Should Detroit Lions clean house Friday after embarrassing Thanksgiving loss?

Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press
·3 min read

Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez answers three questions after the Detroit Lions' 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving Day:

Should owner Sheila Ford Hamp fire everyone on Friday?

I don’t think she should, even after such an ugly loss. Not only is there no advantage to making wholesale changes this late in the season, but it could also be dangerous when you consider all the concerns with COVID-19 and the protocols that are in place. The Lions have done a pretty good job so far keeping their players and personnel safe. If you get rid of the team’s leadership, that’s a lot for new coaching and personnel leaders to juggle. I just don’t know what this solves or says about you as a team and a team owner, other than showing a willingness to make a meaningless, emotional decision. But we don’t have much to go on with Hamp, since she has almost no track record. What she does, or doesn’t do, after this game will begin to tell us something about her stewardship of this woebegone franchise.

Lions coach Matt Patricia during the first half against the Houston Texans at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.
Lions coach Matt Patricia during the first half against the Houston Texans at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.

What’s wrong with the Lions’ offense?

The final score of the Lions' loss to Houston Texans makes it seem like it was a defensive meltdown. But for the second straight week this loss was mostly the fault of the offense. I’m not letting the defense off the hook, but at least they were facing a decent offense. And let’s not forget two of the Lions’ turnovers led directly to 13 Texans points. With the exception of two flea-flickers, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s play-calling continues to be unimaginative and predictable. Yes, the Lions were without Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift, but they had enough other weapons to at least be competitive against the Texans, who entered with the NFL’s second-worst total defense. It feels more and more like Bevell’s effectiveness, especially with getting better play out of quarterback Matthew Stafford last year, was a one-year mirage.

[ Opinion: Today should be Matthew Stafford's final Thanksgiving start for Lions ]

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt runs the for a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt runs the for a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.

What was up with all those turnovers?

It has been an ongoing recent problem for the offense, but this was embarrassing on a national stage. Stafford’s third pick-six of the season, followed immediately by Jonathan Williams’ fumble on the next play from scrimmage, followed shortly by Kerryon Johnson’s fumble on the next drive near the red zone was just incredible. What’s worse is that Houston’s defense ranks last in the NFL in takeaways. Every NFL team emphasizes fundamentals every week and I think this comes down to individual execution. I’m sure the coaches will redouble their teaching efforts this week. But these turnovers were on each individual player more than anyone else.

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Should Detroit Lions clean house after embarrassing Thanksgiving loss?