The Detroit Lions have been kicker-averse all year after running a carousel at the position in the preseason. Entering Week 8’s Monday Night Football matchup, the Lions had attempted just eight field goals through seven games—that’s amongst the bottom of the teams in the league.
This comes after kicker Riley Patterson returned to Detroit in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where Patterson spent last season helping propel the Jaguars to a playoff win. Patterson, much like incumbent Michael Badgley, was known for his accuracy but struggled with distance. This became a real concern when Patterson came up short during the preseason on a 53-yard field goal attempt and could have been the catalyst for why the Lions didn’t attempt a field goal beyond 37 yards for their first five weeks of the season, despite plenty of opportunities to do so.
That would change in Week 6 against the Bucs, where the Lions trotted out Patterson for a 52-yard field goal. He had plenty of leg, which was progress, but the attempt was wide right. On Monday Night Football, Patterson was again, looking good. His early attempt from 44 yards looked like it would have flirted with 60 had it needed to.
That 44-yarder had like 15 to spare lol cmon Riley I know you have a long FG in you— Hamza Baccouche #BNL (@HamzaPOD) October 31, 2023
The coaching staff must have noticed too, because they would later ask Patterson to try a 52-yard attempt. Despite the kick being tipped, Patterson cleared it and the field goal was good. That’s no small feat from 52.
That brings us to our question of the day.
Question of the day: Has your opinion on the Lions’ kicking situation changed after the win over the Raiders?
My answer: Most definitely.
I’ll need to see a longer, larger sample size before we do anything like label Patterson a long-range kicker—this stuff doesn’t happen overnight. However, Patterson has shown a clear progression over the past two months that gives me and, more importantly, the Lions coaching staff, reason to trust him from 50+. At a minimum, it should give them confidence in him from the 40s, which we didn’t see in the early stages of this season.
With this on the table, giving up a late seventh-rounder for Patterson looks a lot more reasonable since he now brings more to the table than Badgley did. The Lions are more confident in their kicker and so am I, and I hope this trend continues for Patterson. If his physical abilities continue to grow over the medium to long term, he can grow into the upper echelon of NFL kickers should his accuracy remain steady.
What do you think? Has your opinion of Riley Patterson changed after the Raiders game? Do you feel differently now about the Lions giving up a draft pick for him? Vote below and let us know in the comments.
Has your opinion on the Lions’ kicking situation changed after the win over the Raiders?
This poll is closed
Yes, I feel better
Yes, I feel worse