The Detroit Lions are flying high after their second straight win, the most recent coming Sunday in Chicago over the Bears. Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday as he does every week. Here are all the key questions from that Monday media session:
What does it mean to check off some of the boxes the Lions did Sunday?
First road win in two seasons. First back-to-back wins in two years.
If this young Lions team wants to truly become a competitive team, then they must stack some wins together. All the good teams do that.
"Just to get on that path, on that road," Campbell said. "You've got to put two back-to-back. To be able to do it on the road, against a division opponent, I think those are big things for us."
Now comes a big test this week. Can Detroit make in three in a row, two in a row on the road against a 7-2 Giants team in New York that's trying to make noise atop the NFC?
Campbell said stacking wins is the quickest way for a young team to grow up and mature quickly.
What did Campbell highlight as aspects of Sunday's game that jumped out to him?
- Fourth down. Both the Lions scoring a touchdown on a 4th and 2 in the first half and the defense stopping Chicago on 4th and 8 to get off the field late.
- Cornerback Jeff Okudah's pick-six was a huge play in the game because it turned the ball over and got the Lions seven points to tie the game.
- No turnovers by Detroit in the game.
- Penalties being a huge factor in their favor. Chicago was flagged nine times for 86 yards. The Lions just twice for 15 yards.
- The icing on the cake for Campbell was the offense being able to get one final first down after stopping Chicago so they could end the game by taking a knee.
What is Campbell seeing in his young defense that's allowing them to step up and make key plays in big moments the last couple weeks?
Campbell chalked a lot up to growth in the system. Getting contributions from players like defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, defensive lineman Josh Paschal, linebacker Derrick Barnes, cornerback Jerry Jacobs and safety Kerby Joseph has been a big bright spot for this defense and a good sign for this team's future defensively.
"They are growing," Campbell said. "But I think more importantly, they are growing together, and they are starting to figure each other out and starting to trust each other and trust what they are being given."
Every little success for young players grows their confidence and is a building block for the future.
How big are the contributions the Lions got Sunday from players like tight end Brock Wright and wide receiver Tom Kennedy?
Campbell had a good analogy on this one when he likened Wright's two-yard touchdown on a fourth-down play in the second quarter and Kennedy's huge 44-yard reception on the Lions' go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter to the contributions the bench players give an NBA team.
Those are valuable minutes, and the Lions need production out of those players when they get their number called.
"It's crucial," Campbell said. "You might only get one opportunity and you have to be there when you're called upon."
How did the Lions come out of Sunday injury-wise?
A little bit of an unknown there on a Monday. Campbell said he'll have more clarity on Wednesday. The immediate concern is center Frank Ragnow being spotted in a walking boot coming out of the locker room Sunday.
"We'll see," Campbell said. "Day to day."
Campbell said wide receiver Josh Reynolds, who missed Sunday with a back injury, is a little bit better.