Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday one day after his team's thrilling 31-26 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bears that improved their record to 8-2 on the season. Campbell and the Lions have a quick turnaround this week with their annual Thanksgiving Day Game on Thursday against another division foe in the Green Bay Packers.
Here are all the key questions to come out of Campbell's Monday media session:
What did Campbell think of the defensive performance Sunday?
He opened his press conference by crediting the defense for not only the way they played at the end of the game getting some critical stops, but also talked about the fact that Detroit's offense and special teams turned the ball over four times and a couple of those were in plus territory that put the defense in a tough spot. The defense gave up just 10 points, forced a punt and got a takeaway following the four turnovers.
"One of the reasons we were able to win that too is because our defense put out some fires," he said. "I thought our defense did some really good things."
Does playing a common opponent in Green Bay make the quick turnaround to Thursday easier?
"It does," Campbell said. "Just because you have common knowledge of what they do."
For Campbell and his staff preparing for this game it was about watching the tape and seeing how much of what the Packers do in all three phases still lines up with what they saw Week 4, when the Lions traveled to Green Bay and beat the Packers, 34-20.
Campbell said this is a tricky week because the coaching staff can't under-think it or over-think it in terms of putting together the game plan. They still have to come up with some wrinkles the Packers haven't seen yet, but it's a short week with only walkthrough practices so they also can't overload the players.
"You have to have just enough wrinkles to make sure you're not a sitting duck but yet you don't want to do so much that you slow your own guys down," Campbell said. "That's kind of the balance."
What has Campbell seen from Packers quarterback Jordan Love since their Week 4 matchup?
The Lions held Love to just a 69.9 passer rating with two interceptions in their contest in Green Bay. Love has two games with a passer rating over 100.0 in his last three and is coming off a win Sunday vs. the Chargers in which he threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
"He's connecting on some of these throws," Campbell said. "I feel like he's always been pretty poised, really. They just haven't been able to connect in some of the critical moments. I feel like he's making those (now). He looks pretty composed. He's certainly athletic enough and he's got big arm talent."
Campbell said it's imperative his defense limits the chunk plays Green Bay's been able to connect on of late.
What did Campbell think of Colby Sorsdal's first start at left guard?
"Some good and some that wasn't as good as you'd like," he said.
The rookie Sorsdal was credited with allowing two quarterback hits and two hurries and was flagged for a hold, but he also made some plays too. Campbell said Sorsdal played his best ball at the end of the game when the offense was humming along pretty good needing to put together points to come from behind.
Campbell said the moment wasn't too big for Sorsdal and he battled. Overall, he thought it was a performance he can build off of.
Is there an update on the potential return of defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson off IR?
Gardner-Johnson tore his pectoral muscle Week 2 vs. Seattle and has been on IR since. Usually a season-ending injury, Gardner-Johnson alluded to a potential return this season on social media.
"I want to talk to the doctor he's talking to," Campbell joked.
Campbell said he loves the upbeat and positive mindset from Gardner-Johnson but doesn't foresee him being able to return to practice or game action in the near future.
"But yet I'm never going to say never," he said.
Campbell said maybe Gardner-Johnson has mutant genes like Wolverine, but it sounded more like long odds for Gardner-Johnson to return this season.
"We'll just have to see," Campbell said. "It would be a very, very fast recovery. But I love where his head is at. You've got to think that way and you've got to be positive. That leads to quicker healing if you allow yourself to think that way."
Could guard Jonah Jackson return Thursday from the wrist injury that forced him to miss Sunday's game?
"We're hoping," Campbell said. "He'll be out at walkthrough today. We'll just have to gauge it (throughout the week)."