In their 35-29 loss to the Saints last night, Detroit gave up a double-digit lead for the fourth time in five games and have now lost 14 of their past 16 games stretching back to 2019 under Matt Patricia and his staff.
Detroit has started the 2020 season 1-3, with their lone win coming over the Cardinals in a dramatic 26-23 win with a field goal as time expired. That win snapped an 11-game losing streak that stretched back to last season.
Patricia, the former defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick in New England, was hired with the hopes of bringing the franchise to the next level. He inherited a team that had just put together back-to-back 9-win seasons and second place finishes in the NFC North under Jim Caldwell.
The inability to close out games in year three under Patricia has the Detroit fan base unsettled, and the fan base hasn't been shy about that fact on social media. It could be argued that Patricia took over the Lions in the best shape the franchise had been in over the last few decades. Caldwell went 11-5 his first year in 2014, before going 7-9 and then 9-7 in back-to-back years before he was fired. Prior to Caldwell, going back to 2000, the Lions have won 9 games or more just three times.
Patricia has just 10 wins total in 36 games with the team, going 6-10 his first season in 2018, followed by a disappointing 3-12 finish in 2019 before their 1-3 start to this season.
Back in June, longtime Lions owner Martha Ford handed the reigns of the team to her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp - who noted when she took over the team that she planned to put her own stamp on the franchise. Could bringing in her choice of head coach be just what she means?
"We are trying our best to change this win-loss record," Hamp shared via Crains Detroit upon taking over the team back in late June. "I do think we're on a good path. I can guarantee you nobody hates to lose more than me and my family."
She also notes in that article that she expected "major improvement" from Patricia and the staff in year three.
Adding to the frustration for fans have been some of Patricia's rather off-putting answers to media questions. After yesterday's loss, Patricia was asked why people should still believe he is the right coach to turn the franchise around and he responded, "When I came to Detroit, there was a lot of work to do. That's what we're trying to do." Just before, and just after providing that answer, Patricia filled the space with coaching cliches right on par with what you expect from his legendary former boss in New England.
See Patricia's full answer unfold in the clip.
The Lions have a bye this upcoming weekend. 13 days to prepare for the Jaguars. Will Hamp decide now is the time for change?
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.