Not your typical ‘review’ column that you’re used to seeing on My Detroit Sports. Instead of reviewing games, adding box scores and highlights, I want to gauge fans on yet another ‘new era’ in Lions football. After a disappointing 2017 season riddled with injuries, coaching inconsistencies and Ziggy Ansah pretty much ‘checking out’ like his predecessor, DeAndre Levy the year prior, Coach Jim Caldwell was let go.
Frustrations mounted in the eyes of Lions fans, who have not celebrated a Super Bowl or NFL Championship since 1957. But is Jim Caldwell to blame? I’ll leave you with your opinions and just state the facts.
Year one of Caldwell as the head coach, 2014, the Lions went 11-5. Securing a wild card playoff berth, losing in the first round to the Dallas Cowboys, 24-20. In 2015, Detroit started 1-7 before firing team president, Tom Lewand and general manager, Martin Mayhew. After those firings, the Lions went on to beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field for the first time since 1991. They won 6 of their remaining 8 games to finish 7-9.
2016, saw the Lions return to the playoffs under Coach Caldwell, finishing 9-7 on the season. Narrowly defeated for the NFC North Division by the Green Bay Packers in the final game of the season. Detroit would get pummeled in the first round, this time to the Seattle Seahawks, 26-6.
Coach Caldwell produced the same record, 9-7 as 2016, but the Lions failed to make the playoffs last year. He was the first Lions coach to have a winning record (36-28) since Jim Schmidt (1967-72) and the highest win percentage (.563) since Buddy Parker in the 1950s.
Enter Matt Patricia, a first time head coach for the Lions. A 3-time Super Bowl Champion as an assistant for the powerhouse, New England Patriots. Still, a first time head coach. It’s easy to be distracted by those keywords, “Patriots”, “Super Bowl”, but can we really afford to risk a team that is on the cusp of at least hosting a playoff game or winning their first playoff game since 1991 to a FIRST TIME HEAD COACH? It wasn’t that long ago when keywords, “Super Bowl”, “Colts”, “Manning” were echoed in Motown during the Caldwell hire.
Time will tell. My Detroit Sports wishes you the best, Coach Patricia!