Matt Patricia said it’s always better walking into his Monday press conference following a win. The feeling was obviously better this week for Detroit’s second-year head coach following Detroit’s 13-10 win over the Chargers than it was after last week’s disappointing tie in Arizona.
What was the difference between Week 1 and Week 2 for the Lions?
Patricia pointed to five plays in particular they were able to execute late in the game this week that proved to be the difference Sunday.
“When you get to the forced fumble on the goal line, to the 4th and 1 conversion, to the touchdown pass after that, the two minute drive that they had that we obviously intercepted the ball in the end zone and then the end of the game four-minute operation got to have it play at the end,” he said.
“Those are five pretty important situational football plays I thought those guys executed at a high level.”
It was Arizona who made all those plays late in Week 1. Detroit finding a way to make the key plays late was the difference this week vs. the Chargers.
What did Patricia think of the protection Matthew Stafford received Sunday?
Stafford wasn’t sacked at all Sunday. He was hit just once. It was an improvement from last week when he was pressured on nearly half of his drop backs Week 1.
It was even more of an accomplishment, given the Chargers have two of the best pass rushers in the game in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
“I think those guys did a really good job upfront,” Patricia said.
The Chargers brought some pressures they didn’t show on film leading up to the contest, and Patricia thought the guys upfront did a really good job making adjustments throughout the course of the game.
It’s a performance Patricia is hoping they build on heading into Sunday’s game in Philadelphia against the aggressive Eagles' defense.
What about the play of left tackle Tyrell Crosby in particular?
Crosby filled in for the injured Taylor Decker (back) and played pretty well. He allowed just two hurries all game and no sacks.
“There was definitely some good plays in the passing game,” Patricia said of Crosby. “Honestly, I think he worked really hard during the week. He kind of just stepped in during the week and kind of went out there and as we go through the week we’re not really sure what it’s going to look like when we get to the game and he just went and prepared like he had to play. In the end he did and I thought it looked like what he was trying to do during the course of the week of practice.”
There are still some things in the run game that need to be cleaned up with Crosby and the rest of the unit, but overall it was a nice job.
What is the status of return man Jamal Agnew?
Agnew was benched Sunday after showing ball security issues for a second consecutive week.
Patricia said Sunday’s benching was an “in-game adjustment” he felt he had to make in the moment. After decisions like that Patricia says he always goes back and evaluates it after the game.
“Like I said (Sunday), Agnew is a tremendous player,” Patricia said. “He’s got explosive ability. He’s obviously done a lot. We’re just getting back to work, that’s really where we’re at.”
How will linebacker roles change when Jarrad Davis returns from injury?
Rookie Jahlani Tavai has been forced into more action with Davis missing the first two games with an ankle injury. Tavai has done well with the opportunity. He recorded nine tackles and a key forced fumble Sunday.
It’s really going to be a good problem for the Lions. With Tavai, Christian Jones and even Jalen Reeves-Maybin playing as well as they are early on, the Lions look to have tremendous depth at the position. The ability to mix in a lot of different players gives Patricia and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni some flexibility.
“It’s always good to have really good depth,” Patricia said.
That’s especially true, according to Patricia, when the weather is still hot in September, and when it comes to special teams.