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It’s time for the Lions to tank, and you need to root for it

The Lions aren’t the worst team in the league, but they’re far from the best and they’ve reached their ceiling.

NFL: Washington Football Team at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I normally wouldn’t ask this question, but hear me out. I know many of you are going to chastise me for even asking. Yesterday, just before Alex Smith put together one of the most incompetent-yet-successful two-minute drives in the history of the NFL, I got this feeling among myself and others that we weren’t all rooting for the same thing.

It was hard to realize, but I really wanted the Lions to lose. I’ve seen what this team can do and, through nine games, it’s pretty representative. This team is a decently far cry from the worst team in the NFL, but they’d be lucky to have a fighting chance in a wild card playoff game. They’re stuck somewhere in the middle, a peak form of the trademark Lions mediocrity. For some, that means clinging to the hope that the Lions can steal a wild card spot. Usually I’d be in that boat. This time, though, I wanted to cleanse my mind of ever knowing a Matt Patricia-led Lions team, and that started with losing to Washington.

No matter which way you or I root for the remainder of the season, the harsh reality is that the Lions have probably seen their last win of the 2020 season. I would not be surprised in the least if they lost out, with games against Chicago, Minnesota, Green Bay, Carolina, Houston, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee setting them up for an absolutely brutal stretch run.

I don’t see potential in this team. They’ve used up all the potential they have and as a result they’ve mustered up a 4-5 record with one of the easier schedules in the NFL thus far. If the Lions played Washington for each of their last seven games, I’m not sure even then that I’d give the Lions a chance at a wild card playoff spot. It’s that bad. Matt Patricia has given this team all that he can and it has resulted in mediocrity.

I know a lot of people are anti-tank. In fact, whoever is editing this article is probably going to be shaking in their boots reading this (hi Jeremy). The writing has been on the wall for Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, and they were a missed 59-yard field goal away from that wall getting a fresh coat of shine this weekend.

They need to go, and the fastest way to make that happen is with losses, because as the duo notoriously say in press conferences, “it’s wins and losses that count.” Any more wins in a lost 2020 season only give Sheila Ford Hamp—a big unknown in this equation—reason to keep Patricia and Quinn around.

The Lions are going to rebuild. It’s going to suck. Odds are looking better and better that the next triumph of the Detroit Lions as a franchise will come without Matthew Stafford at the helm, whether that means Stafford is dumped at the new regime’s start or they phase him out, Alex-Smith-esque. After Sunday, I can tell you with all certainty that the 2020 Detroit Lions season is a lost cause. The only thing to fix it at this point is to get Quinn and Patricia out, and that starts with more losing.