Patricia era is another disastrous chapter for the Detroit Lions

The Matt Patricia era is another disastrous chapter for the Detroit Lions

Yahoo Sports Dan Wetzel,Yahoo Sports Sun, Nov 24 9:01 PM EST


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Less than two years ago, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn announced the firing of coach Jim Caldwell. Quinn’s reasoning was that Caldwell wasn’t delivering enough victories and the Lions were stalled out as good, but not great.

“I think we have more than a competitive team to be competing for championships,” Quinn said. “… At the end of the day, it’s wanting to take this team to the next level … To me, that’s winning championships, that’s winning playoff games and that’s winning the Super Bowl.”

Bold talk. Unapologetic talk.

This is the NFL, not Pop Warner, so demanding more, especially of a franchise that hasn’t achieved anything for decades and was in the prime of quarterback Matthew Stafford, was almost a breath of fresh air.

Caldwell’s record in Detroit? It was 36-28, with two playoff appearances. He’d just put together consecutive 9-7 seasons.

That wasn’t good enough for the new-look Lions. OK, then. Go big.

Quinn, who arrived from the front office of New England in 2016, brought Matt Patricia, another Patriots product, to Detroit to deliver that proverbial “next level” that Caldwell couldn’t.

So what now? What does Detroit do after the Lions fell Sunday to hapless Washington 19-16 and ran their record to a pathetic 3-7-1?

Last year, Patricia took those 9-7 Caldwell teams and led them to 6-10. Six wins would feel like a miracle this year. The bearded, pencil-in-the-ear coach is now 9-17-1 overall and going nowhere fast.

“I think for me, I absolutely hate losing, I’m a super competitive person,” Patricia said Sunday. “It gets me.”

It probably does. No one is suggesting Patricia wants to lose.

Losing also got to Caldwell too, just not as often because he won more than he actually lost.

Quinn once lamented that Caldwell’s record was padded by beating only lousy teams.

“We didn’t beat really good teams,” Quinn said back when he dumped Caldwell. “Our record against the better teams has not been that good.”

He wasn’t wrong. Caldwell, both in Detroit and Indianapolis previously, often struggled in the big games.

At least he got to the big games.

Matt Patricia, right, is introduced as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions by general manager Bob Quinn|640x425.75498575498574

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn (left) fired Jim Caldwell to bring in Matt Patricia (right) in 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Beat the good teams? Detroit can’t even beat the bad teams anymore. Washington is awful. Even with Stafford hurt, the Lions should have won.

Is Quinn going to fire Patricia? Is Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford going to fire both of them?

She should. She probably won’t.

These are the Lions. They not only hired Matt Millen to run the team once-upon-a-time because he sounded good calling games on television, they even extended him despite clear proof he had no idea what he was doing. That ended with an 0-16 season.

About the only guy who the Ford Family ever held to a high standard was Jim Caldwell.

Thanksgiving is Thursday, which is the franchise’s annual moment of national relevance. In reality, much of that is people around the country asking why this forever losing franchise gets to cling to the coveted 12:30 time slot each Turkey Day and force America to watch it.

It’s a reasonable question.

This is a franchise that has won a single playoff game since 1957, a level of futility that defies belief. The only reason they aren’t famous for their heartbreak (the way losers such as the Cleveland Browns or Chicago Cubs have been) is because they never even get in position to have their heart broken.

They just always lose.

Perhaps the two best players the franchise have ever known — Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson — both retired rather than continue to play for them.

As for Thanksgiving, it’s Detroit’s day. The Lions all but invented the concept of Thanksgiving football. In 1934, they began staging games after Detroit’s traditional Thanksgiving Day Parade in an attempt to draw fans who were milling about downtown into watching the relatively new concept of professional football. Other than during World War II, they haven’t stopped.

They never will. So they are rightfully on national television.

That’s the most, and perhaps only, endearing story about the franchise.

This season is a far more accurate picture, bad decisions that beget more bad decisions that beget bad seasons upon bad seasons.

When 9-7 isn’t enough, but 3-7-1 might be.

So here comes another Thanksgiving, and another turkey on display from Detroit.

You just gotta trust the process.

Can someone tell Quinn and Patricia to “do your job!”

”They just always lose.“

F me. It’s so true.

so…I would agree this year shit the bed, however.

what happens last year if we have bevell? Honestly, I think we’re at least a 10 win team. then people would point toward the injuries this year as us having the record we do.

last year the 9ers, bills, cowboys, probably both bear games but I’ll leave it as a split. so there’s 4 wins instead of losses and we’re 10-6 and make the #6 seed for the playoffs.

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Bevell equalling 4 wins feels quite high to me. I like what the guy’s bringing, but this is the Lions. They just would’ve found different ways to lose those games.

I don’t think so. our offense absolutely killed us last year and all those games I mentioned were 1 score games, heck 1 field goal games. bevell gets us there, probably because all the opposing defenses aren’t teeing off on plays they knew.

The defense struggled at first, so I think the 49ers still score a bunch of points and win that game. The offense played relatively well against the Cowboys, so that game might have resulted the same way.

Here is a weird one though. Do we win the Jets game? It was the offense that cost us that game, and the real difference in the final score was a complete meltdown in the 3rd quarter.

that’s an interesting thought. the jets won because they knew what we were doing. bevell had us as the #5 offense with stafford in, and I’d bet he doesn’t throw those pick 6s that the jets were just sitting on.

It’s unfortunate because our defense was playing decently. I want to chalk it up to injuries this year and MP overthinking himself in not being more aggressive to cover up the weaknesses from injuries. I’ve noticed when we bring pressure it helps the defense.

my guess is he stays and so does BQ but I think next year is make it or break it.

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Didn’t we just have six def players starting in the Washington game that were not our starters?

Hard to win with that much depth starting due to injuries

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I thought we were keeping the Thanksgiving Day game so that everyone else could be thankful that they aren’t fans of the Detroit Lions.


My shovel is sharp and my pick is sharp and my will is outstanding.


What about your pad level?


Patricia will and should get another year. I see improvements all over this team despite anecdotal issues at the moment. He was saddled with JBC, but the offense is much better with his choice in Bevell. The defense was good enough to beat KC and GB if not for referee intervention. Injuries to Slay and much of the DL has the defense hurting. The improvement and future is here.

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