Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday following Detroit's loss in Buffalo Sunday that officially knocked them out of playoff contention.
In his opening statements, Patricia talked about there being a number of plays that proved to be the difference Sunday, but he liked the team's effort.
Patricia then opened it up for questions from reporters. Here are the key questions to come from that session:
How does Patricia approach the last two weeks of the season with the playoffs off the table?
No different, according to him. He said the only time the playoffs have been talked about within the building over the last 15 weeks have been when the media has brought it up.
"Obviously the playoffs are, that's the goal and that's what you're shooting for every single week," he said. "The thing that's different, I think, is that every week you don't walk into the room and talk about playoffs. You just kind of walk in and talk about the game that week and what you need to do to get ready to prepare and try to win and the opponent coming up."
The Lions still have a tough opponent in Minnesota this week, a team still in the playoff hunt. The Lions didn't play well against Minnesota the first time around, and if they don't prepare the way they should this week that can easily happen again.
Self-reflection doesn't really happen until the end of the season, but Patricia was asked Monday why he thought he's lost more than he's won up to this point?
"I think there are probably situations in there where we have to do things just a little bit better in order to complete some of those plays," he said. "And it's just a continual growth of trying to improve those situations and finish them off and finish them off the right way.
"We're playing tough, we're playing some fundamentally-sound football in most areas, and we have a lot of improvement still to do, but I would say for the most part, we're grinding it out and we're giving ourselves an opportunity. We just have to capitalize on those opportunities in the end."
Does Patricia like the accountability from the players we saw in the locker room following the game Sunday?
Patricia talked about there being a number of plays that affected the outcome Sunday. Kicker Matt Prater took the blame for his missed 48-yard field goal. Long snapper Don Muhlbach said it was his fault because of the bad snap that led to the missed extra point. Linebacker Jarrad Davis said it was on him for jumping offside late and giving Buffalo an opportunity to run out the clock.
"Collectively as a group, we have to try to all eliminate that one play, which then accumulates and adds up to situations where you can't win," he said. "I talk about it all the time, they're great guys, they work hard, they take a lot of accountability for what they do. They really are trying to do everything they can to win and they work extremely hard through the course of the week, so it's obviously very disappointing when we don't win."
How much of the play calls are on Patricia?
The Lions' offense has struggled all season, and Patricia was asked Monday about a perceived lack of aggressiveness on offense and how much input he has on that side of the ball.
"Sometimes the situation calls for the big, long passes that we had to Kenny (Golladay) throughout the course of the game, and sometimes it calls for more controlled plays depending on the situation that we're in," he said. "So, all of that is taken into account.
"Jim Bob's in charge of the offense and he puts the packages together, but I'm in charge of all of it. So, all three phases are going to have what I feel is going to help us win that game in particular the best, sure, no doubt. We're going to look at it as a wholistic team and try to do what we can in all three phases to work together as a team based on what our opponent does to try to put ourselves in a situation to win."