Detroit Lions: Matt Patricia or Bob Quinn; Whose seat is hotter?

Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions
Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Defensive deficiencies

Matt Patricia rode into Detroit on his reputation as the defensive guru who oversaw the New England Patriots defense. Several former and even current Patriots players credit Patricia for making them the players they became. It was upon this very point that the belief in Patricia making the Lions winners had the fans buying in.

Losing his first game as a head coach to the New York Jets, who were quarterbacked by then-rookie Sam Darnold, set the stage for how last season would go. Despite the defense picking up steam after the acquisition of Damon Harrison, the Lions still finished 6-10 and were abysmal on offense.

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This past offseason Patricia hired new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who has made some mistakes, but in general, revitalized the offense. Until injury sidelined Matthew Stafford, he played like an MVP candidate.

Unfortunately, for the second straight year, Kerryon Johnson has been sidelined by injury and the running game is still a work in progress although Bo Scarbrough has played well since being given the opportunity.

In the past with coaches like Jim Schwartz and Jim Caldwell, there have been definite game management issues.

Under Matt Patricia, the biggest critique I could give is that it seems like he has done very little in-game adjustments that could turn the tide in Detroit’s favor.

This brings us to the real issue at hand; game preparation. After finishing last year so strong on defense, it has been awful this season. The Lions have led in every game they have played this year, which is to Patricia’s credit that he has his players battling hard for him, but the defense has been unable to close out their opponents.

Remember that defense was the reason fans believed he could turn this franchise around and yet the defense hasn’t been able to. Now granted there have been numerous injuries that have hindered the defensive line this season, but in general, this group that was supposed to be a strength has let the whole team down.

Patricia’s defense uses multiple personnel sets and is built upon creating favorable matchups for the defense. All of which is fine in theory, but if the D-line and linebackers don’t fill their runs fits correctly, it allows opposing runners to gain all kinds of yards which happened frequently earlier this season.

Also if the defensive line doesn’t pressure the passer, since Patricia’s basic defensive scheme isn’t to blitz but drop the linebackers into coverage, then opposing quarterbacks have all day to do whatever they want. And they have.