Facing criticism and questions about his job security, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia won a game for the first time in 11 months on Sunday.
The Lions' 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals, though, didn't provide him with a sense of relief.
"I don't ride the roller coaster. I just got to stay consistent," Patricia said. "I think it's hard to lead if you ride the roller coaster. I think it's hard to exist in this world of competitive football if you ride that roller coaster. I think when you do that, you just try to hope it stops when you're at the high point and not the down point.
"For us, it's just about being consistent. It's early in the season. We're trying to get better. We're trying to learn, you know. There's a lot of plays in this game we've got to do better, so we're going to go back to work and try to improve. That's the bottom line. It's the NFL. It's every week."
Patricia talked about similar things with his team in the week leading up to the game against Arizona after Detroit had double-digit leads against Chicago and Green Bay and lost them both. Not being affected by the ebbs and flows of a game was something multiple players and Patricia talked about.
Before the 2020 season, then-Lions owner Martha Ford and current Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said they expected major improvement this season, including playing meaningful games in December.
When Hamp took over ownership in June, she said "major improvement is the goal." Then the Lions started 0-2, losing in similar fashion to many of Detroit's defeats in the first two seasons under Patricia.
Then, on Sunday, the Lions had a fourth-quarter comeback under Patricia for only the second time in his tenure, which now stands at 10-24-1. Detroit, meanwhile, had 11 fourth-quarter leads evaporate in two-plus seasons with Patricia at the helm.
After, though, Patricia deflected attention, instead focusing on what it meant for his players, who hadn't won a game since an Oct. 27, 2019, win over the New York Giants. Patricia specifically mentioned the energy and joy he saw in the locker room after the win that made him happy for his team.
"Love to win. Love it. It's great. It was awesome. Love it for the guys," Patricia said. "But, you know, there's a lot to learn from too. If you go into the approach that everything's great, from that standpoint you're missing a great opportunity to get better and to learn from what happened yesterday.
"And certainly in yesterday's game we made the play at the end of the game to win, and give credit to the players, they are the ones who did it. But for coaches, we have to stay consistent and just try to give these guys every tool we can to get better each week."