Get it right or pack your bags
NFL coaches come in all shapes and sizes. They all have different backgrounds, whether it be as defensive specialists or offensive guru’s or even occasionally having been special teams coordinators. However, one way or another, they have no chance to succeed as a head coach unless their team plays that specialty well.
Unfortunately, Matt Patricia’s defense has not been anywhere close to what we all expected and even far below average. It has cost them numerous games. More games than the inconsistent rushing attack.
I think we can all agree that if Matthew Stafford was healthy in addition to the boost that Bo Scarbrough has given the ground game, then the Lions offense would be quite potent. They still need to address the offensive line, but in general, the offense would be pretty prolific.
But defense wins championships. If nothing else NFL history has proven this fact out. Almost every team that has won the Super Bowl was led by a very good to elite defense. The fact that the Lions are actually further away from being a good defense than before Patricia arrived is alarming.
The NFL insiders say that it is expected that Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will be back for their third season together next year. We should also expect it to be their do or die season.
The move that Matt Patricia made to hire Darrell Bevell to run the offense has been a success. Having Stafford on the sidelines injured has certainly hurt it, but almost all NFL teams would be dead in the water without their starting quarterback.
This means if Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn are going to survive, they will not only need a very productive offseason from Quinn acquiring more talent for the Lions, but Patricia will need to take a long hard look at his defensive assistants and scheme and be willing to make changes.
Both Quinn and Patricia are sitting pretty squarely on some red hot seats, but for the Lions to achieve the type of success they expect to, it will be up to Matt Patricia to fix the Lions defense starting with his staff and scheme.
I’m not suggesting that everything has to change, but Patricia will need to be flexible in searching for a winning solution. For the Lions to become contenders it is squarely upon Matt Patricia’s shoulders to solve this problem and field a team that can stop opponents.
So ultimately, it’s Matt Patricia that is on the hotter seat and unless he can fix this defensive conundrum, then the Lions will have no chance to play like contenders next season or reach the playoffs. And if they don’t, we can expect the end of Bob Quinn/Matt Patricia era because Martha Firestone Ford will clean house and start this whole thing all over again.