Why the Lions should have waited to fire Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions should have given Matt Patricia till the end of the season

The Detroit Lions have finally moved on from head coach Matt Patricia after a horrendous tenure in the Motor City which saw him combine to go 13-29-1. Subsequently, general manager Bob Quinn, the guy who brought in Patricia, was fired too.

While there’s no doubt their time was coming to and end and that they both deserved to be shown the door, the Lions should have waited till the conclusion of the season to let go of them.

When making the decision to bring Quinn and Patricia back at the media presser at the conclusion of last season, former Lions’ owner Martha Firestone Ford stated that she expected the team to be playoff relevant and play meaningful games in December of 2020.

While it would have been a hard path to get there with their current record of 4-7 and their tough upcoming schedule, the playoffs are still a slim possibility as they have yet to be officially eliminated with five games left to be played.

Waiting to fire Matt Patricia would’ve helped the Detroit Lions

Even though the Lions probably aren’t going to make the playoffs, the Detroit brass should’ve let Patricia play out the rest of his contract for this season.

As they most likely wouldn’t have made the postseason, the more losses the Lions pile up the better draft pick they’d receive next offseason. If the regular season ended today, Detroit would possess the ninth overall selection in the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft, holding the same record as the 4-7 Washington Football Team.

As the team suffers more losses, they get to move up the draft board to receive a better pick. As Patricia is prone to losing games, ownership could have let him coach the the team in hopes that they lose and get, if possible, a top-five pick in the upcoming draft. That way, they would be in a better position to select one of the draft’s premier players and give their new head coach more options.

With Patricia no longer coaching the team but under contract until the 2022 season, the Lions will  still be paying him to do basically nothing for the next year and a bit. While he shouldn’t have been brought back for next season, at least ownership gets their money’s worth by having him coach the team, no matter how poorly he does his job.

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In conclusion, I’m not saying that Matt Patricia deserved to be the head coach of the Detroit Lions anymore. He doesn’t. But the Lions’ brass should’ve at least waited until the bell rung after Week 17 to relieve him of his duties.