The defense rests
No defense is perfect and even the great ones in NFL history have given up a lead at some point and lost a game. However, the Lions defense has struggled on every level. They couldn’t stop the run for the second straight season after it looked like that had been fixed the second half of last year and they even make rookie passers look like veteran aerial artists.
No matter how you try to spin it, it all comes back to Matt Patricia. Yes, I agree that there is a learning curve for any coach, especially one who was never a head coach on any level before becoming one for the first time in the NFL.
But you do need to at least excel at whatever your specialty is. In the case of Matt Patricia that would be the defense.
Now admittedly the Lions have been without Matthew Stafford the last three games, but they still went 3-4-1 in games he started this year and that was with Matthew playing at a near MVP level. How does any team have a quarterback playing so well and not have a winning record with them in the lineup?
And while we’re at it, the Lions have led in each of the three games that Jeff Driskel has started too. All the defense needed to do is close out a couple of bad offenses like the Bears and Redskins to at least win two of those contests.
Matt Patricia is a smart guy, regardless of what some in the press have said about him, but his defense only works if the defensive line dominates the line of scrimmage and constantly pressures opposing passers. Something this team has struggled at this season.
Except for the game against the Oakland Raiders, the Lions defense has played the run better over the last five weeks, but they still can’t get to the passer and they still continue to allow enemy quarterbacks to do whatever they want.
If we are to be honest with ourselves, the Redskins could have blown out the Lions if Dwayne Haskins hadn’t missed several key passes last Sunday. We could not only be talking about a loss to a bad team but a blowout.
I have felt all along that Martha Firestone Ford will bring both general manager Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia back for next season but after an embarrassing loss to Washington, who will most likely not win another game this year, if the Lions lose to the Bears today, that will probably doom Detroit to a season sweep by their divisional foes.
Which means that all bets are off about what Mrs. Ford will do next. Her late husband didn’t like being embarrassed, even if he was slow to act upon it. Yet Mrs. Ford doesn’t like it any more than he did and has proven she is more apt to act upon such situations.
So is Matt Patricia coaching for his life today? Maybe, but if he hasn’t been able to get this squad to close out games so far this season, what makes any of us think they can today? Happy Thanksgiving to loyal Lions fans everywhere. You really deserve better than this.