Two days after their annual Thanksgiving day game that saw the Detroit Lions get absolutely shellacked 41-25 by the Houston Texans, the Lions have fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Generally speaking, these kinds of moves get scooped by Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport, or another reporter. Nobody had this first. The Lions dropped a bomb on this hectic Saturday of football news and schedule changes, signaling that they are ready to move in a new direction.
Patricia, a former disciple of Bill Belichick, served as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots from 2012-2017 before being hired by the Lions as their coach before the 2018 season. Over the last two and a half seasons, Patricia went 13-29-1 — a very uninspiring winning percentage of .314. His first season was his best one, going 6-10. This year, after losing to a Houston Texans team that Bill O’Brien did his best job of ruining, the Lions fell to 4-7.
For having a defensive coordinator background, Patricia’s defense was absolutely awful. This season, the Lions have allowed the 30th most points, 27th most yards, and have generated only the 25th most turnovers in the NFL. Not great.
Bob Quinn, who was hired before the 2016 offseason as the general manager, has had five years to change the landscape of this organization and failed to do so, especially on the defensive side of the ball. With an offense led by Matthew Stafford and having a constant stream of good weapons at his disposal, having at least a serviceable defense would have given this organization a legitimate chance to contend. Clearly the Lions are ready for a change in scenery.
Stafford, arguably the most underrated quarterback in the NFL, is in the back nine of his career and is under contract through the 2022 season. His future should now be considered to be in question. It remains to be seen if the Lions feel like they can rebuild around him, or if they are interested in tearing it all down and starting over.
The Lions enter the final five weeks of the 2020 season with more questions than answers about their future. Hopefully they will find new leadership that will help the Lions stop Lionsing about annually.