50-50 split between man and zone Sunday in Atlanta.
"We've played it all," Patricia said. "It's really just trying to do what we think is best that week. We'll always try to do what we think we can do to stop that opponent that week."
Is it just as hard to not ride the wave of emotions after a win than it is after a loss?
It's crucial to get through the game tape Monday and make the corrections and quickly move on to the Colts, Patricia said. Indianapolis is coming off their bye week, and will be rested and ready to go.
Just as Patricia said it's important to put a loss in the rearview mirror quickly and move on to the next week, it's just as important to do it after big wins too. He said it's important to stay consistent and be the same all the time. Teams miss details when they ride those waves of being too high or too low.
Will the Lions be buyers at the trade deadline with a 3-3 record?
"For us, we're always going to try to do whatever we can to help our team get better," Patricia said. "Sometimes those situations, in particular trades, it takes both parties and everyone involved, so I don't know. We'll see how all that goes."