Detroit defeated New England Sunday night, 26-10, to give Matt Patricia his first victory as head of the Lions.
It also meant Patricia held his first Monday press conference following a victory, which obviously had a little bit different tone to it than the previous two press conferences after losses.
Here are the key questions to come out of today's session:
What does a win like this do for the team’s confidence?
“For us, the process every week is the same. We don’t get too high, we don’t get too low, we just try to improve,” Patricia said. “A week ago, the story was completely different as I’m standing up here.
“So, what I try to do is focus on the details of, ‘What do we need to do to get better next week?’ I think that’s the most important thing."
Patricia said after Sunday’s game that his team had a really good week of practice leading up to the game, and he thought that played a role in the dominant outcome. He thinks that is an important part of the entire equation that goes into a victory, and will continue to be part of the message moving forward.
“I think those guys prepared really hard last week,” he said. “I think it’s a good example to go back and say, ‘Hey, this is what Wednesday looked like and this is how it paid off in the game. This is what Thursday looked like and that’s how it paid off in the game. This is what Friday looked like, this is how our preparation, our rest, our recovery, all aspects of the things that we do to help us get ready for the game paid off.’”
Being the first victory of his tenure, and it coming against a team like the New England Patriots, did Patricia take some time Sunday night to savor the win?
Like coaches often do, Patricia said the victory wasn’t really about him. He said his window to enjoy Sunday night’s victory was small.
“Obviously I was just real happy for the fellas last night,” Patricia said. “I think they did a great job for the organization, for Mrs. Ford. It’s not easy to win in this league, it’s really hard every single week.”
Patricia said he moved on to the Cowboys, and next Sunday’s game in Dallas pretty quickly.
“You just have to keep pushing forward and get back in the mode,” he said. “So, Monday comes and Monday doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter what time you play on Sunday, you have to get the same things done on Monday regardless. So, the schedule is what it is.”
That being said, there was no hiding the giant smile on Patricia’s face in the locker room after the game.
After watching the tape, how dominant was the offensive line play for Detroit in the win?
That unit played arguably their most complete game in a long time. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked just once, and that was the only time he was hit.
Detroit tallied 159 yards rushing, and those five guys upfront paved the way for Kerryon Johnson to be the first 100-yard rusher in the last 70 games.
“That’s obviously a critical part of every football game,” Patricia said of the offensive line play. “I think those guys did a great job up front. Definitely very difficult against that defense. There are multiple looks that they’ll give you and they were spinning the dial pretty good last night with a couple different looks, four-man rushes, five-man look, six-man-up looks.
“I think those guys did a great job up front of recognizing that stuff, getting on the same page, executing their blocks well. There were a couple plays in there (where) we could’ve done better, but I thought we had good movement at the line of scrimmage, which was the most important thing.”
What about defending Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski?
The future Hall of Famer still managed to make a couple big plays in the game, but finished with a modest four catches and 51 yards with no touchdowns.
“He’s a great player,” Patricia said of Gronkowski. “He’s a really hard guy to handle, gives a lot of different problems in both the run and the passing game.
“So, I think the guys did a great job of trying to execute what we were doing. There were still a couple plays in there where he had some big plays. He still gets open, he still finds a way to catch the ball, still finds a way to be productive in that system. So, it’s a very difficult task. I thought the guys tried to do a great job with it.”
View team photographer Gavin Smith’s best stylized photos from the Detroit Lions’ Week 3 game vs. New England Patriots.
What will it mean to now play nine straight games with a 1 p.m. kickoff (Thanksgiving at 12:30)?
There have been some long nights playing on Monday and Sunday Night Football to start the season, with a west coast trip to San Francisco wedged in between.
Patricia is looking forward to the consistency factor of the next nine games (10 weeks including the bye).
“I think the biggest word there that you said is just consistency – try to get on a schedule,” he said. “I think we’re all trying to just basically get on a schedule that is the same week-in and week-out.
“We can kind of get in a rhythm from that standpoint. We still have to travel, we still have to deal with some of those things. But, it would be good to just kind of be consistent here as we push forward.”
Where are some areas Detroit still needs to clean up?
Penalties on special teams have been a problem. There have been way too many, especially in the return game, and that’s an area that’s really hurt the Lions early on.
Red zone offense is also an area Patricia talked about Monday in terms of an area that needs improving. Detroit was just 1-for-4 in the red zone against the Patriots, and they’re 3-10 on the year through three games.
“I think it’s really difficult to score (in red zone),” Patricia said. “Especially against a defense that is ranked high in that area for a long time. I thought our guys tried to do a good job executing, we were just off a little bit and we have to tighten that down.
“I can probably do a better job coaching it up and getting some better schemes and some better plays in there to help them out in those situations too. Certainly it’s a big point of emphasis for us when we get down there we have to try to score points.”
What has Patricia thought of the early contributions from some of his new players?
This was more in reference to players like linebacker Eli Harold, defensive end Romeo Okwara and cornerback DeShawn Shead, all either signed or re-signed in the last three weeks or so, and all played a role on defense in the win Sunday vs. New England.
“It’s good for those games where they can go out and produce for us, which is great,” he said. “Everybody has a role and everybody has a place where they’re trying to help contribute and it’s good to have guys that maybe haven’t been here that long that we saw something in them that we thought could help us. They come in and actually do that at a high level, which is good.”