What is the Lions’ identity?
The Detroit Lions have been also-rans for decades. If we were to be perfectly honest as to what their identity has been since the last time they were world champions back in 1957, it would have to be losers. And not ‘lovable losers’ like the Chicago Cubs. Frustrating losers like, they just can’t get this equation right and they are everyone’s punchline to a joke.
When Matt Patricia was asked the other day if there was anything positive that came out of the loss to the Bears, he mentioned that the team’s pad levels were good. Unfortunately, I think that statement speaks for itself.
Over the last 10 seasons with Matthew Stafford at the helm, these Lions have had the same identity regardless of who was coaching them; any chance of victory relies on Matthew’s right arm. It doesn’t matter what the coaches systems have been or if they were innately an offensive or defensive coach, it has always come back to Matthew Stafford.
Not even Tom Brady is asked to carry the Patriots as much as Stafford is asked to carry the Lions.
When Matt Patricia arrived he certainly wanted to utilize Matthew. There was no question about that, but the emphasis of what he wanted to develop here in Detroit was a tough defensive team that could run the ball on offense.
So far it has looked just like all the previous regimes as Patricia has turned to Stafford to save them while the defense outside of the second half of last year has not been good and the ground game continues to be underwhelming.
One can legitimately ask when anyone is going to come to Matthew’s aid. When will the defense shut down opposing offenses to win games? When will the rushing attack grind out yards and the clock on the way to demoralizing enemy defenses?
In short, when will the Lions find a winning identity? The concept of being a tough defensive team resonates with winning franchises. Effective ground games help increase a team’s odds of victory. If those could have been staples of Detroit’s arsenal this year in combination with Matthew’s very good season, then these Lions would probably be in first place and considered one of the teams to beat. At least until Matthew’s injury.