| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions’ Matt Patricia on how his defense improved in win
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia on Oct. 19, 2020, discusses how his defense improved in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A brief celebration. Very brief.
“I think we got to enjoy last night for a bit,” defensive end Romeo Okwara said. “We just finished watching the film actually right now. So at this point, honestly, we’re ready for this week to get ready for the Falcons.”
And this was the guy who had a great game with two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.
It doesn’t matter. Okwara’s answer is an example of the way he and the rest of the Lions have internalized the message coach Matt Patricia has preached all along, during the winning and the losing: Don’t ride the emotional roller-coaster.
As such, the Lions don’t want to get too wrapped up reveling in — and perhaps being distracted by — their first win in three weeks. It’s technically their second win in three games, but because of the bye, they had the bitter taste of a defeat vs. the New Orleans Saints for an extra week.
So now the Lions are 2-3 and could be primed to make a move with a favorable schedule coming up.
But they also know that a victory one week doesn’t necessarily carry over into the next.
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as momentum,” Okwara said. “I think we’ve got to stay within the course of the game and play our game to where we do it consistently every single week. Come into each week with the same mindset. And that’s the way really. And nothing really changes for us whenever we follow the ebbs and flows of what the season is.”
That doesn’t mean the Lions can’t remain consistent in their approach while taking something positive out of all the good things they did while they throttled the Jaguars.
“I think you try to stay — you stay consistent, you stay even all the way through,” Patricia said Monday. “But certainly you want to take what we were able to do yesterday and build on that. I think that’s good for everybody just to have a little bit of confidence in some of the things we were doing and be able to see it. And honestly see what I would call ‘two weeks of work’ really show up in a game. I thought that was really great.”
That’s how Sunday’s game might have been won: in the fortnight of the Lions’ self-examination, when they were forced to look at what had gone right — but mostly wrong — in their first three losses.
“The bye weeks are never easy,” Patricia said. “We thought it was a really good time for us to grind it out and really take a look at what the first four games looked (like). We really didn’t have much of an opportunity to do that with the preseason, so we needed to do it.
“I thought the guys took two weeks, which is always hard to do, and focused on ‘how do we get better?’ That was really good to see. Hopefully we carry that over and try to string another good week of work in behind it.”
Here, again, Patricia and his players agree. They know the only momentum or carryover from a victory can be found in the preparation that put them in that position.
“Yeah, definitely,” Okwara said. “It gives us an opportunity to look back at what we did to succeed and how we can build on those things.”
Contact Carlos Monarrez at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.