Jets say they knew Lions' offensive signals, Matt Patricia latest name from Belichick coaching tree to flop
How bad was it for Patricia? He suffered the worst debut of any coach in Lions history
The Jets won five games last season. The Lions won nine, just as they did in 2016 when they made the playoffs. But New York stuck with coach Todd Bowles while Detroit dumped Jim Caldwell, replacing him with the newest branch from the Bill Belichick Coaching Tree, Matt Patricia.
Patricia's reputation as a details-oriented, trained-as-a-rocket-scientist reputation preceded him and much of the talk this offseason was how he was going to bring some much-needed discipline to Detroit.
Then the game started, and for about 10 seconds -- as long as it took Sam Darnold's arm punt to be returned for a pick-six on the Jets' first play -- the Lions were the best team in the building. For the remaining 59 minutes and change, they were among the worst teams in the NFL.
When it was over, the Lions had been exposed to the tune of 48-17, including a 31-point third quarter that saw the Jets score an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown in the span of 156 seconds.
Not helping: Lions quarterbacks threw five interceptions.
Also not helping: Jets defenders knew which plays were coming.
"We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line," linebacker Darron Lee said of quarterback Matthew Stafford, via ESPN.com. "We knew his signals. We knew everything. That's just preparation as a defense. ... It seemed like we were in his head as a defense."
That's not a good look for Patricia, who based on his affiliation with Belichick and the Patriots, is supposed to be prepared for every eventuality. Instead, he was run out of his own building, and in the process suffered the worst debut by a Lions coach.
Patricia's also the latest member of the Belichick coaching family to sink without his Belichick floaties. Out of seven names -- Al Groh, Bill O'Brien, Nick Saban, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennel and now Patricia -- only Groh has a winning record (9-7) though O'Brien, in four-plus seasons with the Texans, has finished 9-7 three times and twice made the playoffs.
"I'm going to be most disappointed in myself," Patricia said after the game. "I think that's where I always start. I have to do a better job and that's always where I'm going to take it."
Things might get worse before they get better; the Lions travel to San Francisco next Sunday before hosting the Patriots in Week 3.
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