Run the ball and stop the run.
It's one of football's oldest adages. One that's even a bit overblown in today's pass-first league. There's examples aplenty of successful team's lacking dominant ground games, some of which that also weren't great at stopping the run.
Still, sitting at 3-5, it's hard to ignore the Lions deficiency in the two areas commonly associated with winning.
The Lions rank 20th in rush yards per game and, despite averaging a healthy 4.5 yards per carry, have finished three of eight games with a sub 2.9 yards per run.
While the run game has been feast or famine, the run defense has consistently sprung leaks - ranking 30 out of 32 teams with 142.5 rush yards against per game.
When asked how the team could play more physical, Patricia's comments ultimately turned to these aspects of the game.
Below is his full quote, including interesting comments on how opponents are both taking away what the Lions have found successful while also catching them on similar plays that have burned them previously.
"The physical part of it is kind of an arbitrary word depending on what you’re talking about. There were some pretty big hits out there. Things like that nature, I think from the physical point of just controlling the game, maybe, would be a better way to put it," said Patricia. "From that standpoint, (we) definitely have to do a better job on all three phases of that.
"What happens is, as the season goes and you have some success in certain areas, obviously teams are going to gear up to try to stop those things that you do and maybe do it a little bit differently. We have to be able to handle those changes better than what we’re doing right now and put our players in a better situation to give them some success, especially with the offensive run game. And then with the defensive run game, (we’re) definitely seeing some repeat runs that have given us some problems.
"I would say with the exception—we had the first three runs of the game, which weren’t very good. And then we had a string of really good run plays, then we obviously had a catastrophic one. But other than that one, some things settled down, which were better from that standpoint. But we have to be consistent, that’s what it’s always about. I would say, with both the offensive and defensive line, I would say the point of emphasis we’re on right now is fundamentals.
"Some of our fundamentals yesterday got out of whack, some of our technique stuff was not necessarily where it needs to be on a consistent basis. So, it’s hard when you get to this time of year and you’re in heavy game-plan mode (with) limited amount of time to work on those things that we emphasized so much in training camp. We’re really trying to make sure we’re staying on top of those.
"We have to do a better job of really being detailed in some of those things right now and try to get that under control.”