Matthew Stafford on Matt Patricia’s Future as Lions HC: ‘It’s Not My Decision’

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia talks with quarterback Matthew Stafford before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

After the 4-7 Detroit Lions endured their second loss in five days on Thursday, quarterback Matthew Stafford declined to comment on the future of head coach Matt Patricia. 

“It’s not my decision,” Stafford said, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “That’s for somebody else. If you want to ask me about the game, you ask me about the game.” 

Stafford and the Lions were defeated 41-25 by the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving, days after they were shut out by the Carolina Panthers in a 20-0 loss. 

Tight end TJ Hockenson, who was drafted out of Iowa with the No. 8 pick in 2019, was also asked about his head coach. The 23-year-old said he was “not going to comment on somebody else’s job” and took the opportunity to thank Patricia as the person who “gave me an opportunity to be a Detroit Lion” (h/t Florio). 

Perhaps even more jarring than the lack of time between the two losses is the frequency of them. Thursday’s game was the team’s fourth loss in five games, and it was tough timing for Patricia. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said prior to the game that Patricia’s job could be in jeopardy (h/t NFL.com). 

The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator, who is in his third season in Detroit, said he wasn’t focused on the rumors about his future, per NFL.com’s Jelani Scott

“My focus every day is on the guys in that locker room and working as hard as I can to help those guys be successful. It’s really not outside of that, I don’t think outside of that, I don’t worry outside of that other than just trying to do the best job I can every day to help everybody be successful and try to get our team going. Other than that, we play pretty short-term and focused on the task at hand.”

After a 3-3 start to the year, the Lions have been outscored 71-122 this month, though they’ve been playing without running back D’Andre Swift, who is sidelined with a concussion, for the past two games, while wide receiver Kenny Golladay has appeared in just five games this year and hasn’t played since Week 8. 

Patricia has led the Lions to a 13-28 record in his three years in Michigan, with his best year coming in his inaugural head coaching campaign in 2018, as the Lions went 6-10.

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