Detroit Lions: Matt Patricia’s done little to prove he deserves more time

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

With the Detroit Lions being officially eliminated from playoff contention, the focus turns to head coach Matt Patricia and if he deserves more time.

When the Detroit Lions faltered under first-year head coach Matt Patricia last season posting a 6-10 record, the team was given a pass. It takes time to establish a winning culture. After all, in Bill Belichick’s first season with the New England Patriots back in 2000, the Pats went 5-11.

Of course, Belichick is Patricia’s mentor as the latter spent six seasons as the Patriots defensive coordinator, helping to lead the team to two Super Bowl titles. But in Year Two, those similar paths diverged. In Belichick’s second season, New England posted an 11-5 record and eventually went on a playoff run that lead to the franchise’s first championship.

In Patricia’s second season in Detroit, the Lions have a 3-8-1 record and have already been eliminated from playoff contention with four games yet to be payed. The fact that Matt Patricia is not Bill Belichick isn’t breaking news.

But after losing their fifth straight game, the latest being a 24-20 defeat at the hands of their NFC North rivals, the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day, the Lions have once again all but cemented their place in the basement of the division.

And there is a real possibility Detroit posts a worse record in their second season under Patricia with upcoming contests against the 8-3 Minnesota Vikings, the 4-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 3-8 Denver Broncos, and the 8-3 Green Bay Packers.

With the postseason out of the equation, the focus shifts to 2020. Clearly, the Lions need to think about their possible draft position when weighing how to approach these final four contests. But both general manager Bob Quinn and Patricia likely see these games as a proving ground for keeping their jobs.

At this point it’s clear Patricia hasn’t shown the ability to lift this team to wins purely on his coaching prowess. And the offseason moves made by Quinn and company to help him in those efforts have only placed the franchise in a more dire situation, tying the Lions to expensive scheme fits like defensive end Trey Flowers and cornerback Justin Coleman for the foreseeable future.

What’s also clear are the incoming excuses. Poor player execution, an inability by the players to understand Patricia’s complicated defensive scheme, quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s back injury, the time it takes to implement a winning culture, it’s a process, blah, blah, blah.

Next. 5 potential coaching replacements for Matt Patricia. dark

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the results as the NFL is a results-driven business. Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia have provided poor results, having lost 64 percent of their games together so far. (18 losses in 28 games)

Their future with the Detroit Lions should be judged accordingly. Whether this defeated duo has a case to justify getting one more year to prove their process works will ultimately be decided by the honorable Martha Firestone Ford, owner of the Lions. And these last four games could represent their closing argument.