LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — The loss of Matthew Stafford to injury continues to take a toll on the Detroit Lions, and the losses on the field keep adding up.
Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel threw three interceptions in the latest defeat, 19-16 to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and embattled coach Matt Patricia continues to face questions about his job status with the season slipping away. Detroit (3-7-1) has lost four in a row and seven of eight.
“He's our head coach, and he's the guy we’re really behind,” right guard Graham Glasgow said of Patricia. “We just need to execute, and I think at the end of the day that comes down to everybody on the team: coaches, players. I don't think that gets pinned on one person in particular.”
Driskel is filling in for Stafford, who has missed three consecutive games with back and hip injuries. Jim Caldwell was fired after the Lions went 9-7 in 2017, and they’re 9-17-1 since Patricia was picked to replace him.
“I definitely think the team is fighting,” Patricia said.
That fight isn’t translating into wins. The Lions led the lowly Redskins 16-13 in the fourth quarter but couldn’t put the game away. Driskel was intercepted by Washington’s Quinton Dunbar in the final minute, a play that put the Redskins in position to drive for the go-ahead field goal.
Driskel, who was 20 of 33 for 207 yards, took responsibility for the turnovers. Patricia might take the fall for those and other blunders.
“We all saw what the mistakes are,” Patricia said. “We all saw them out there. We have to do a better job of coaching it and executing it.”
The Lions are 0-3 since Stafford was sidelined, yet things started going off the rails before that. Detroit’s defense has struggled and wasn’t good enough Sunday to send the game into overtime.
Asked about taking over the defensive play calling, Patricia became, well, defensive, and refused to go into details. He spent six seasons as Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the New England Patriots before getting his first head NFL job.
Glasgow said reporters “can speculate” about how players respond to concerns about Patricia’s job security. He was more direct when asked if this was the toughest loss of a tough season.
“Right now it definitely feels that way,” he said. “Yeah, this one doesn't feel good.”