In more than a decade working for the Patriots, Matt Patricia never experienced this much losing.
Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park — Losing is uncharted territory for Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia.
During his 14 years with the New England Patriots, the franchise never won fewer than 10 games. Even during his years in the college ranks, Patricia rarely experienced losing. In four seasons as a player at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the team racked up a 32-9 record. And during his three coaching stops, those schools combined for a 35-27 mark.
In total, during his 24 years as a player and coach, Matt Patricia has had exactly one losing season. While serving as a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 2002, that team went 4-8.
But in his first season leading the Lions, Patricia is on the brink of that rare taste of failure. The team is 4-7 heading into what looks to be an impossible matchup against the 10-1 Los Angles Rams.
So how is Patricia handling the bitterness of mounting losses? He’s burying himself in the routine of preparing for what’s next, as opposed to what’s already happened.
“I don’t really try to dwell on any of that fact of it, we’re just trying to win,” Patricia said. “I want to win and I know so does everybody else. And that’s what this city deserves and that’s what we’re trying to do. We understand that there’s a process with this and we’re trying to get better each week.
“My biggest disappointment with all of it would just be I always feel that after we get done with games and look at and say, ‘What could I have done more to help? What should I have done more as a coach to put these guys in better position? …When those situations happen, I feel bad and horrible and it grinds on me, but it just drives me to do more of whatever I can to get us in the right spot.”
Patricia was asked if he sees a light at the end of the tunnel, but much like he prefers to leave the past in the past, the coach also loathes looking beyond what’s immediately in front of him and his team.
“We’re just kind of day-by-day and week-by-week,” he said. “We really don’t look to much long term other than that. And we’re just trying to get better through that course and then we always reevaluate again on Monday. That’s kind of the feedback loop of what we do. I think if you start to project too much in certain situations down the road then you really lose focus or concentration on the task at hand and really what’s important for us is to make sure we understand task at hand especially when we have a great team coming in.”
Lions vs. Rams
Kickoff: Sunday, 1 p.m., Ford Field, Detroit
TV/radio: Fox/760 AM
Records: Lions 4-7, Rams 10-1
Line: Rams by 10