There have been a lot of jokes about Matt Patricia being the “smartest” guy in the room. The Detroit Lions 3rd year head coach had 2 major mental wins against the Atlanta Falcons.
Look, I haven’t been the biggest Matt Patricia fan as Detroit Lions head coach. Mostly because I loved Jim Caldwell and have been holding him to the 9-7 standard set by Bob Quinn. Over the past 2 games I have seen some really great coaching moves out of Patricia.
Detroit Lions vs Atlanta Falcons
There are two plays that stick out the most to me as great coaching. Letting Todd Gurley score when the Lions were up by 2 and using all the play clock to make sure you had a winnable review.
The Todd Gurley Play
The Detroit Lions by all means were going to lose on Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons have one of the best kickers in the league and had the ball at the 10 yard line. There really was no other option than to let them score a TD. But, that doesn’t always mean a coach is willing to do that. Matt Patricia was. It paid off.
Yes, we needed help from Gurley. But, we put ourselves in the position to win. It was amazing to watch another team implode. Those are the type of mistakes the Detroit Lions make when they throw away games. The little mental errors that open the door. I’m glad Matthew Stafford decided to kick the door down!
Delaying the Play
Another major moment in the game was when the Detroit Lions delayed a 4th down play to get a good look before they challenged.
If you remember the Jim Schwartz play where he threw the challenge flag too soon, this was the opposite. Matt Patricia almost waited until we got a delay of game on the next play. He needed every bit of that time to make sure Atlanta had 12 men on the field the play before. Stafford saw it, Patricia saw it, or guys in the booth saw it. They challenged the play and the ref saw it. That play gave the Lions a first down and showed that our coaching staff and QB were on the same page.
It was a move that would make Belichick smile. It was also a move that put him in the Brainiac Club with Vrabel. I love cerebral coaches. It finally looks like the game is starting to slow down for Patricia too.