The Detroit Lions gave away the opener despite Adrian Petersen’s heroics, but what kind of day did Matt Patricia have?
Last Sunday, the Detroit Lions did what they have done best for the last 60 plus years; they let down their fans. And it was about as agonizing as possible.
Since 1957, this franchise really hasn’t come close to getting it right. For those who want to point out January 5, 1992 when the Lions humiliated Dallas in the playoffs and advanced to the NFC Championship game as the possible exception, I’m sorry but getting a big playoff win means nothing when you’re humiliated the following week, proving you had no right to be playing for the conference championship to begin with.
But that team was definitely superior to what the Lions have fielded the last two years and last Sunday. The reason? Because while they weren’t great on defense, they were at least competitive and got stops. Except in the NFC Championship against Washington.
So many fans are enamored by high powered offenses like the Kansas City Chiefs, but they won it all last year because they are competitive on defense. For an encore, they stuffed the Houston Texans in their opener.
While the Lions offense is improving and actually scored enough points to win last Sunday if they had an even average fourth quarter by their defense, the ability of this franchise to turn themselves around will rest almost completely on the shoulders of the defense getting Matt Patricia’s scheme right.
It really doesn’t get any simpler. Defense still wins championships, despite the NFL’s rule book being completely in favor of offensive fireworks.
Yet there were two key figures from Sunday’s agonizing loss to the Bears that have drawn the most talk. One for how well he did, the other for how much it is believed that he has let this franchise down. Both may also be gone when the season is over.