Is Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia the worst coach in the league? Let’s examine.
Before we begin, a qualifier: it’s unfair to judge rookie head coaches after two games, though Kliff Kingsbury is making a case.
There are two hallmarks of a great coach: their in-game management, the ability to make their team more than the sum of their parts; and their man management, the ability to lead a team over the course of a season. Bill Belichick is the best coach of his era because of this. He is of course one of the greatest strategic minds in the history of the sport. And while no one is running through a brick wall to play for him, Belichick’s teams almost never have an off day.
Matt Patricia has neither of those going for him.
At best, he’s a mediocre defensive coordinator. The Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl in part because they copied Patricia’s game plan against them. But Patricia lost that game 30-16. Josh Allen and Mitchell Trubisky had some of their better games against him. The Lions went from 19th in DVOA in 2017 to 27th, while the Patriots went from 31st to 16th without him. Maybe he’s got some good ideas, but he can’t get his team to execute them.
He’s also had some high profile embarrassments. Last season the Lions had their plays get called out by the other team before they ran them. This season that wasn’t so much of an issue since Patricia called time out when he didn’t trust Matthew Stafford to get a play off in time, Stafford was rightfully pissed at him. Some criticized his decision in that same game to not go for it from midfield on 4th and 5, which resulted in an 11 yard punt. It could have been worse:
A 3rd-and-13 run for a loss of 4, followed by a punt from Minnesota's 37. Gross.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 23, 2018
Patricia fares even worse in the leadership category. Any of these are enough on their own.
-Had an sexual assault indictment that the team didn’t care about
-Routinely late to team meetings
-Veteran players were displeased with him after one game:
We talked the other day on @gmfb Weekend about the #Lions’ veterans being unhappy with how hard Matt Patricia has worked them and all the rules in place there. Results like last night’s blowout loss to the #Jets could bring things to a head ... both ways. pic.twitter.com/wCImJnLFlg— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 11, 2018
-Instilled this culture into his staff:
Jim Bob Cooter, asked how Matthew Stafford has played this season: "That's Detroit Lions information."— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) November 13, 2018
-Made his team practice in the snow in preparation to play four straight games in a dome
This is beyond Schiano Men territory. When the Patricia era is over, we’re going to hear so many stories about what went on behind the scenes, which will be impressive considering what we already know. You can get away with being a jerk if you win, Bill Parcells made a career out of it. You can’t do that and then take a team that had back-to-back winning seasons and go 6-10.
The Eagles face the Lions with a bevy of injury problems that will put them at some disadvantages. But they also have a big advantage in that Matt Patricia is one of, if not the worst, coach they’ll face all season.
Don’t just take my word for it, ask Lions fans.
Is Matt Patricia the worst coach in the league?
This poll is closed