Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday one day after Detroit's 37-31 overtime loss to Seattle. Campbell gave some injury updates and talked about what he observed from watching the tape. Here are all the key questions from Monday's media session:
What are the most pertinent injury updates?
The Lions suffered a number of injuries to some impact players that included running back David Montgomery (thigh bruise), right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) and edge rusher James Houston (fibula).
"Houston had a fibula, so he'll be out a while, obviously," Campbell said. "Big V (Vaitai) could be out for a little bit. Really, we'll know a lot more in the next couple days. D Mo (Montgomery) is kind of in the boat of day to day. Those are really the three."
Campbell said he doesn't think Vaitai would need to go on IR at this point but will know more later in the week after they see how his knee responds to treatment.
If there is one positive to come from Detroit's current injury situation it's that their deepest position groups are at edge rusher and along the offensive line.
Campbell said left tackle Taylor Decker (ankle) is improving and has gotten better and better every day. Decker missed Sunday's game vs. Seattle with an ankle injury suffered Week 1 in Kansas City.
If Montgomery can't play Sunday will be see a lot more of rookie Jahmyr Gibbs?
Montgomery has played really well the first two weeks of the season, and the Lions will miss his versatility and experience if he can't strap it up vs. the Falcons Sunday. He's been a big part of Detroit's offensive attack these first two games.
If he's inactive, Campbell said Gibbs will see a heavier workload, but the plan would still be to use a committee approach in the backfield. That would mean Craig Reynolds gets more work too.
"Certainly, Gibbs is going to get more opportunities," Campbell said. "He got a little bit more (on Sunday) and there's some plays he made and there was a lot he left out. Some of that is part of being a rookie. He'll get better from those the more exposure he gets, and we need him to grow, and he will."
Gibbs rushed seven times for 17 yards (2.4 average) and caught seven of his nine targets for 39 yards.
How does Campbell get more production from his pass rush?
Detroit's defensive front didn't record a single sack or quarterback hit Sunday vs. Seattle. They generated some decent pressure overall, but just couldn't finish what could have been impact plays.
"I think there's a number of things that come up in there," Campbell said. "There's a lot of things I felt like just from (our) transition into rush. Some of this play (action). Now we're from reading the run into pass. Man, we've got to transition much quicker. Our urgency has to go up there. Our violence has to go up to shed those blockers."
Campbell also talked about being more disciplined on the perimeter and not rushing too high. He needs more players upfront who get one-on-one matchups to win those opportunities.
Does Campbell second guess how he handled the last offensive position or his decision to go for it on 4th & 2 at his own 45?
Detroit went for a 4th & 2 at their own 45-yard line late in the third quarter. The offense didn't convert, and Seattle scored a touchdown nine plays later to take a 24-21 lead.
At the end, the Lions got the ball back at midfield with one minute and 44 seconds on the clock and three timeouts in their pocket. Quarterback Jared Goff hit wide receiver Josh Reynolds for 12 yards and a first down on the first play of the drive, and wide receiver Kalif Raymond took an end-around 11 yards on the next snap, giving the Lions a 1st & 10 at their own 27.
The Lions didn't snap the ball again until 32 seconds remaining on the clock. Goff threw short to Gibbs on first down, then after a timeout missed a throw low to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on 2nd & 6. Another throw to Gibbs was stopped short of the first down on 3rd & 6, and Campbell let the clock tick down to three seconds before using his second timeout and sending Riley Patterson out for the game-tying field goal.
Detroit lost the coin toss in overtime and never saw the football again.
"I knew I wanted to play that game a certain way early," Campbell said. "But I also knew if it didn't quite work out that way, we go the long road, and you have to win it at the end, and we weren't able to do that.
"But I don't feel like I should have done it different, necessarily. That was my mindset going into the game. I'm good with the way we functioned at the end. Like to get that first down at the very end of the game and call timeout and you've got plenty of time to continue to function, but it didn't work out."
View photos from the Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions Week 2 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Sept. 17 in Detroit, MI.
What was Campbell's overall message to the team after watching the tape?
Campbell said he expects more from certain players who have proven themselves to be more reliable over the last two seasons. He didn't call out any names in front of the media, but said those players know who they are.
"I expect more reliability from those guys," he said. "They know who they are. We hold them to a high standard."
How does Detroit's defense generate more takeaways?
The Lions are currently minus-three in turnover differential, which is the third worst in the NFL after two weeks.
"The picks will come," Campbell said. "To me, it's more about us forcing (takeaways). The way we hit, we fight for the ball, strips, we have to make a conscious effort. These are things we work in practice, but there again if you want it you have to emphasize it. So, what we're emphasizing is not being emphasized so we have to go back and there's got to be a different way to do it."