Lions Fire HC Matt Patricia, GM Bob Quinn Amid 4-7 Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2020

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia calls out a drill change during their NFL football training camp practice in Allen Park, Mich., on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. ()Mike Mulholland/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, Pool)
Mike Mulholland/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions announced Saturday they have fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn after a 4-7 start this season. 

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as the interim head coach, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The team not only dealt with consistent losing this season, it did so in historic fashion:

Detroit had a losing streak extend to 11 games with the first two weeks, finally ended with a win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. There were other positive moments during the season, including a road win over the Atlanta Falcons and a Week 10 win over the Washington Football Team to remain in playoff contention at 4-5.

The squad was then shut out in Week 11 before losing to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving Day.

These continued struggles cost Patricia his job after less than three seasons with the organization. 

Patricia, 46, inherited a team that had back-to-back winning seasons under Jim Caldwell, but the organization was looking for more after over two decades without a playoff win. Adding an experienced defensive coordinator who was on the New England Patriots staff for 14 years—including three Super Bowl wins—appeared to be the perfect fit.

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However, the squad struggled to a 6-10 record in 2018, and things only got worse in 2019.

After beginning with a 2-0-1 record, the Lions fell apart as injuries became a major issue, including to starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. The team finished 3-12-1, with nine straight defeats to end the season.

A slow start to 2020 created more questions about the coach's job, although he deflected blame.

"I think when I came to Detroit there was a lot of work to do, and that's what we're trying to do," Patricia said in October.

Quinn was hired as Lions general manager in January 2016 after spending the previous four seasons as the Patriots director of pro scouting. His inability to build a competitive roster through the draft and free agency contributed to Detroit's struggles on the field.

One hallmark of Quinn's tenure in Detroit was his endless desire to bring in former Patriots players, who didn't often play at the same level they did in New England.

The front office finally ran out of patience with the latest moves, prompting a fresh start for the Lions.

Detroit still has a franchise quarterback in Stafford and quality building blocks in Kenny Golladay, D'Andre Swift, Jeffrey Okudah and more. However, the next hires will be important in helping put it all together and lead the franchise to more success.

The Lions haven't had a playoff win since 1991, putting a lot of pressure on a new coach and general manager to turn things around.