Many think Patricia didn’t deserve to stay, and there were more than a few good reasons for that to be the case. In the end, Patricia will return. Now that it’s the case, why might the decision be proven right in the end?
Here’s a look at some of the reasons Detroit could be right to stick with the plan for 2020.
Matt Patricia Hasn’t Coached Lions Long Enough
It’s impossible to get a complete feel of how effective a coach is if they’ve only been on the job for a few seasons. The Lions might have been more of a reconstruction than many people thought, and giving a coach such a short amount of time on the job isn’t a great idea.
After 2020, the team could have a much better idea what type of progress they’re actually making. Even the best coaches take time to acclimate to the role, and it’s possible that Patricia could be growing into the role through his first few seasons on the job.
Injuries Played a Role in Detroit’s 2019 Record
Many folks will write off the role injuries have played, and while it’s true that Bob Quinn should have done a better job in places to supplement the roster for more and better depth, there is simply no way the Lions could have foreseen half their roster being decimated to the point of playing third string and practice squad players by season’s end.
Had the Lions fallen this flat with their regular roster and much fewer injuries, the argument could have been made to move on from Patricia a bit easier, but it’s hard to forget the Lions did start the season in decent shape at 2-0-1. They could have been in much better position to finish stronger if health had been on their side. It’s hard to debate that point.
The Lions Have Been in Every Game
While the Lions haven’t beaten many good teams under Patricia, they have notably led in most games this season with the exception of a few near the bitter end of the year. To some, this might not be notable, but it is something which should not go without saying. Heading into Week 16, Detroit has lost six of their 10 games by one touchdown or less.
The Lions have been so close to being much better and turning around their fortunes, so it’s tantalizing to think of what the team could be if they could simply close a few of the games they have led. Chances are, they wouldn’t be in the awful predicament they have been in to finish 2019. Detroit was blown out at times in 2018. That hasn’t happened in 2019, and the Lions have been a few plays away from arguably winning most of their games.
The Lions Roster Needs More Help
Have the Lions given Patricia all they can to be successful? While it’s true the team made some investments last offseason, the team could benefit from their top selection they are likely to glean after this miserable 2019 season. Additionally, the Lions will have money to spend in order to improve this offseason.
As in most cases, football coaches are made or broken by the talent of their roster. The Lions need an infusion of more in many spots to give Patricia a better chance at being a better coach and having a better record. It simply wouldn’t be fair to fire him without giving him a complete chance at having the most elite team he can possible have.