For Darrell Bevell, Lions head coach gig goes through NFC North

Darrell Bevell, Detroit Lions (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Darrell Bevell, Detroit Lions (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

The road for the Detroit Lions’ job for Darrell Bevell goes through the NFC North

After nearly three years of bitter disappointment, the Detroit Lions finally parted ways with head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. And in doing so they handed head-coaching duties to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for the remainder of the season.

It will essentially be a five-game job interview for Bevell, who has never been a head coach on any level before. The 50-year old started his NFL career in 2000 as the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers. Before landing in Motown in 2019, Bevell had spent years as the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings.

During a media interview on Monday, the Lions’ new interim head coach confirmed that Team President and CEO Rod Wood indicated that Bevell would be a candidate to become the official head coach in Detroit for 2021. And he wants to take full advantage of the opportunity in front of him.

But if Bevell is hoping that the next five games will be his pathway to officially becoming the head coach of the Lions beyond this season, it will be a trial by fire. More specifically, he’ll have to conquer the NFC North with all three divisional rivals still on the schedule.

The Lions are set to play the 5-6 Chicago Bears in the Windy City at Soldier Field on Sunday. Then they’ll return home to Ford Field for a matchup against the 8-3 Green Bay Packers. Then, in the final game of the regular season, the Lions will welcome in the 5-6 Minnesota Vikings at home in Detroit.

Squeezed between those divisional contests is a trip to Nashville to take on the 8-3 Tennessee Titans in Week 15. Then it’s an unusual Saturday game against quarterback Tom Brady and the 7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field in Week 16.

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If Darrell Bevell wants to retain the Detroit Lions’ head coaching job in 2021, he’ll likely have to do something this team hasn’t done all year. And that’s defeating a divisional rival.