Next up, Lions head to Chicago, the NFC North leader
ALLEN PARK >> Matt Patricia said there was not one glaring factor when Matthew Stafford was sacked 10 times in the 24-9 Lions’ loss at the Vikings on Sunday.
Obviously, more sacks than points scored is never good.
“It’s a full team thing, it’s a full unit thing and we have to do a better job. We can’t play that way,’’ Patricia said at his Monday press conference.
And, even though it’s November, half of the season is history and the Lions are 3-5, the first-year coach is leaning on basics.
“Fundamentals and execution is what’s holding us back right now,’’ Patricia said.
Talent? The coach said they have plenty of talented guys to help them win.
So where are the wins? How could they get humiliated two straight weeks? Yes, the Vikings and Seahawks are good teams, but the Lions didn’t just lose, they were embarrassed.
Certainly the Lions’ coaches made adjustments as Sunday’s game went on, it was just difficult to see the improvement.
“What happens as the season goes and you have some success in certain areas, obviously teams are going to gear up to try to stop those things you do and make you do them differently,’’ Patricia said. “We have to be able to handle those changes better than what we do right now and put our players in a better situation to give them some success, especially with the offensive run game. The defensive run game definitely seeing some repeat runs which are giving us problems.’’
And, of course, there was Dalvin Cook’s 70-yard run which Patricia called “catastrophic.”
The Lions ran for just 66 yards at the Vikings and the Detroit defense gave up 128 rushing yards.
“With both offensive and defensive lines I would say the point of emphasis right now is fundamentals,’’ Patricia said. “Some of our fundamentals (Sunday) got out of whack, some of our technique stuff was not necessarily where it needs to be on a consistent basis.’’
It all seems a little nuts. They worked on fundamentals in long, grueling training camp sessions in July and August. Much of the roster is composed of NFL veterans who should not need to go back to square one for Football Fundamentals 101.
But they will work on basics this week in the meeting rooms and Patricia said he might add some extra periods during practice. “It’s hard when we’re trying to get everything we can done and get ready to go. It is what it is, we have to get it done, put a little more effort into it,’’ Patricia said.
Next up is another road game against a divisional opponent, the first-place NFC North Chicago Bears (5-3).
Patricia said they had a good week of practice last week, it just didn’t carry over.
“We were prepared and ready to go we just didn’t show up on Sunday enough all the way around,’’ Patricia said. “Just got to do a better job.’’
That is everyone, coaches included.
When Patricia was hired by the Lions in February, he was not brought in for a rebuild. The long-time Patriots defensive coordinator was expected to improve on the Lions’ 9-7 record from 2017.
General manager Bob Quinn made it clear the reason Jim Caldwell was fired was because he thought they were capable of winning more than nine games each of the last two seasons. He traded Golden Tate, the top wide receiver, last week. Maybe it’s a move for the future but Quinn knew they had two divisional opponents coming up.
Any talk that the Lions are currently sinking because it is all a part of the plan is just not true unless they’ve changed course and didn’t mention it.
Sunday’s loss at the Vikings was cringe-worthy.
Fundamentals and execution. Seems like we’ve heard those two words before.
The season appears to be basically over thanks to a 3-5 record. Not sure this was part of the Quinn-Patricia plan.