This has been a difficult year. Not just for Matt Patricia and the long suffering Lions fans who have pretty much seen this type of disappointment before, but for quarterback Matthew Stafford who has sort of done a Benjamin Button and regressed almost to the point of playing like a peewee leaguer.
Despite his faults, for the most part the fans have stood behind Stafford. They have given him support when he deserved it and even when he didn’t, but it would seem that the camel’s back has finally broken.
As my friend blurted out the other day, ‘why don’t the Lions just trade Stafford and get it over with?’
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The answer that is commonly given is that with his contract it is impossible to deal him, but the truth of the matter is that it could happen. It’s really not as impossible as most people think, but if it were to happen, it would most likely be after next season when the possibilities open up more.
So at the very least, we can probably expect him back under center next year and that will mean the Lions will most likely be scrambling to add pieces to the offense around him.
Another receiver, depth at running back, a tight end and at the minimum T.J. Lang‘s successor at right guard. Which means that all the plans for getting the defense to a point that they might help carry this team back to the playoffs is now very iffy.
If Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia still buy-in to Stafford as their franchise quarterback, then they will feel all the pressure to make him look like a franchise quarterback by giving him all the assistance he could possibly want.
That doesn’t mean it will work, but with the two-headed former New England Patriots in charge and betting all their chips on blue nine, it means that we shouldn’t be surprised if the sacrifices made this offseason are on defense.
Which in the long run only works against Matt Patricia’s success since the blueprint in his mind is a team built on a foundation of defense and balanced ball-control offense.
Great coaches have a way of working with what they have and making it as competitive as possible. Meanwhile Patricia is still trying to figure out the nuances of being a head coach, which means he has to stick to his blueprint to give himself the best chances of turning this team around.
Yet the utter and complete failure of this offense, while the defense has actually improved, means the corners being cut could very well ultimately be Patricia’s demise since all logic leads us to believe they will once again go heavy on offense this offseason.
And we’ve seen how that has worked.