Lions’ Matt Patricia won’t ‘ride the roller coaster’, seeks consistency after victory

Detroit News

Rod Beard
| The Detroit News

During coach Matt Patricia’s two-plus seasons, there have been plenty of ups and downs. In 35 games, he’s won just 10 times, including a 3-12-1 record last season.

One of the better wins came in Sunday’s last-second thriller over the Arizona Cardinals, ending the Lions’ 11-game losing streak and pushing them to 1-2 this season.

Although there was some jubilation in ending the skid, Patricia wasn’t overly celebratory, with the suggestion that maybe he had cooled the talk about possibly being on the hot seat.

“I don’t ride the roller coaster. I’ve just got to stay consistent. I think it’s hard to lead if you ride the roller coaster,” Patricia said Monday. “I think it’s hard to exist in this world of competitive football if you ride that roller coaster because I think when you do that, you just kind of hope it stops when you’re at the high point and not the down point.

“For us, it’s about being consistent — it’s early in the season and we’re trying to get better. We’re trying to learn and there’s a lot of plays in this game that we got to do better. We’re going to go back to work and try to improve. That’s the bottom line.”

That the Lions beat the Cardinals (2-1), one of the hottest teams in the league, is a good confidence booster, especially coming off back-to-back losses in which they saw double-digit leads evaporate.

The defense played better Sunday, with three takeaways and some excellent plays on special teams helped keep them in the game. It’s a win for a defense that has been maligned, though it has been Patricia’s calling card as a defensive coach.

Steps forward — even small ones — are better than steps backward, and they’ll need another good defensive effort to stay with Sunday’s opponent, the New Orleans Saints.

“For me really, I’m just happy for the players. Mostly in the locker room, you can just feel the joy and celebration for everybody; these guys work really hard,” Patricia said. “For me, I’m just obviously excited about the win and excited about everybody’s efforts and the way the guys have worked this week.

“We came back and we started watching the tape right away, so you just kind of go into correction mode … but I was just really happy for the players. And I think they have general excitement and gratitude toward each other further.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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