Matt Patricia’s debut as the Lions’ head coach was an ugly loss to the Jets, and he says another loss like that would be unacceptable.
“No. 1, like I expressed to the team, to everybody, we’re not going to accept how we played the other night and we’re going to all get better, you know, and we’re going to move on,” Patricia said. “The best thing that we can do is turn the page and get going on the next opponent and really understand that there is a timeline to every week, unfortunately for us that we have to stay in, in order to have a chance to win or be successful that week. If we get that timeline thrown off a little bit, you can get behind, and unfortunately, I think, right now with the Monday night game in general you’re always a little bit behind getting into that next week. You’re going to have a shorter week, so for us it’s really we just have to get back to the grind and stay on top of our preparation.”
Patricia was hired to replace Jim Caldwell, the former Lions head coach who was fired after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. When you fire a head coach after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, you’re saying that 9-7 isn’t good enough. Which means you expect your new coach to get double-digit wins. And the Lions looked far from a 10-win team on Monday night.
It would be an overstatement to say that Patricia is on the hot seat if the Lions get blown out again on Sunday at San Francisco, as no head coach is on the hot seat after two games. But it wouldn’t be too much of an overstatement: The Lions’ ownership and front office has indicated that they believe the pieces are in place, starting with quarterback Matthew Stafford, for the Lions to compete right now. They weren’t expecting Patricia to have a massive rebuilding project. And they’re not going to accept Patricia inheriting a 9-7 team and turning them into one of the worst teams in the league, which is what they looked like in Week One.