Jets, Sam Darnold absolutely embarrass Lions in Matt Patricia's head-coaching debut

Of all the possible outcomes for the first “Monday Night Football” game of Week 1, it’s doubtful many people figured on the New York Jets being up 31 points by the end of the third quarter.

But, considering the Detroit Lions were involved, it wasn’t all that surprising.

If there was any optimism surrounding the Lions this season, that has been put on hold indefinitely. The Jets, starting the youngest rookie quarterback in Week 1 in league history, blasted the Lions 48-17 in Detroit. It looks like the long-suffering Lions might be in for a rough season, if the opener is an indication of things to come.

The crazy thing is the Lions started with a 7-0 lead after a pick-six on Sam Darnold’s first career pass. Everything after that was all Jets. With seven minutes left in the game, Jets fans got together behind the team’s bench at Ford Field and did the “J-E-T-S” chant. It seemed most Lions fans had left by that point.

ESPN moved the final minutes of the blowout to ESPN2 to get the start of the Rams-Raiders game on the main network. It was that bad in Detroit.

Matt Patricia has a horrendous first game as coach

Somewhere Jim Caldwell is smirking.

The Detroit Lions fired Caldwell after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. It wasn’t entirely unreasonable at the time. But after one game, the Lions might wonder if they made the right move.

Let’s not dance around it: Matt Patricia’s debut as an NFL head coach was horrific. Patricia’s team was utterly unprepared and entirely embarrassed at home.

Every phase was terrible for the Lions. Matthew Stafford played what might have been the worst game of his NFL career. He threw four interceptions. The Lions defense struggled to stop Darnold. The special teams allowed a punt return for a touchdown and that effectively ended the game in the third quarter.

It’s just one game, but Patricia looked like pretty much every other Bill Belichick assistant who gets a head-coaching job, although he’s the only one with a backwards hat and a pencil hanging off his ear.

12 PHOTOS
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia
See Gallery
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia
ALLEN PARK, MI - FEBRUARY 07: Matt Patricia speaks at a press conference after being hired as the head coach of the Detroit Lions at the Detroit Lions Practice Facility on February 7, 2018 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia looks at a play card in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
ALLEN PARK, MI - FEBRUARY 07: Matt Patricia speaks at a press conference after being hired as the head coach of the Detroit Lions at the Detroit Lions Practice Facility on February 7, 2018 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ALLEN PARK, MI - FEBRUARY 07: Matt Patricia speaks at a press conference after being hired as the head coach of the Detroit Lions at the Detroit Lions Practice Facility on February 7, 2018 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: New England Patriots' defensive coordinator Matt Patricia reacts during the second quarter. The New England Patriots host the Jacksonville Jaguars in an NFL AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on Jan. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 17: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, chats with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, right, during practice at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Jan. 17, 2018. The Patriots prepare for the AFC championship game against Jacksonville. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 28, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 28: Detroit Lions head coach matt Patricia leaves the final meetings at the 2018 NFL Annual Meetings at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Great Lakes on March 28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 28, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia reacts on the sideline during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia watches a replay during the NFL preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans on August 19, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON - FEBRUARY 7: Matt Patricia, left, holds up a Lombardi Trophy and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick waves during the New England Patriots Super Bowl LI Victory Parade in Boston on Feb. 7, 2017. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Sam Darnold calms down after tough start

The Jets defense deserves credit for the way it played, but so many of Stafford’s mistakes were on him. He just wasn’t reading coverages well. He, not Darnold, looked like the rookie. Jets linebacker Darron Lee had a pick-six on a play in which Stafford never seemed to see Lee in a zone coverage. Lee picked him off again later on a forced throw. It was an awful performance.

On the flip side, Darnold played a pretty good game. Darnold, whose flat personality will probably serve him well in New York, bounced back very well from his first pass. He looked like he did in the preseason, not taking many chances but running the offense well. He finished 16-of-21 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. When the Lions realized they were getting run on national TV, the big plays started coming. The Jets had the punt return touchdown. Lee had his interception return. Nobody on the Lions defense showed much interest in tackling on a long touchdown run by Isaiah Crowell.

It was entirely one-sided.

Both teams can’t overreact

Many years, there’s at least one surprising Week 1 outcome that looks weird by the end of the season. Just because the Jets looked as good as they did, or the Lions looked as bad as they did, doesn’t mean that’s what will happen over their next 15 games.

But if you’re a fan of either the Jets or Lions, it will be hard to not overreact. The Jets looked very sharp, with a talented rookie quarterback and an aggressive defense that seems to be what third-year coach Todd Bowles wants. The Lions are looking for a hole to hide in.

It’ll be hard to tell either team it’s just one game.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Subscribe to The Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast

Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Podcasts

More from Yahoo Sports:
Newspaper publishes racially charged Serena cartoon
Packers pump brakes on Rodgers’ health status
Jets rookie QB’s first career pass is epic fail
Gruden claims Mack didn’t want to play for Raiders





 

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.