Detroit fell to 1-3 on the season with a loss Sunday vs. New Orleans, and now the Lions head to their bye week with an opportunity to rest their bodies, look back on the first quarter of the season and try to figure out what it will take to turn this thing around heading into the second quarter of their season.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday following that loss and ahead of the team's bye week. Here are some of the key questions to come out of that session:
Why is the bye week so important?
It's an important week for Patricia and the coaching staff to take a close look at the film over the first four games and evaluate what they think they're doing right and find ways to fix some of the things they aren't doing well both offensive and defensively.
"It's a critical week for us," Patricia said.
Patricia said sometimes after the evaluation it comes down to trying to do less and narrowing the focus a little bit.
"It's a great week for us," he said. "It's got to be a good growth week for us."
What's been most disappointing about the run defense?
Detroit's allowing 170.3 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks third worst in the NFL through four games. They've allowed at least 149 rushing yards in all three of their losses this season. Green Bay racked up 259 yards on the ground Week 2.
Are players not getting off blocks enough? Is it an effort issue? Is it scheme?
"There are those plays that you see on tape that are not good. Those things are happening where we're getting knocked off the ball or our pad level is too high or our hand placement isn't good enough," Patricia said. "Those are all the things we have to improve on to make it consistent.
Patricia said from the coaching to the executing, everything across the board has to be better coming out of the bye defensively against the run.
What's been the most disappointing aspect of the defensive performance overall?
Pursuit. Hustle. Tackling. Those were the biggest things Patricia pointed to when asked about his defense that ranks 26th in total defense and 28th in scoring defense.
"Those are kind of the fundamentals that you have to have at a high level and I would say that probably some of that isn't consistent enough," he said. "Certainly from my perspective, we just have to find different ways to coach it better or keep teaching these guys just more consistency with it so that we can go out and perform better on the field."
What is Patricia's message to fans who maybe have lost faith in the where the team is headed?
"We talk all the time about where we want to go and we have to go out and we have to improve and we have to get better and we have to be more consistent," Patricia said. "You know, we're four games in, and we have the bye week, and really at this point we have to just try and improve on what we're doing right now and figure out this team and this year and the players we have this year. That's what's important. How do we win this year? That's really it."
Were any of the injuries suffered Sunday serious?
Cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring), defensive tackle Nick Williams (shoulder) and running back Kerryon Johnson (undisclosed) all suffered injuries in the loss to the Saints.
Patricia didn't give any specific updates, but it didn't sound like any of them were major.