The Patriots casually took care of business in a 35-14 TKO of the Titans Saturday night, to no one’s surprise. To some surprise on Sunday: Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is likely heading to Detroit to take the Lions job once New England’s season wraps up.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Patricia is expected to be the next Lions coach, shunning overtures from the Giants to join his old friend Bob Quinn, the former Patriots personnel man turned Lions GM.
Patricia is making a leap to a franchise where he will feel comfortable working with his boss, having interacted with him in the context of a football front office before. More so than anything, a GM/coach relationship can really derail a franchise when things aren’t going perfectly.
Patricia’s defenses have been quintessential Pats defenses since he took over as defensive coordinator in 2012. They bend but don’t break: every single season with New England, his defenses have ranked in the top-10 in points allowed. Even this year, with the Patriots giving up the 29th most yards in the NFL, they were ranked fifth in points allowed.
The cherry on top was a headbutt by defensive tackle Malik Jackson in the final two minutes when the Jaguars trailed 37-33 with enough timeouts to stop the clock and get the ball back. The penalty on Jackson gave the 49ers a critical first down, and they took advantage with a touchdown a few plays later that put the game on ice.
It came during a game that saw Jackson and cornerback Aaron Colvin get into a shouting match on the sideline, followed by another argument between receiver Keelan Cole and receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
Reviews from Patriots teammates were positive Friday on Tom Brady; in the wake of the hand-injury scare, the QB looks on target heading toward Sunday.
Brady has preferred not to wear gloves during games, but he also hasn’t had to deal with an injury like this.
New England owner Robert Kraft, in an interview that aired on Patriots All Access on WBZ-TV on Saturday night, was asked if his heart skipped a beat when he was first notified of the quarterback’s injury.