The Detroit Lions are heading into their bye week a tough 1-3 on the season, and while there is certainly ample time to right the ship, there’s been more than a few frustrations with the team to start the season.
So far, any team that has a losing record has plenty of ways to cast blame. In Detroit, it’s spread out a little bit more on both sides of the football. So which Lions have left the most to be desired so far this season?
Here’s a look at the most disappointing Lions so far.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OL
Detroit paid big time money for the tackle, has played him at guard and he hasn’t been able to stay healthy or engaged early on. Worse yet, Vaitai has struggled early in the season with his play with penalties and missed assignments, leaving folks to wonder if this contract is already a massive gaffe by the front office. Vaitai was supposed to help lock down the Lions line and so far this season, it might not be a stretch to say the team has played much better when he has not been on the field. That’s not the kind of impact a team needs to see out of a highly paid lineman in his first year.
Desmond Trufant, CB
Trufant came to Detroit in a make or break type season for himself as a free agent, and thus far, the results haven’t been great. He seemed to play well and look comfortable Week 1, but a hamstring injury then limited him to a Week 4 return. After that, Trufant didn’t look great in getting eaten up by the Saints. Injury has potentially played a role in slowing him down, but Trufant has to be better. His play has been inconsistent enough that it’s put pressure on Jeff Okudah very early in his career. The Lions were likely hoping for a little bit more in this scenario, especially given they traded their Pro Bowler Darius Slay. So far, when he’s been on the field, Trufant has been only average.
Jarrad Davis, LB
It was supposed to be go time for Davis to turn around his fortunes on the defense, but now, he can barely see the field this season in Detroit. Davis hasn’t played a huge role for the Lions at all and given the offseason changes that were hyped with his body, that is a major disappointment. It seemed like 2020 was a now or never type season for Davis, and he is looking closer to never at this point in time for the Lions. A big second half will be needed to not only save face, but prove Davis deserves to stick around.
Matthew Stafford, QB
As always, the problems Detroit has sustained on the field have not been all Stafford’s fault. The defense has let the team down more often than not this season, and Stafford has still put up his trademark numbers. Even so, the quarterback does have 3 interceptions to his credit, and all 3 have played a critical role in each of Detroit’s defeats. Week 1, he fired a late pick to aid Chicago’s comeback. Week 2, Stafford fired an interception for a touchdown which jump started Green Bay. Finally, in Week 4, Stafford’s untimely toss into the end zone thwarted Detroit’s shots at reclaiming the lead mid-game. This wasn’t the play the Lions hoped for from a player some hyped as a dark horse MVP candidate. Stafford has simply been alright, but this season, just being alright wasn’t going to get it done, especially with the team’s defensive failures. There’s been pressure on Stafford to be the whole team again, which puts him in a very tough position. The trouble? He hasn’t completely delivered solid, consistent play. Now, he might be reaching his wits end.
Matt Patricia, Head Coach
Sure, Patricia doesn’t play the games on the field like the players do, but in a season in which so much more was expected and anticipated, it’s a huge letdown to see the struggle playing out as it has in such ugly fashion with the staff. Worse, the coach hasn’t had the best performances in press conferences lately defending himself, leading to all the ugliness that has played out this past week in the media. It’s more than possible his frustration is beginning to boil over, and that’s bad news considering the coach needs to keep his composure to have a chance at doing this job successfully. This was supposed to be the year Patricia helped his team break out and become a force, and it’s a massive frustration that instead of talking about that, his 10-25-1 record remains the lightning rod and focal point for fans. Everyone wanted to see more, but it simply hasn’t happened as of yet.