Detroit Lions: Only wins will vindicate Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia was recently ranked 24th out of the 26 returning head coaches in the NFL, and only one thing will change that.

We are now less than a week away from the Detroit Lions opening training camp. It’s practically here. But the euphoria of Lions football has often been tempered by failure on the field to meet expectations.

Last year the Honolulu Blue and Silver faithful couldn’t have been any more excited about the 2018 campaign. They had brought in a literal rocket scientist to lead this sad-sack franchise to the promised land. Unfortunately, the Lions underachieved and finished the year 6-10 leaving many fans with more questions than answers.

Now a year later general manager Bob Quinn has provided his hand-picked head coach, Matt Patricia, with a roster more capable of playing the complex multiple-defense system he brought with him from New England. Patricia has brought in new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, and been supplied with much more talent at tight end, as well as more depth overall offensively.

So the expectations are once again sky-high.

While the roster isn’t perfect, it has enough talent, if properly managed by Matt Patricia and his staff, to make a run to the playoffs. Then slay the specter of 1991 and actually win a game there.

That should be the minimum goal for these Lions.

But now as we prepare the journey to begin, analyst Elliot Harrison, recently posted his NFL head coach power rankings for all returning NFL head coaches from last year. Of the 26 that will be back on the sidelines this season, Harrison believes 23 of them rank higher than Patricia.

Matt Patricia’s rocky first season was a combination of his own learning curve on the job not going as fast as either he or the fans would like it to, major personnel changes that had to be made in order for this team to be able to successfully run his system and what seemed to be a luke-warm locker room which didn’t fully buy into what Patricia was selling.

The challenge is to now turn it all around.