Eagles desperately turning to former Lions head coach Matt Patricia to run their defense

In a move that feels sure to backfire, the Philadelphia Eagles will have Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia take over running their defense.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, Matt Patricia was put in charge of the New England Patriots' offense last year. It went just as you'd expect, and he eventually landed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a senior defensive assistant.

Entering their Week 15 game, Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks, the Eagles have allowed 34, 42 and 33 points over their last three games with 20-plus point losses in the last two. Their pass defense has had a huge decline this season, from No. 1 in the league last year to 28th entering Week 15 this year and they entered the week 28th in scoring defense.

Sean Desai, in his first year as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, is easy to point the finger at.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network basically reported it at the same time on Sunday. Per their reports, Desai is being demoted and moved up to the coaches' booth. Patricia will take over the defensive play calling on the sideline, relaying calls to the green-dot player on the field. Per Rapoport, Desai will retain the title of defensive coordinator.

The change was not evident during the week, as Desai did the mid-week defensive coordinator's press conference on Wednesday. But Patricia will now essentially be the new defensive coordinator, for at least one game anyway.

Later on Sunday, the Eagles confirmed the move.

Eagles are fooling themselves if they think Matt Patricia will fix their defense

The Lions, or more specifically then-general manager Bob Quinn as he tapped into his New England roots, bought into Patricia as a "defensive guru" when he was hired as head coach in 2018.

The Lions' defense actually wasn't awful in 2018, finishing 10th in total defense and 16th in scoring defense. But the wheels fell off after that, when they finished 31st in total defense, last in pass defense and 26th in scoring defense in 2019. Patricia didn't make it past Thanksgiving of his third season in Detroit, with a defense that finished dead-last in yardage and points allowed.

But apparently with a lack of better options to try to get their defense on a better track, and seemingly a perception if Desai had any answers he'd have found them already, the Eagles will give Patricia a shot at calling the defensive plays.

A conspiracy theorist might suggest Patricia got in the ear of Eagles' head coach Nick Sirianni to suggest he take over the defensive play calling from Desai.


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