Why did Detroit Lions fire Jim Caldwell? Fans call him 'better' coach than Matt Patricia after loss to Texans

Since Patricia was hired, the Lions have won just 13 games in all three seasons with the Texans defeating them on Thanksgiving Day by 41-25

                            Why did Detroit Lions fire Jim Caldwell? Fans call him 'better' coach than Matt Patricia after loss to Texans
Jim Caldwell (Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions have not been having a good season. On Thanksgiving, the Houston Texans handed the Lions their fourth double-digit loss in five weeks, this one by a 41-25 measure. With the current loss, the Lions are 4-7 and buried in the last place as we head into December -- their third straight year in this position, all but ensuring that the Lions are eliminated from the postseason race.

And the Lions fans are not happy. Given that Jim Caldwell, with whom the Lions won more games than all but 11 NFL teams and made the postseason twice, was fired after the 2017 season after the general manager Bob Quinn explained that a 9-7 record wasn’t good enough. Matt Patricia was hired to replace Caldwell, however, Patricia's record over the past three seasons have been dismal. 

Since Patricia was hired, the Lions have won just 13 games in all three seasons. Patricia, who was hailed as a defensive genius after coordinating Super Bowl-winning defenses in New England, has been unable to field a good defense for a full year after handpicking the roster and molding it to his liking. In the game against the Texans, Patricia's defense surrendered 41 points.

On the other hand, Caldwell's first season was successful, as the Lions made the playoffs as a wild card and posted an 11-5 record in the regular season. After a disappointing 7-9 2015 campaign, the Lions went 9-7 in consecutive seasons. His overall record as the coach was 36–28.

While the Lions started quickly against the Texans, using a 51-yard reverse flea-flicker to TJ Hockenson on their fifth play from scrimmage to set up Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard touchdown run -- giving the Lions their first points in two weeks -- things started falling apart. Matthew Stafford threw a pick-six right to JJ Watt. Very next play, the Lions gave Jonathan Williams his first career carry in Detroit and he turned that over too, this time on a fumble. Houston turned that into seven more points, and suddenly a 7-0 lead had tipped into a 13-7 deficit. Kerryon Johnson fumbled too, making it three giveaways in 12 plays. Houston scored on seven of its next eight series and their win was sealed.

The embarrassing Thanksgiving Day loss the Lions were handed courtesy of the Texans now have fans wondering why Caldwell was fired in the first place with Patricia hired as his replacement. One fan tweeted, "So the Lions fired Jim Caldwell after he went 36-28 and made the playoffs but Matt Patricia still has a job on his way to 13-29 after today's loss? Can someone enlighten me on the Detroit front office? The Fords are good at cars but football isn't making much sense." Another wrote, "Firing Jim Caldwell was the worst decision the Lions have made in my lifetime."




A Twitter user opined, "Your semi-regular reminder that Bob Quinn fired Jim Caldwell because he said 9-7 wasn't good enough and he wanted to hire his friend, Matt Patricia. after being shutout today, the Lions are 13-28-1 under Patricia." Another quipped, "What they get for firing Jim Caldwell after he led the team to three winning seasons and two playoff appearances in four years." A fan reminded, "Since 2004, the Lions are 4-13 on Thanksgiving. Under Jim Caldwell, the Lions were 3-1 on Thanksgiving! Caldwell remains the only non-interim Lions coach with a winning record since the 1970s."






Nevertheless, with Patricia's record now averaging just five wins per season, his time with the Detroit Lions may be running out.

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