OAKLAND – Lions head coach Matt Patricia stood behind the podium Sunday after Detroit’s 31-24 loss to the Raiders and was blunt in his analysis of why Detroit has fallen to 3-4-1 at the midway point in their season.
“Kind of that up and down game we know we don’t want,” he said. “We have to coach it better, I think, in general. It always starts with me. I have to coach better to get the team ready to go so that we can play consistently. I don’t think we played consistent here today.”
The Lions haven’t played consistently all season, which is why they’re under .500 at the midway point of the season.
There have been a lot of times where the offense has played well and the defense hasn’t. There have been times when the defense has done enough to win and the offense hasn’t.
The fourth quarter Sunday in Oakland put that inconsistency on full display. The defense would get a stop and the offense couldn’t take advantage. The offense would score and the defense would let Oakland march right down the field and re-take the lead.
The Lions haven't been able to play complementary football, and it’s tough to win consistently in this league when that’s the case.
“I think there’s a lot of things fundamentally we have to get a lot better and be able to do it every single week,” Patricia said. “We showed some good flashes, we showed some good football, and then we show a lot of bad football, and that’s the stuff right now that’s just killing us.
“It’s got to start with coaching and it has to go down to the players. We have to coach it better and play better so we can do that. Until we do that, it’s not going to be very good. Again, it’s inconsistent, and that’s really the truth of it.”
Detroit entered the fourth quarter tied 17-17 and gave up an early touchdown and found themselves down 24-17.
The offense was forced to punt on their next possession. The defense comes up with a terrific three and out, but the offense can’t take advantage and is forced to punt. The defense holds again, and this time the offense is able to take advantage and tie the game on a 26-yard J.D. McKissic touchdown grab. But then the defense gives up a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
“We had two stops there, right, kind of gave us an opportunity, then the last one was really bad,” Patricia said. “Again, it’s inconsistent. I mean, that’s really the truth of it. We had the two stops didn’t really get anything on the other side of it. Then we don’t get the stop and then we go down and score.
“So, that’s just the inconsistency I’m talking about. It’s just got to be better all the way around.”
Patricia lamented the penalties the Lions had in some crucial situations Sunday that played a part in the loss. In all, the Lions were flagged only five times for 35 yards, but some of those were in crucial situations.
Three of them came on third downs that either extended drives for the Raiders or gave them another opportunity at a play in offsetting situations where the Raiders were able to convert following the penalty.
“Penalties, can’t have them,” Patricia said. “Too many opportunities. Reset a lot of situations out there and we knew it was going to be a penalty game and we have to do a better job of being disciplined in those situations.”
Oakland was flagged 10 times for 96 yards.
View photos from the Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders Week 9 game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.
STAFFORD’S BIG DAY
That connection was working again in Oakland, as Stafford and Jones hooked up six times in the first half for 106 yards and a touchdown. For the game, Jones finished with 126 yards and a score.
Third-year wide receiver Kenny Golladay also got into the mix, catching four passes for 132 yards and a score. It was Jones’ second 100-yard receiving game of the season and Golladay’s third.
For Stafford, it was his third straight game with at least 300 yards passing and three scores. Stafford finished Sunday with 406 yards passing and three touchdowns.
“Our guys are making great plays on the outside,” Stafford said. “Bev (OC Darrell Bevell) was drawing up some really good plays to get some guys open and we were hitting them. Kind of using everyone again. Marv had a big day, Kenny had a big day, McKissic got a big one out of the backfield, Hock (tight end T.J. Hockenson) caught a screen for a big play, a couple other big ones, so, just trying to make sure we use everyone for the best of their abilities and I’m just trying to spread the ball around.”
- Running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Foster Moreau and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow combined to score all four Raiders touchdowns. The Raiders are the first team since Seattle in 2015 to have rookies score all four touchdowns in a victory.
- Jones and Golladay are the only teammates this season to have at least 125 receiving yards and a touchdown in the same game.
- Linebacker Christian Jones had a game-high 11 tackles for the Lions. Rookie Jahlani Tavai had 10 tackles.