Here we are, yet again, with the Detroit Lions.
For the third season in a row, we’re watching another listless iteration of a Lions team under the direction of New England Patriots disciples. Think it can’t get any worse? Just keep watching.
Week 9 Vikings-Lions Song of the Game: “Worse” by Snoh Aalegra
Gonna fall apart, you’re gonna break your heart
It’s over for Matt Patricia’s time in Detroit. As a head coach, for every step he’s made in the right direction, he’s taken three steps back and shoved his foot so far in his mouth it’s made it literally impossible to root for the guy. While he’s busy establishing a culture, he’s critiquing people’s posture. While he’s busy getting the right players for his system, he’s patting himself on the back for accomplishments five years in the past. It’s tired, it’s broken, it’s completely fallen apart, and it’s time to move on from this mess.
Hey mister, in the corner of my eye
Would you mind to share your time?
Maybe give me some advice? Yeah
Hey mister, if I tell you what’s on my mind
If I share you some of my light
Would you kindly share your knowledge?
When asked why the Lions haven’t improved over the two and a half years of Patricia’s tenure as head coach, it’s the same tired response: “For us it’s about 2020 right now, that’s where we are, we’re just trying to, obviously, we got a lot to get better on this week coming off of yesterday’s game.”
The Lions defense was absolutely taken to task against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9. The Vikings averaged 8.9 yards per play. Kirk Cousins, who’s been very pedestrian this year outside of garbage time, had a passer rating of 141.7, completing 13-of-20 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns—easily his best performance of the year. Dalvin Cook averaged 9.1 yards per carry. He had a 70-yard touchdown run—you know, the one where the Lions only had 10 players on the field because their left defensive end was nowhere to be found.
Guys, you're not going to believe this, but on Cook's 70-yard TD, Lions had 10 men on the field. pic.twitter.com/bEG5m5QSFq— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) November 8, 2020
If I were to remove this one run from Dalvin’s total, he still averaged 6.4 yards a carry. The Lions had no answers for Minnesota’s offense, but it didn’t stop there.
“It’s only gonna get worse, it’s only gonna get worse
Enjoy your time, it’s only gonna get worse”
Do you mind it if I ask why?
“Here’s the thing about life, it’s only gonna get worse”
By all accounts, the strength of this team was supposed to be their offense. Over Bob Quinn’s tenure as general manager, he’s invested heavily into building the offensive line, and there isn’t a single player that isn’t a Quinn acquisition. Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow were both first-round draft picks, Jonah Jackson was a third-round selection, and Joe Dahl was a part of Quinn’s first draft class. They’re a solid unit, but for as much as Quinn has invested, the returns just don’t match up.
The skill positions are totally a Quinn curation. A top-10 selection, T.J. Hockenson seems to be developing into a solid player. Kenny Golladay, who remains without a contract extension, is arguably a top-10 wide receiver in the NFL. Marvin Jones Jr. was one of Bob Quinn’s first free-agent acquisitions and is as reliable a veteran receiver you can find in the league. Again, the receiving unit is a very solid group.
Quinn has drafted multiple running backs in the second round and both of them play second fiddle to a 35-year-old Adrian Peterson. Why? Is that a Darrell Bevell thing? If it is, it becomes a Matt Patricia thing because he’s the one in charge. There’s no more Paul Pasqualoni to scapegoat, we’ve already seen that episode.
So why has Matt Patricia done less with more? He has a franchise-caliber quarterback in Matthew Stafford who has looked less confident and has been statistically less impressive than anyone could have anticipated this year.
It’s not rocket science to see how all this blame should be run up the flagpole in Allen Park. It’s not going to get any better, folks. It’s only gonna get worse.
Listen, break your heart, it’s only gonna get worse
No matter what, you’re always gonna get hurt
Each week, we’ll be providing a Song of the Game to create a full-season playlist. You can listen to previous year’s soundtracks right here: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019