Detroit Lions: Matt Patricia has proven his hiring was a mistake

Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia - Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia - Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Detroit Lions enter their bye, it’s time to admit to hiring the wrong head coach

Following their third loss in four games, the Detroit Lions are once again staring at another failed season under Matt Patricia. And the third-year head coach is coming under fire Monday after a comment he made following the team’s 35-29 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

His controversial answer came during the Lions’ postgame presser where Patricia was asked why people should believe he’s the right coach to turn things around in Detroit. The man responsible for just ten wins over the team’s last 36 games, responded that there was a lot of work to do when he arrived in the Motor City. And that work continues.

The obvious problem with that statement is the fact the Lions were a winning football team before Patricia arrived in Detroit back in 2018. Under former head coach Jim Caldwell, the team never posted a record worse than 7-9 and made the playoffs twice. In fact, the Lions posted a 9-7 record before Caldwell was fired.

Under Patrica, the Lions posted a 6-10 record in 2018 and 3-12-1 the year after. Now, Detroit has started the new season 1-3 with two of their losses coming to divisional rivals. And with a mandate from ownership that this team be a playoff contender in 2020, the writing appears to be on the wall. Simply put, both Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn have failed to do what was originally intended.

The Lions moved on from Caldwell at the end of the 2017 regular season primarily due to his lack of playoff success. Despite earning two trips to the postseason in his four-year stint, Detroit was unable to win a single playoff game. The hiring of Patricia, a heralded Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator from the New England Patriots, was supposed to help Detroit get over the playoff hump.

Instead, the duo of Quinn and Patricia went about the business of deconstructing the roster, coaching staff, and the momentum that was built under Caldwell. And they did so all in the name of a culture change. Instead of building on the foundation that was already a winning football team, Quinn and Patricia decided to essentially rebuild. And the poor results speak for themselves.

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While the Detroit Lions’ brass may believe Matt Patricia can still turn things around, fans have seen little evidence worth holding out hope for. What the last three seasons have proven is that Patricia was the wrong man for the job in Detroit as he’s failed in every way to make the team better than it was under Jim Caldwell.