The Detroit Lions already find themselves in a deep hole in the division, after a disastrous showing in all phases against Green Bay.
The season just started, and it already feels like yet another long season for the Detroit Lions. It goes beyond the 42-21 final score at Green Bay, beyond the rapid disintegration of another double-digit lead, even beyond the defense giving up another 500 yards that could have been a lot more if the Packers had felt like playing in the first quarter.
At this point, Matt Patricia must be wondering what a guy has to do to get fired around here. Having one of the worst defenses in Lions history (think about that) in 2019 wasn’t enough. Neither was sending most of his best defensive players packing rather than making any slight change to his personality or coaching style.
Dating back to last October, his teams have now dropped 14 out of the last 15 games, and Patricia joins Marty Mornhinweg and Rod Marinelli in the eleven-straight-loss club for inexperienced and under-qualified Lions’ head coaches.
After a typical offseason of manufactured optimism and some legitimately good moments against Chicago, there’s pretty much nothing that the Lions can hang their hats on following a Week 2 embarrassment at Lambeau Field. Now 9-24-1 in just over two years, the “If Only…” carousel of excuses has run out for Matt Patricia.
If only he had the right players for his system. If only there was a run game. If only Matthew Stafford were healthy. If only a call or a bounce had gone in our favor.
Is it time to admit that this isn’t a good fit?
The Lions looked poor in every single aspect on Sunday: offense, defense, coaching, special teams, situational awareness, discipline, talent. The woeful defense, which has given up 56 points in the last five quarters, is a given.
Here’s the remaining laundry list of blunders indicating that for all the injuries and other variety of excuses, this is a poorly coached football team.
- The 14-3 Lead: You think for a second that the Packers were worried when they fell behind early? You think for a second that the Lions kept their confidence and composure once Green Bay started to wake up? The 31-0 run in the middle quarters was nothing more or less than a switch being flipped by the Pack and a stunning lack of mental toughness from Detroit. This is the fifth time in a row that the Lions have built a double-digit lead only to blow it and lose, and the third straight against Green Bay.
- Matthew Stafford: Stafford played poorly, no way around that. Two decisions near his own goal line that a veteran quarterback simply should not be making played a large role in two Packer touchdowns. There was the sack at the one-yard line where he hung in the pocket and wouldn’t throw it away (compounded by his line holding and still giving up a sack), and the gift-wrapped pick-six from both a bad read and a weak throw.
- Abandoned run game: Adrian Peterson had 114 yards from scrimmage last week and ripped off a 25-yard run early against the Pack. He has been one of the precious few bright spots on the team, and he only got seven touches? Kerryon Johnson showed some early signs of life and only got eight?
- Will Harris: Back to back personal foul penalties to hand Aaron Rodgers a touchdown at the end of the first half, then a bad angle and missed tackle up the middle to hand Aaron Jones a touchdown at the start of the second half. The Aarons loved his contributions, but this was a game to forget for the second-year safety.
- Sunday’s “Only the Lions” moment: Last week Jamie Collins get thrown out of the game for using the ref to demonstrate that he felt his teammate was headbutted. You know, instead of saying to the ref, “I felt my teammate was headbutted.” This week, Jamal Agnew became the first football player I’ve ever seen get called for unnecessary roughness while making a fair catch! There’s nothing to laugh about with the way the team has started the season, but I have to at least find the humor in that.
The Lions are already two games out of first in the division, and they couldn’t even make a fair catch without committing a personal foul penalty on Sunday. Next, they’ll be traveling to face a red hot Arizona Cardinals team in a building where they have some bad memories lingering from a year ago. I’m not giving up on them quite yet, but they have some serious soul searching to do to have any hope for turning this thing around.
Do I think Matt Patricia is the person to do it? Only my opinion, but I’ve been pretty clear on my stance that it sure doesn’t look like it to me. Regardless, the poor defense is the least of the Detroit Lions’ concerns right now.