Let’s start with the second question first: Who or what is most responsible for the Lions defensive turnaround?
In the lead-up to the survey, we presented Lions fans with four options that could have had the biggest influence on Detroit’s defensive improvement. It came down to a close race between crediting coach Dan Campbell for making a bold mid-season coaching staff change (the second in as many seasons) and crediting the players for taking the initiative and making changes following a players-only team meeting.
In the end, the players-only meeting secured the majority of votes with a 36% return, while Campbell received 35% coming in just a tick behind.
Following the win over the Packers several players spoke about the impact the player-only meeting had on the defensive players and pointed to it as an important piece in helping them refocus on the tasks at hand.
“If you really want to win, these guys need to be your brothers,” safety DeShon Elliott said. “You need to know more about them than just ball. You gotta know them outside of the building. And you have to have uncomfortable conversations.
“And I think that meeting we had, it was an uncomfortable conversation, but everyone was able to be honest with each other. I really think that helped us move in the right direction because now we’re like, ‘Alright, I know exactly what’s on your mind and I know who I’m playing for’. So, I think us building that comradery, continuing throughout the season, we’ll get better and better each week.”
In our weekly poll, Lions fans’ confidence that the team is headed in the right direction is on the rise. The low point of the season was definitely Week 5 after being shut out by the Patriots. But after winning back-to-back games against division rivals—and securing the first road win of the Campbell era—fans’ confidence has climbed to an impressive 91%. This is the first time these numbers have landed in the 90 percentile since after the team's Week 2 victory over the Washington Commanders.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.