After months of waiting, football is finally back.
The Detroit Lions spent the week preparing for their season opener against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football at Ford Field.
“The whole mode changes, really,” head coach Matt Patricia said Monday. “Really at this point, we start to transition into the next phase, which is specifically trying to game plan for an opponent, the Jets here, on a long week.
“It’s just a completely different mindset. We really start diving into scheme from that standpoint and really work on what exactly is going to help us win in the game as opposed to really just player evaluation.”
The last time the Lions opened the season at home on Monday Night football was 2014. Quarterback Matthew Stafford still remembers the atmosphere created by the fans.
“Monday night ... they were awesome,” Stafford said. “They were rocking, and hopefully we’ll get the same on Monday night.”
DARNOLD TO START FOR JETS
The Jets will be starting rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, making him the youngest Week 1 starting QB in the modern NFL era. The lack of tape on Darnold makes him a challenging study for the Lions.
“It’s going to be a challenge and my sense is we’re going to have to be able to adjust as we get into the game,” Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni said. “And we’re going to have to able to adjust to exactly what they decide they’re going to do. It’s going to be a challenge because there isn’t a whole lot of tape.”
According to Darnold, the Lions will also be a tough study, because he's not sure exactly what to expect from their new defense under Patricia and Pasqualoni.
“We have an idea what this defense is,” Darnold told newyorkjets.com. “But at the same time they don’t have a ton of film.”
For Mike O'Hara's full scouting report on the Jets, click here.
LAUNCH WEEK SUPRISES
The Lions teamed up with Rocket Mortgage for a weeklong celebration leading into the season opener. Catch up on all the fun events and surprises that have taken place so far:
LIONS SIGN DIGGS TO EXTENSION
The Lions announced Monday that they signed defensive back Quandre Diggs to a contract extension through the 2021 season.
Diggs called his new contract a blessing, but said it wouldn't change his motivation or mindset moving forward.
“I’m always going to have motivation,” he said. “I’m a sixth-round draft pick, so at the end of the day, 32 teams passed me up. I’m always going to have a chip on my shoulder and it isn’t going to be nothing different.
“You still have to put in work and show the Lions you deserve every penny of it. My whole mindset hasn’t changed. I’m going to continue to go out and work. I think we had a good day today. Sign the deal and still have to get to work.”
After getting the roster down to an initial 53 this past weekend, general manager Bob Quinn continued to make moves.
“Whatever it is. Whatever they need me to do,” Flowers said Wednesday after practice. “I’m going to work my butt off this whole week to get it done.”
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- The Lions are heading into their season opener fairly healthy. Click here for the full Lions-Jets injury report and game designations.
- What can we expect from the Lions' defense? Tim Twentyman covers that and more in his latest 10 Questions column.
- Take a look at where each team in the NFC North stands heading into the regular season.
- Catch up on all the news from Jim Bob Cooter and Paul Pasqualoni's Monday media sessions.