Matthew Stafford, Matt Patricia have plenty of fans outside of Detroit
By Robert Jones
The Detroit Lions may not have been in contention for the Super Bowl this year, but Stafford and Patricia have plenty of support from NFL insiders.
The Detroit Lions season was pretty much over on opening night when they lost at home on Monday Night Football to the New York Jets and their rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold.
The magic that was expected to be brought to Detroit by Matt Patricia never emerged and instead, the Lions muddled through one of their typically disappointing seasons. Which has led the press and fans to call Patricia a fraud that was in over his head.
Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford had the worst non-injury season of his career. The fans and press roasted both and proclaimed its game over. Time to fire Patricia after one season and trade Stafford, replacing him with anyone else.
Lions fans are long-suffering and tired of waiting for a winner. Yet the solution that most Lions fans are jumping on is another re-build from the ground up. Which is exactly what they would have on their hands if they traded Stafford and brought in a new coach.
That scenario would also include growing pains that would most likely be just as painful, if not worse, than the disappointing season the Lions just finished.
When you survey this roster and look at the needs to be filled, then consider the improvements that need to occur with any holdovers from this season, a list that is prominently headed by Stafford, it seems like quite the daunting task to stay the course instead of just pulling the plug.
It also becomes a little murkier when you consider that not only will Matt Patricia’s new additions to the coaching staff need to be big hits, but Patricia himself has to be better as well.
From the moment Patricia gets his first opportunity to work with his players again at O.T.A’s through the completion of next season, he will need to elevate his game. Keeping his core beliefs intact, but learning from his mistakes.
But if this week’s Super Bowl media fest in Atlanta has told us anything, it’s that there are plenty of observers that believe both Matthew Stafford and Matt Patricia can do it.