Detroit Lions: 3 biggest disappointments of 2020

Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

#1. Matt Patricia’s third-straight losing season

Undoubtedly, the biggest disappointment for the Detroit Lions this season is head coach Matt Patricia. The former Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots came into the Motor City like a bull in a china shop.

Despite inheriting a winning team that had gone 9-7 the previous two season, Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn went about the business of dismantling everything former head coach Jim Caldwell had built. And they did it all in the name of culture change.

The duo went about the business of disowning several key contributors from those successful teams, and injecting former Patriot players in their place. For three years they tried to make Detroit into New England Midwest. But in the end, both Quinn and Patricia were shown the door after posting three-straight losing records including 6-10 in 2018, 3-12-1 in 2019, and 4-7 so far this season.

Maybe the biggest letdown of them all is, at times, Lions’ fans had reason for hope. After Patricia’s first season in Detroit, the defense seemed to be clicking following the successful midseason trade for defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

And last season, early victories against the Los Angeles Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles, plus going toe-to-toe with the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week Four were seen as early signs of the process actually working. And who knows what would have happened if quarterback Matthew Stafford hadn’t missed eight games due to injury.

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Unfortunately, 2020 revealed our worst fears about Matt Patricia, Bob Quinn, and the current regime in the Motor City. After all the changes, all the ex-Patriot signings, all the high-draft selections, all the coaching changes … the Detroit Lions, once again, find themselves in the basement of the NFC North and at the beginning of yet another rebuild. That’s the biggest disappointment of them all.