Predictably, the Lions managed to screw things up and make enough mistakes to lost the game to the Redskins by a final score of 19-16. Detroit coughed up enough chances early on that they faced a close game late. Tons of mistakes in the final five minutes helped the Redskins sneak away with a 19-16 win against a hapless Lions team that has now sunk to one of the worst squads in the NFL.
What else was there to learn about the Lions from this one? Here’s a look at some of the biggest takeaways from the frustrating defeat.
It’s Time for Matt Patricia to Get Heat
The Lions have been a work in progress most of the last two years after a change in coaching staffs as well as styles, but Patricia should be expected to beat teams like Washington, who are the worst of the worst in the NFL. With a defense that hasn’t improved, an offense which struggles to get into the end zone far too often and a team which is now heading for an ugly finish this season, it’s time for the heat to fall on the head coach. A certain amount of heat also belongs on the shoulders of Bob Quinn since the two are tied together, but the Lions have not improved in the trenches and have suffered some ugly defeats this season fueled by mistakes of their own making. That falls on the head coach and his ability to prepare the roster.
Some bad news for Lions fans looms, however. Short of another complete blowout, it’s hard to envision Quinn firing Patricia, and it’s impossible to imagine Martha Ford firing Quinn. So the franchise might be seeing these two for another year at the very least. Patricia, though, deserves his fair share of the blame after losses like this and it’s a terrible mark on his resume. There’s been plenty of bad losses in his tenure, but this is arguably the worst.
Bo Scarbrough a Building Block
It’s hard to be positive about losses to teams like the Redskins, but some good news again came for the Lions this week in the form of Scarbrough, the hard charging running back. Against Washington, Scarbrough ran for 98 yards on 18 carries and showed some impressive bounce. He can clearly shoulder the load and is a building block for the team and their offense moving forward. Scarbrough has been a nice find for the Lions this season in a lost year.
Lions Fundamentals are Miserable
Once again, the Lions had a lot of problems in the game with mistakes like turnovers and penalties. It’s impossible to win in the NFL unless things are cleaner in between the lines. It’s not impossible to blame the rash of injuries for Detroit’s trouble, but the Lions have the ability to overcome such things if they quit making self inflicted mistakes. These wounds are preventing the team from getting any semblance of consistency to play winning football. Another 6 penalties on the day for 65 yards lost set the Lions back dramatically.
Lions Rookies Offer Hope
Beyond Scarbrough, the Lions are getting some solid snaps for the young players on the team. T.J. Hockenson has seen plenty of run so far this year, Will Harris is doing a solid job at safety after being pressed into duty, the Lions activated Austin Bryant this week and in this game, got a nice interception from Amani Oruwariye. For all the trouble the Lions have had sustaining success this season, the team has managed to find some key pieces to build around, and most of them are on the younger side. That’s great news amid all of the losing. If the Lions’ future feels dismal, these players could be the ones to change it eventually.
Matthew Stafford Must Be Sat Down
No amount of pleading should lead Stafford to be able to play the rest of the season. The Lions are bad, and they are headed for a horrible finish outside of the playoffs. For hope in 2020, the Lions need Stafford in a bad way, which means he should be on the sidelines to finish the sidelines, no matter what it means for the team moving forward. There is no sense risking Stafford this season for a lost year. It will also help the Lions as they pursue a higher draft selection. After this effort, there is no way Stafford should see the field.
Lion? Jarrad Davis, LB. The linebacker showed off his pass rush prowess again with a nice afternoon. If the Lions want to build around Davis, they might be best suited to have him run after the opposing team’s quarterbacks more often. His solid play was a bright spot on a bad day.
Lamb? Everyone. There aren’t a lot of positives for the Lions whatsoever and everyone deserves to be on the list. Not enough winning plays were made at all most of the afternoon for the Lions. Slap everyone with this tag for the week.
Stat to Note: 4, the number of turnovers the Lions had on the afternoon. Three critical mistakes by Jeff Driskel late cost the Lions huge which was bad news for the team. It’s hard to play winning football when the offense is turning the ball over like they are. The Lions missed Matthew Stafford on this day.
He Said It: “Certainly there’s some things we have to take a look at that we have to clean up that cost us the game.” -Matt Patricia. In perhaps the biggest understatement of the year, Patricia said that the Lions have to fix things in between the lines and he has to do a better job of coaching. That’s true in a big, big way, and time might be running out for him to find the answers.
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