Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia believes scaling back the defense will help, but it doesn’t seem to be improving fan morale.
The Detroit Lions have survived their bye week without incident. Despite the remarks of some critics, they didn’t find a way to lose without playing and they are getting healthier.
With the way things have gone around here, that has to be considered a positive. The next step is for the Lions to hit the field in Jacksonville and play like an actual NFL team.
Matt Patricia and his staff have to view this game as pivotal. Ironically, so are the Jaguars after losing to three straight winless teams. Something, not even the Lions have ever achieved.
Yet the schedule suddenly seems to be in Detroit’s favor. The possibility of the Lions making a run at the postseason is very real. Especially since there is an additional playoff spot up for grabs this year.
However, improved play by the defense is still critical. The Lions’ inability to stop the run or the pass, especially late in games when trying to hold the lead, means that the Jaguars see this as a very winnable game themselves.
One way or another, after the game is over there will be a huge sigh of relief from the winning locker room. Meanwhile, the losers may very well feel the wrath of ownership.
Is this a must-win for Detroit? I would have to say that Matt Patricia must certainly be feeling pressure to win. If the Lion’s bungle this game will Sheila Ford Hamp roll Patricia’s head out the door of the Allen Park facilities? None of us can say for sure how she would react, but if it is in true Ford fashion nothing will happen until the end of the season.
So this is a big game. Yet here we are in the third year of the Matt Patricia era and he has decided to scale back his defensive scheme in an attempt to make it function at least closer to how to it’s supposed to work. I’ve heard of teams going this course before, but I seldom recall the long-term results working.
The point is simple; if Matt Patricia believes it will work, then this is the only real option he has. But if it doesn’t, then the hangman’s noose may have just gotten tighter.