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Top Level Sports

Lions Need to Blow This Thing Up

It’s time for the Lions to accept defeat and rebuild this team. This needs to start from the top with the GM and Bob Quinn’s entire team, all the way down to the coaches and players. Matthew Stafford has deserved better than what the Lions organization has done for him, and it’s time to give him a chance to win on a real team who is serious about winning, unlike the Ford family.

The Lions lost their fifth game of the season this past Sunday, making their record 3–5–1. They made the Chicago Bears’ offense look fluid for the first time all season. On top of that, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford missed his first game in 136 consecutive starts. Even more, now the Lions are being investigated by the NFL about the secrecy of Stafford’s broken bones in his back. He was taking snaps all week at practice and the team wouldn’t say whether he’s playing or not until Sunday. The backup quarterback who ended up starting the game, Jeff Driskel, didn’t find out he was starting until Sunday morning.

This isn’t the first time the Lions have been a little shady with their injury report, the franchise has had a long history of it. Even recently, former players were coming out and claiming the Lions had them play with concussions.

On top of that mess, the Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn era don’t seem to be a success. The Lions fired Jim Caldwell because “9–7 wasn’t good enough.” Caldwell was the most winning coach in Lions history. They went 6–10 last season and already have 5 losses this season and have started 0–3 against divisional opponents.

(Photo: Paul Sancya, AP)

This “Patriot Way” that the Lions have tried to create in Detroit since Bob Quinn has gotten here has just not worked. They tried, even more, to get it to catch on when they hired Matt Patricia. They are trying to be exactly like the Patriots, trading away team captain, safety Quandre Diggs for a bag of peanuts. Diggs claims he was traded because he was willing to speak out. The same way the Patriots do it once players start speaking up a little bit.

Here’s the key difference: you’re not Bill Belichick and you don’t have Tom Brady. The Lions are trying to be a copycat of something that can only work with that dynamic of Belichick and his genius.

Speaking of genius, wasn’t Matt Patricia supposed to be a defensive genius? Isn’t he the rocket science that can scheme up anything he wants on the defensive side of the ball? Well, the Lions are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. They rank 30th in yards, 27th in passing touchdowns given up, and 21st in rushing touchdowns given up. They have been the main reason the Lions have lost the games they have.

So, it’s time to trade everyone away. After Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay spoke out about the team once Quandre Diggs was traded, you knew it was downhill from there. He even made comments on how he didn’t care if he was in Detroit next year or not, a clear indicator that he will force his way out of Detroit in the offseason. While they’re at it, they should trade any other valuable piece they have and rebuild with a new front office and a new coach. Most new coaches don’t like to inherit a quarterback, as we saw with Kliff Kingsbury when the Arizona Cardinals drafted a quarterback two years in a row.

Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network posted an interesting statistic about NFL teams this season: only three teams in the league have had a lead in every single game. Those teams are the undefeated San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Detroit Lions. Yet another indicator that this coaching staff isn’t working.

Everyone knew it from the start, unfortunately. After all, none of Bill Belichick’s “disciples” ever go on to success after leaving his coaching tree. Matt Patricia will just be another one of those guys who left Belichick and failed. The Patriots defense got better once the “defensive guru” left their team. Let that sink in.

The fans of Detroit have been some of the most loyal fans in all of sports. This team hasn’t won a playoff game since 1992, yet they show up roaring for every home game. They love this team and that passion never seems to die. But this organization ran two Hall of Fame players out of town in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson with their incompetence. The real problem is the Ford family and how they choose to run this organization, but that is a different topic for a different day because they will never sell this team.

So, the Fords can do only one thing, and that is to give up this “Patriot Way” gimmick and try again. If you want to keep Stafford, that’s fine. But for his own good, it would be best to trade him and just start over. This experiment with Patricia and Quinn has failed, it is time to admit that and move on. For all of Detroit’s sake.

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J.T. Miller

J.T. Miller

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