Texans top Lions, Matt Patricia’s seat gets hotter
The Lions’ annual Thanksgiving appearance served, more than anything else, as a reminder of how far Detroit has fallen in Matt Patricia’s three seasons as head coach.
The Texans’ 41-25 win improved Houston’s record to 4-7 and dropped the Lions to 4-7. Houston has already fired its coach this season, and Detroit may soon do the same.
When Patricia arrived in Detroit, he was taking over for Jim Caldwell, who was fired after guiding the Lions to back-to-back 9-7 seasons. Now Patricia has failed to improve on that 9-7 record in each of his three seasons as the Lions’ head coach.
Patricia is 13-29-1 with the Lions, and it’s hard to imagine he won’t be fired soon. But what’s harder to imagine is what Lions ownership was thinking when they stuck with him after he won only three games last year. This has become a wasted year for the Lions, who catered their personnel moves to Patricia’s priorities and are now in a deeper hole.
The situation in Detroit could be so much different. If the Lions had fired Patricia, hired Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, drafted Bieniemy’s choice of either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert, and made this the year to develop the young quarterback with Matthew Stafford as the starter the same way the Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith, they’d be in great shape.
Instead, the Lions are in awful shape. In fact, they’re in worse shape than the Texans. Although Houston is also in the midst of a disappointing season, the Texans at least know that Deshaun Watson is their franchise quarterback of the future. The Lions have no idea who their quarterback will be the next time they’re in playoff contention.
And the Lions also have no idea who their head coach will be the next time they’re in playoff contention. But it won’t be Patricia.