Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday less than 24 hours after Detroit's thrilling walk-off win over the Chargers in Los Angeles. Here are all the key questions to come from his media session:
What jumped out to Campbell on tape about Sunday's performance?
As expected, Campbell couldn't say enough good things about the offensive performance. He said it was the best performance the Lions have had on that side of the ball to date with 10 explosive plays in a game in which they gained 533 total yards and scored 41 points.
Quarterback Jared Goff made critical throws throughout the game and Campbell loved the way the receivers showed up not just as pass catchers but also blocking on the perimeter in the run game. Campbell said the offensive line showed up and checked every box the coaches had for them coming into the contest.
Defensively, it was a little different story. Campbell loved the Kerby Joseph interception that ended up being a big play in an eventual one-score game. But he thought the defense took a step back from their performance before the bye vs. Las Vegas and there was way too much miscommunication. He thought the Chargers had a great game plan and quarterback Justin Herbert played his best game of the season, but his defense didn't handle the motions and the Chargers scheme to the best of their ability.
He liked the defensive stand at the goal line late where they stopped Los Angeles inside the 5-yard line six times in a row. Giving up a touchdown on 4th and 1 on the seventh play came down to miscommunication, per Campbell.
What about the game offensive coordinator Ben Johnson called?
"I thought Ben called a hell of a game," Campbell said. "My gosh. I just felt like he was two steps ahead. You'd be hard pressed to call a better game than he did offensively. I'm really proud of him."
Montgomery registered 116 yards on 12 carries (9.7 avg.), including a 75-yard touchdown. Gibbs finished with 14 rushes for 77 yards (5.5 avg.) and two touchdowns and added three receptions for 35 yards (11.7 avg.) to total 112 scrimmage yards on the day.
The Lions signed the veteran Montgomery in free agency and selected Gibbs No. 12 overall in this year's NFL Draft. Sunday was a great example of what GM Brad Holmes and Campbell envisioned for them together in the backfield.
"I think it's hard to totally rely on one back. That's a hard position. Those are hard miles you put on a guy to expect 65 plays a game for 17 weeks plus the playoffs. That's hard," Campbell said. "But if you can share the load ... and when you have different skillsets, and they are able to do different things and excel at certain things a little bit better I think it just gives you more versatility and a better chance at matchups."
What was the mood of the players on defense after the game Sunday?
Obviously happy with getting a win, but Campbell could tell the players on defense were frustrated with their performance.
Campbell talked about the communication issues that plagued them some more and said he would really like to see even if it's the wrong call on defense it's right if everyone is on the same page.
"There were a couple of these things with the motions," he said. "How are we treating this motion entirely because of the nature of it? There's just a few things where man, make a call and live by the call and not try to live in two worlds."
He said as a defense they live, learn, and move on to Chicago.
He also talked about needing more consistency on the back end of the defense with making the right calls. He wanted them to enjoy the victory but didn't mind that his players weren't happy with how they played.
How impressed was Campbell with the blocking on the perimeter from his receivers?
Campbell said it's the standard set by Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds. Jameson Williams has bought into it, and we've seen him spring runners with big blocks like he did on Montgomery's 75-yard touchdown. Williams isn't afraid of a little contact in the run game.
"You want to be known as a physical team your receivers have to block in the run game and your corners have to tackle on defense," Campbell said. "And we do that here. It's a rite of passage and they showed up big."
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Chargers Week 10 game at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 12 in Inglewood, CA.
Just how big of a win was Sunday in Campbell's book?
It was a big win for him because it was really important coming off the bye week and going on the road, they didn't want to lose their mojo.
"When you win coming off the bye on road, long trip, especially that type of game, that was big," he said. "We feel like, 'Alright, we got our flow back here a little bit. Found a way to win and now we improve from here.'"