The Detroit Lions lost under questionable circumstances against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football, but Matt Patricia wasn’t interested in talking about the past on Tuesday, no matter how raw and recent it may have been.
Though the referees played a huge role in the outcome and the league even admitted they were wrong as it related to one of the calls, Patricia wasn’t interested in talking about that as a moral victory, nor was he thinking too hard about the plays which cost the Lions on Monday night when he met with the media one day later.
Instead, Patricia wants his team to overcome the frustration by channeling their attention toward the Minnesota Vikings, the team that will invade Ford Field this week. As Patricia said, his plan to combat the frustration and negativity is to work harder so that toughness will prevail.
In the end, Patricia seems to believe that toughness which has been instilled in the team will shine through in this situation. With the Lions seemingly trying to turn over a new leaf, the hope and expectation is that will be the case.
Control What You Can
Patricia shared an old adage he believes in, which is that NFL teams must control what they can on the football field, and one of the things they can’t control is what the officials will do. Tuesday, Patricia emphasized that he wants the Lions to focus on that as they think about rebounding from the disappointment of Monday night.
Certainly, Patricia and the Lions can’t control how the league is going to enforce rules week by week or even play to play, which as unfortunate as it may be, is still the cold hard reality of the situation. As a result, the Lions must do what they can to play within the confines of the rulebook, no matter how confusing and ever-changing it may be to understand.
Most coaches will say they would like their teams to follow this mantra, no matter how tough it might be for the average fan to understand.
Something else Patricia and staff are focusing on? Finishing games better. Detroit has led in the fourth quarter in every game they have played in 2019, yet are still only 2-2-1. That points to an overall need for the team to learn to find a way to win and close ballgames out appropriately.
According to Patricia, closing games is something which happens both early and late, and is something the Lions have to continue to try and figure out how to do in order to be successful.
If Detroit had closed the first game of the season, they would likely feel a lot better about being 3-2, but the situation at hand dictates they must find a way to win the crucial next game against the Vikings at Ford Field.
Find a way to close that one while showing some mental and physical toughness, and there’s a good chance the Lions will be able to feel good about this very complicated week.
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