By Michael Stets
Two days after the embarrassing 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving, the Lions have fired head coach Matt Patrica and general manager Bob Quinn.
Quinn was hired in 2016, replacing Martin Mayhew, who was fired midseason in 2015 after the Lions started out 1-7. Two years later, after firing then head coach Jim Caldwell following back-to-back 9-7 seasons and famously saying that 9-7 “isn’t good enough,” Quinn hired Matt Patricia. With both having ties to New England — Quinn a former assistant, Patrica a former a defensive coordinator — the team set their sights on bringing the Patriot way here to Detroit and turning the Lions into a winning franchise and Super Bowl contender.
But with Patricia as the head coach, the team never came close.
In Patricia’s first season in 2018, the team finished 6-10. In year two, they started out 3-4-1 before losing Matthew Stafford for the season. They bottomed out in the second half of the 2019 season, losing their last eight games to finish 3-12-1. This season, the Lions lost their first two games to extend the losing streak to 11 straight before a win in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals. After entering the bye week at 1-3, the Lions defeated Jacksonville and Atlanta to get back to .500, but lost four of their last five games, all by double digits, including a 20-0 shutout loss to Carolina. The loss to Houston dropped the team’s 2020 record to 4-7, and Patricia’s overall record to an abysmal 13-29-1.
Under Patricia, the Lions lost nine games in which they held a double-digit lead, the most in the NFL. And too many times simply looked incapable of competing against the top teams in the league. The former Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator was hired for his defensive acumen, but it simply never materialized with the Lions, who were ranked No.28 in the league in defense heading into the Thanksgiving matchup vs. Houston, allowing an average of 397.4 yards and 28.7 points per game.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as head coach for the remaining give games this season as owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood begin their search for the new general manager and head coach.