Sink or swim: Where do the Detroit Lions go from here?

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 eliminated from playoff contention, they’re left with a decision. Do they tank for Chase Young or try to win to boost morale?

With the Detroit Lions being eliminated from playoff contention, this sparks a question for the organization. Do they tank for a good draft pick or do they continue to fight? It’s a dividing question, as some think tanking is the best option, while others think playing for pride is just as important.

Sitting at 3-8-1, it’s pretty blatant to some people that tanking is essentially the only option for the Lions. I’m already seeing #TankForChase rallies on Twitter, with the Chase being Chase Young, the star defensive end from Ohio State.

Considering the defensive struggles for the Lions this season, tanking for Chase Young doesn’t seem like a bad option at all. The Detroit defense is currently ranked 25th by Pro Football Reference, giving up 25.3 points per game. They have little to no pass rush, which in turn, forces the defensive backs to cover for a period of time that just isn’t possible.

Being a Detroit Lions fan my whole life, I see the potential benefit from tanking. But that’s they key word, potential. Just because you get a top pick doesn’t mean your organization is going to immediately improve. There have been tons of underwhelming top picks both for Detroit, and for other teams around the league over the years.

To continue playing devil’s advocate, you have to look at it from the players’ perspective to. They aren’t going to purposely go out there every Sunday and throw the game. You have some guys trying to make a name for themselves like Lions running back, Bo Scarbrough. I don’t think you’ll see him purposely coughing up the ball, or intentionally falling short of the first down marker.

It’s just not in a player’s DNA to go out there on national television and not try. There’s too much pride, and too much at stake for a professional athlete to go out there and purposely embarrass themselves to help get a better pick in the draft. Some of them might not even be there next season, let alone try to prepare for it by “tanking.”

To add in another variable, tanking isn’t a good option for head coach Matt Patricia. With Patricia being 9-18-1 in almost two seasons, losing out would not make a good case for him to deserve another year in Detroit. He’s already on the hot seat, so you know he will do everything in his power to win from here on out.

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I personally think it’s in the Detroit Lions best interest to try to win as many games as you can. I know people want to tank for Chase Young, but you have to look at the bigger picture here. You have a head coach who’s already on the hot seat, so you already know he’s going to try to win.

Because of the team’s struggles, there are players that are mentally checking out. The last thing Matt Patrica needs is a divided locker room. Winning down this final stretch will have a huge effect on morale for not only the organization, but the fanbase as well.