There was a different vibe Monday for Dan Campbell's press conference following Detroit's 29-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, as it came less than 24 hours after Detroit's first win of the year.
"Winning feels good," Campbell said with a big smile.
Here are all the key questions to come from Campbell's Monday presser:
Is the hope for Campbell that Sunday's win helps turn a corner knowing they're able to win a game when things don't go perfectly?
Campbell has said numerous times this season they weren't a good enough team to overcome a lot of mistakes, but they did just that Sunday against the Vikings. Winning in the NFL is about making one more play than other team, and it was nice to finally see that come to fruition for Detroit.
Detroit was out-gained in total yardage, lost the turnovers battle and were just 2-of-11 on third down and were still able to make enough plays when it really counted to win a game.
Campbell said football is a game where teams strive for perfection knowing they'll never get there. It says something about this team that they've continued to hang in there and play close games, and finally finished a game with the offense on the field finding a way to win.
"This one was special because we've been through a lot already this season," Campbell said. "When you're in this building and around these guys almost 24/7 and these coaches and the amount of work that goes into it and what you're trying to do and what you're trying to build and validate everything, to know they just continue to work and lay it on the line, that's what makes you feel so good. We got over the hump for a game."
What stood out positively to Campbell after re-watching the tape?
Defensively, Campbell singled out outside linebacker Charles Harris, who had two sacks, four quarterback hits, seven total pressures, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Campbell also said rookie cornerback Jerry Jacobs was a factor with his seven tackles and two tackles for loss. He also mentioned linebacker Alex Anzalone and young defensive linemen Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike as having impactful performances.
Offensively, it was certainly a cleaner game in terms of penalties. Detroit was flagged just three times for 11 yards.
The offense didn't generate any explosive runs, but they were efficient running the ball (27 rushes for 100 yards). Campbell said there was an emphasis on improving the two-minute offense this week. To win the game with the two-minute offense and score 13 points with it at the end of both halves was important to Campbell. He named wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, wide receiver Josh Reynolds, running back Jamaal Williams and tight end Brock Wright as players who stood out to him on offense.
Campbell was also very complimentary of the special teams units on Sunday. They've been the one constant for this team all year long.
What jumped out on tape as areas that still need improving?
The third-down offense was the first thing Campbell mentioned. Detroit entered Sunday's game ranked 31st in third-down conversion percentage (32.6 percent), and they were just 2-for-11 (18.2) on third down against the Vikings.
The offense failed on both their 4th and 1 tries in the game, and Campbell said that just isn't good enough. They need to be better in those situations when they decide to be aggressive and go for it.
"You don't want to be aggressive and then not get it," Campbell said. "Because now look what happens, we put ourselves in a bind. That's not the point of it."
Interestingly, Campbell said his biggest play-call regret from Sunday wasn't the 4th and 1 late in the fourth quarter that led to a turnover. It was the play call before that on the 3rd and 2 where Williams only gained a yard setting up fourth down. Campbell wished he'd given Williams a better play call there to pick up the first down.
How much more of an emphasis was there to push the ball down the field in the passing game this week?
The Lions identified some matchups they liked offensively in preparation for the Vikings' defense and were able to take advantage of some of them. Quarterback Jared Goff was 3-for-5 for 72 yards with a touchdown on throws of 20-plus yards, for a passer rating of 143.8.
"Honestly, (the Vikings) did a pretty good job just schematically, they took a couple of them away, but we were able to find enough to help us," Campbell said.
Did Campbell get a chance to live scout Denver Sunday night?
The Lions certainly enjoyed their first win Sunday, but Campbell said they have to quickly buckle down and start working on the next matchup, which is a road trip to Denver to take on the Broncos.
Denver lost, 22-9, to Kansas City on Sunday Night Football, and Campbell said he did watch some of that game live and likes when it works out that way. He said he used it as a jump start to the preparations for this week.