The Detroit Lions improved to 2-3 on the season with a 34-16 victory in Jacksonville Sunday afternoon. It was the most complete effort both offensively and defensively the Lions have had this season. Detroit scored 34 points, the most they've scored since 2017, and they held Jacksonville to just 44 rushing yards and under 300 total yards in the contest.
The team looked over the tape Monday, made some corrections, and will quickly move on to this week's game in Atlanta against the 1-5 Falcons.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday afternoon, and here are the key questions from that media session:
What did Patricia think of the adjustments made upfront along the offensive line Sunday by both the coaches and the players?
The Lions ended up playing all eight active offensive linemen Sunday because of injury. All the guys upfront played pretty well, too. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was not sacked, and the team ran for 180 yards and collected over 400 total yards of offense.
Patricia said they typically rotate a lot of players into the lineup upfront through the course of the week, especially on Wednesday's padded practice, and that helps when there's an injury situation and guys are asked to jump into the lineup on Sunday.
"I think those guys did a great job all week of that and I think it transferred over into the game," Patricia said. "There were some things early on when those guys got in there we had to settle down a little bit."
Patricia said everyone did a great job with those adjustments, especially at halftime.
How can the Lions carry over their defensive performance from Sunday to this week's game in Atlanta?
The Lions executed well on defense Sunday. Patricia said he especially liked a lot of the fundamental plays that showed up on tape Monday like pad level, hand placement and guys being in the right fits.
Patricia said the Lions simplified some run-scheme stuff over the bye week, and now the emphasis is building from one week to the next. He said it's good for everyone in Allen Park to have a little confidence in some of the things they were doing Sunday and see it on film.
Patricia said it was a result of two weeks of work over the bye week to grind out what was working and what wasn't, and simplifying some things on both sides of the ball, particularly in the run game.
The Lions were terrific against the run Sunday. That will have to be the case again in Atlanta against Todd Gurley and Co.
With Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and some of the other explosive weapons the Falcons have in the passing game, Detroit's got to have a good plan against Atlanta to make them one dimensional like they did Jacksonville. Make Ryan try and beat them without the help of Gurley and the run game. That will help them pin their ears back again this week and pressure Ryan like they did Gardner Minshew.
Why didn't the Lions try a Hail Mary on 4th down with eight seconds left in the first half from midfield?
Patricia said the eight seconds kind of borders on the maximum time he'd like left on the clock in that situation. They didn't want to give Jacksonville a chance to have any time left and attempt their own Hail Mary.
The Lions had the ball coming out of the second half. Patricia said he just wanted to play it safe in that situation.
What did Patricia think of the performance of defensive end Trey Flowers?
Flowers recorded five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He even made some plays in space dropping off the line of scrimmage in coverage.
"Trey is someone who shows up every single week and does stuff where you're like, 'It's almost clinic-like teaching,'" Patricia said. "He's a guy that pays attention to the details. He goes out and works extremely hard every single day to just be the best that he can be, and I think it's a great example for everyone who's around him of how you need to approach every single week."