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NOTEBOOK: Players give Patricia the game ball

It was obviously a boisterous and celebratory mood in the Lions locker room after their victory over the New England Patriots (26-10) in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football for the team's first win of the season.

Securing his first victory as Detroit's head coach, against an organization he spent 14 years with, had to be rewarding for Lions head coach Matt Patricia.

After a win, it's usually the head coach who stands in the middle of the locker room and dishes out the game ball, but the roles were reversed Sunday night.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford gave the game ball to Patricia, a moment the rookie head coach isn't likely to ever forget.

"That was very generously from the team," Patricia said of that moment afterward. "Those guys were really excited, and honestly, that thing belongs to the players."

Of course the coach is going to say that, but the players were excited to have that moment with a coach who's taken a lot of heat following the 0-2 start.

"It was great," wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. said of the postgame celebration. "You'll probably see some footage of it, or maybe not. But we were jumping up and down. You know, it was just a great moment because we know how hard him and all the coaches worked to prepare the game plan and you know, us to just go out and execute it. It was big for him and you could see it in his face."


It's amazing what a well executed run game can do for an offense in its attempt to control the game.

One of the more amazing statistics from Sunday's win is the time of possession. The Lions held the ball for 39 minutes and 15 seconds in the game to only 20 minutes and 45 seconds for the Patriots.

Thank 159 rushing yards and 409 total yards from the Lions' offense with helping to control the game. A stellar performance by the defense played a factor as well.

"You're always trying to have good, sustained, consecutive drives and fortunately for us it kind of worked out that way where we were able to burn some clock," Patricia said.

The Lions had three 10-plus-play drives in the game and five drives of at least eight plays. The Lions ran 70 plays in the game to only 47 for New England.


The run game and running back Kerryon Johnson breaking the Lions' streak of 70 games without a 100-yard rusher will get a lot of the pub this week, but Stafford's ability to scan the field and move the ball around to different receivers in the passing game was at its best Sunday night. Stafford completed passes to nine different receivers in the game for a total of 262 yards.

"We know we have that type of team," Jones said of everyone getting involved in the passing game. "We have those type of players offensively. We don't take plays off. We just want to go out there and make plays, the most plays we can."


The Lions have had a number of good returns on special teams called back due to penalties this season. A Jamal Agnew punt-return touchdown was called back last week in San Francisco.

Add two more penalties on nice punt returns against New England to the total for the year.

An Illegal block above waist penalty on Nevin Lawson wiped out a 31-yard return by Agnew in the second quarter.

An illegal blocking penalty by rookie Tracy Walker took another good return off the board and backed the Lions up in their own territory in the fourth quarter.

It's an issue the Lions have to sort out moving forward.

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