The Detroit Lions will bring back coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn for the 2020 season, team owner Martha Firestone Ford said Tuesday.
The Lions are 3-10-1 this season and have had two consecutive disappointing seasons under Patricia, who took over as the team’s head coach prior to the start of the 2018 season.
While talking to reporters, Ford laid down the gauntlet for the Lions and clearly expressed her expectations.
“We expect to be a playoff contender,” Ford said, according to the team’s website. “That means playing meaningful games in December.”
The Lions had not made the playoffs since the 2016 season and have not had a winning record since the 2017 season when they went 9-7, narrowly missing a playoff spot that year. They were one game behind the Atlanta Falcons – who went 10-6.
According to the Lions’ team website, Martha’s daughter Sheila Ford Hamp said the decision to bring back Patricia and Quinn was not easy. Lions executives acknowledged that injuries had a lot to do with the way the season has played out.
The biggest one involved Matthew Stafford, who has not played a game since Week 9 and was put on the injured reserve Tuesday. The Lions were 3-4-1 before Stafford’s injury and have not won a game since then. Detroit has played with David Blough and Jeff Driskel in Stafford’s absence.
Kerryon Johnson, Marvin Jones, Jermaine Kearse and T.J. Hockenson were among the other big offensive players to go down with an injury this season.
Detroit has two games left to salvage whatever they can of the 2019 season.