The Detroit Lions are fresh off a huge NFC North win Sunday against Green Bay that improves their record to 2-3 on the year and gives everyone in Allen Park a good feeling heading into the bye week.
Head coach Matt Patricia met with the media Monday following the key 31-23 victory. Here are the key questions from that session:
What is the plan for the bye week?
The week off allows players to rest their bodies, recharge their batteries and get healthy.
Some of the goals for the bye week for the Lions are obviously first and foremost getting healthy. After that, it's an opportunity to reflect back and do some self-evaluation of the first five weeks.
It also provides the coaching staff an opportunity to look ahead a little bit and evaluate upcoming opponents. The Lions will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins after the bye.
"It's really a big week for us," Patricia said. "It's really a big week to make sure we're doing things we need to do the right way and get back to some fundamental technique work, which through the course of the first part of the season tends to get put on the back burner a little bit."
How much does it mean to have success running the ball in some short-yardage situations Sunday where the Packers knew they were going to run it?
That's been an issue in the past, and was part of the motivation for GM Bob Quinn to make some of the acquisitions he did both in free agency and the draft this offseason.
The Lions converted two touchdowns from the 1-yard line running the ball, along with a key 3rd and 1 in the fourth quarter at the Packers' 38-yard line.
"Those are important plays," Patricia said. "Certainly in those situations are critical."
Patricia said the Lions are starting to see defenses play them a little different when different backs are in the game. With LeGarrette Blount, they see more unbalanced boxes with an emphasis on stopping the run.
"When LeGarrette is in there there's a lot more loaded boxes," Patricia admitted. "There's a little bit more pressure. Those are harder run plays to run against. So, those 1- or 2-yard runs that they maybe know are run situations, they become tough yardage to get."
Those are physical plays the Lions are starting to win.
How much does the blocking of wide receiver Golden Tate and other receivers help the run game?
Tate has been so good in that regard throughout his career that the Lions actually motioned him into a lead back role on Blount's second touchdown.
"I think Golden does a really good job," Patricia said. "He's tough. He just kind of goes in there and plays with really good leverage. He kind of gets on them and keeps his feet alive. That's just what the backs need. They need to see a little leverage position by the wide receiver and then they can cut off of it."
Kenny Golladay had some good blocks Sunday. Marvin Jones Jr. had a great block last week that helped Kerryon Johnson get into the end zone. The Lions' receivers aren't afraid to put their hands on defenders and block, and that's key to any run game breaking out for big plays.
Tate does a lot of the dirty work in the run game being a slot receiver, so it's no surprise he's good in that role anywhere on the field, including the goal line.
Is there an update on the knee injury suffered by Jamal Agnew?
"We're going through and evaluating everything today," Patricia said. "We'll get that report out when we get to it."
The Lions' All-Pro punt returner and slot cornerback suffered the knee injury defending a pass in the fourth quarter. He had to be helped off the field and didn't return.
View team photographer Gavin Smith's best stylized photos from the Detroit Lions' Week 5 game vs. Green Bay Packers.
How does Patricia like the progression of his team through five weeks?
For most coaches, the NFL season is all about progressing and getting better from September to December. Are the Lions on a good progression in that regard?
"I think we are (getting better)," Patricia said. "I would say there are still some things, that after getting done watching all the tape, I'm probably going to make sure we get corrected pretty quick here.
"A lot of things that we need to improve on that I know at some point here will catch up with us if we don't. Some of it's scheme. Some of it's technique. Some of it's obviously I have to coach things better and kind of handle it from that standpoint."
Patricia said he hoped the team was moving in the right direction after Sunday's win.
How good has Kenny Golladay been?
Patricia is always somewhat guarded in heaping too much praise on his players, but there's no denying how well Golladay has started his second season.
The big second-year receiver out of Northern Illinois has 27 catches for 428 yards and three scores in five games. He's been very good indeed, but with that will come more attention.
"The biggest thing for him is he's going to have to recognize a lot more defense now," Patricia said. "There's a lot of different coverages that are coming his way. A lot of different fronts, doubles and bracket type situations that he's running into that he's got to really just recognize and play through and try to handle the best he can."
Golladay has the right mindset, skillset and work ethic to be very good in this league for a long time, and we're already seeing that early in his second season.