The Detroit Lions found the win column for the first time in week three against the Arizona Cardinals. If you read our season preview, you would notice that we are three for three in game predictions so far this season. So after a quick pat on the back, it’s important to dive into exactly what that means for the Lions and more specifically their head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. Did week three save Matt Patricia’s job?
State of the Season
After losing a winnable game against the Chicago Bear and running out of steam against the Green Bay Packers the Lions finally found victory against the Arizona Cardinals. The defense while not perfect was as good as it’s been in quite some time. They forced three Kyler Murray interceptions and also sacked him once. Having Kenny Golladay back for the offense was crucial. He made several important catches and found the end zone for the 20th time in his career. Patricia thought it was the most complete game his team has played all year.
“I really thought yesterday, it was kind of the first time in a while that I felt like we haven’t really rode the wave of the game and just we were going to play one play at a time and play all 60 minutes and get to the end and try to go win. So, I just felt that was consistent all the way through the game.”
Heading into week three it would’ve been many Lions fans preference to see him and Quinn fired. The team had regressed so severely from the end of the Jim Caldwell era that even national pundits think its time to move on from them. While it’s just one game and one win, that may be enough to save Patricia and Quinn’s jobs.
What History Tells Us About Mid-Season Firings
Matt Patricia is the 27th head coach in Detroit Lions history and through the first 26 only three have been fired or left mid-season. Darryl Rogers was replaced during the 1988 season by Wayne Fontes. Fontes would go on to be the winningest coach in team history. Bobby Ross resigned during the 2000 season and the final was Steve Mariucci in 2005. So while not unprecedented it does seem unlikely that the team will fire Patricia during the season. That could obviously change if things shift back in a negative direction, but more than likely Patricia and Quinn will finish the year. If they don’t make the playoffs both will likely be looking for employment elsewhere next season.
Even though his tenure thus far has been a massive disappointment, Matt Patricia will likely get the benefit of the doubt. He will continue coaching out this season before his future is decided in the off season. So did week three save Matt Patricia’s job? It feels safe to say yes.