Meanwhile, the offense still appears to be a work in progress. They were workmanlike in their approach to running the ball and under the circumstances of not having Kerryon Johnson, their top threat in the backfield, they did as good a job as we could expect against a tough Bears defense.
Their 111 yards rushing as a team didn’t set the world on fire, but was effective enough to make the Bears conscience of the Lions ground game.
Meanwhile, the passing game was awful, to be honest. I understand the dinking and dunking with short, quick passes because the Lions offensive line is unable to protect Matthew Stafford, but none of the Lions receivers were able to gain much separation and missing Marvin Jones hurt even more than Kerryon Johnson’s absence did.
And if we’re being honest, Matthew Stafford, who was the number one overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, was outplayed by Chase Daniel who was snubbed in that very same draft and signed as a free agent with Washington afterward.
Now, this is not to say that Daniel would be an upgrade to Stafford at the position, but a lesser quarterback with the help of good receivers and a very good defense was able to take advantage of a poor Lions team.
Stafford who is the franchise quarterback was unable to carry the Lions to victory, despite getting a serviceable ground game.
The holes on this team are plentiful and filling them all over the course of one offseason will be too much to ask. Players that had performed well under Jim Caldwell seem to be nothing shy of lost in Matt Patricia’s system. One has to wonder whether it really is just a poor fit or if there is a coaching problem.
This next offseason Bob Quinn will try to upgrade the defensive personnel and give Matt Patricia a chance to turn things around on that side of the ball.
Meanwhile, there are certainly needs on the offensive side of the ball, but probably the biggest is getting the most out of whatever talent they have on the roster. Will Matt Patricia decide to let Jim Bob Cooter go and find a more innovative offensive coordinator?
Despite the odds being given that the Lions have a 1% chance of reaching the playoffs, let’s call it what it is; the season is over. Now is the time to see if Patricia can at least get his team to compete on a weekly basis and maybe even show some facsimile of competency.
At this point, no matter how it ends, season one of the Matt Patricia era will be considered a disappointment due to the high expectations. The key now is getting the most out what he has for the remainder of this season.
Hopefully, with an influx of talent that can run his defense and an innovative offensive system, next year will be better. Otherwise, the wolves will really be howling at his door.