Edson: It’s Official: Lions are Hopeless and Hapless
Two years ago – in explaining why he fired head coach Jim Caldwell and hired assistant Matt Patricia away from New England – Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn said with a straight face, “We had to make the change because we want to take this team to another level.”
Little did we know at the time that Quinn must have been standing in an elevator when he made that proclamation because the Lions have pushed the “down button” since Caldwell was let go.
You remember Jim Caldwell?
Three winning seasons in four years.
Two NFL playoff appearances.
The Lions suffered their most brutal loss on Sunday since Patricia and his staff took over two years ago. They fell to the Washington Redskins, a team that was 1-9 coming into the game, 19-16.
This time the Lions and their fans couldn’t blame the officiating or any fluke plays. They could point to injuries, like the one that has sidelined starting quarterback Matt Stafford.
But Washington could say the same thing – an interim head coach, a rookie quarterback who came into the game ranked No. 39 in the league. No. 39? That means that more than a half dozen teams in the league had backup quarterbacks better than Dwayne Haskins.
Coming into this game, Haskins had thrown only 2 touchdown passes and been intercepted five times. But when it came to crunch time on Sunday he led the Redskins down the field and put them in position for the winning field goal.
The Lions? Well, how can you call it good coaching when their punt returner doesn’t let a ball go into the end zone and then gets nailed at the 2-yard-line?
That is just one example of the Lions misplays on Sunday. But the bigger problem is how uninspired this team plays and the poor execution.
This franchise – like most the Detroit pro sports franchises right now – offer fans little hope of getting better.
That’s the most frustrating part about watching the Lions unravel week after week. We are continually sold a bill of goods. And we continually believe them.
The best hope for the Lions is that owner Martha Ford – bless her heart – will finally sell the team. The Fords bought the franchise in 1963. Their level of productivity as owners is embarrassing.
After Sunday’s loss to the lowly Redskins, the level of frustration among Lions fans has reached a new high… or low, depending on how you look at it.
All I know is that I’m never climbing into an elevator with general manager Bob Quinn again. I’m afraid of where “another level” will take us.
Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.