Hunt Report: Lions Close Win Shouldn’t Save Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia looks on through his mask in 2020.

The Detroit Lions were in trouble against the Washington Football Team, but a couple of Matt’s saved them in a big way. That shouldn’t mean anything for Matt Patricia, though, as he presides over what’s been a very disappointing team in 2020.

After mounting a 24-3 lead in the second half, the Lions once again put things in cruise control. Problem was they hit several potholes along the way, and managed to blow the lead entirely. In the blink of an eye, it was 27-27, and things looked destined to head to overtime.

Matt Prater and Matthew Stafford intervened and rescued their team. Stafford made clutch throws and Prater drilled a 59 yard kick to make the fans happy at home. Most of those fans probably weren’t all that happy, however, considering the circumstances.

It looked as if the Lions were going to blow another game they were in command of, which is a trend that has played out far too often under Patricia. Once again, the team’s defense suffered meltdowns in crunch time with regard to penalties and consistency. Multiple times, the Lions couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down. Their offense couldn’t apply the kill shot before things got excruciatingly close. If not for a meltdown by rookie Chase Young, the Lions could have been playing in overtime.

As a result, everyone including the team has to hold steady when it comes to making grand proclamations on the future of Patricia. Regardless of if the team won, that doesn’t change the fact that the Lions were unimpressive yet again in a game they should have won going away.

Continuously, the Lions play below their potential. With that being the case, it’s hard to trust the coaching staff or have any faith they can get the Lions over the top in the future and sustain any type of winning.

A last second win over 2-7 Washington to get Detroit to 4-5 doesn’t do much to motivate that Patricia has turned the corner with his team, so everyone needs to take the win with a grain of salt and move on to Week 11. Only playoff contention and possibly wins should help Patricia at this point in time.

What else is there to learn from the successful hunt? Here’s a look.

D’Andre Swift Needs to Start

There’s no better way to put it than this considering the fact that Swift has 149 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has impressed in a ton of ways so far this year, and made the most of his chance to touch the ball. The Lions have to get Swift back in the lineup to begin with because the chance for him to explode on any given week is genuine. Detroit has an elite player in Swift ready to explode and take the next step in Swift and they need to give him the chance to go to work.

Welcome Back Matt Prater

Oddly enough, one of the strangest things about the 2020 season has been Prater’s inability to make big kicks this season. He hadn’t managed to make many deep kicks and had missed plenty of long attempts. That all ended on this day, as Prater pounded a 53 yard kick as well as the game winning 59 yard kick as time expired. In recent weeks, there had been questions swirling about Prater’s dependability. Even such, he had a game winning extra point to his credit earlier this season in addition to this big kick as well. For now, Prater is back and this could be just the right mental boost for him moving forward to get his head back in the game.

Lions’ MVP vs. Washington: D’Andre Swift, RB

There isn’t much more to say about Swift other than he’s phenomenal talent that can grind out the yards in between the tackles and make smooth plays in the passing game. While Prater hit the long kick to win it, the Lions would never have been in position to do that if the team hadn’t gotten the meager amount of offense they needed from Swift. Reality says they needed every one of those touchdowns, so credit him for getting them in the end zone.

Lions’ Lamb vs. Washington: Cory Undlin

Detroit’s defense remains unimpressive. Taking on an offense that is devoid of some playmakers, the Lions gave up 27 points and nearly blew the game. The good news? Detroit didn’t have 10 men on the field for 3 weeks in a row. That’s about it in terms of positive for the defense. Undlin needs to clean things up because his group has been bad most of the year. The work of the defense was bad for the most part on Sunday afternoon once again.

Lions’ Stat of the Game

149, the number of all purpose yards the Lions got from D’Andre Swift. The Lions got a big day from Swift and it didn’t relate to just running the ball. Swift was great at catching the ball as well and it led to a huge statistical day for the rookie, his best in the league so far.

Lions’ Quote to Note

“I’m never going to apologize for a win.” -Matthew Stafford. After the game, Stafford admitted he was proud of his Lions for fighting and delivering when all was said and done.

READ NEXT: Watch Matt Prater’s Game Winning Kick

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