Justin Rogers and John Niyo break down the Lions' dismal 24-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park — A day after firing special teams coordinator Joe Marciano, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia offered a vote of confidence for offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
"I think all of our coaches have really worked hard," Patricia said. "They're doing everything they can to help us win each and every week and Jim Bob obviously falls in that category. He's done a really good job for us this year.
"We're certainly looking to get better, which obviously when you come out of a week where we don't perform well enough on Sunday, it's easy to kind of look at all that. But we do a good job of all that, self-assessing, and moving forward, getting ready for Chicago. I think Jim Bob has done a great job with the offense here for a long time and continues to do that."
The Lions are coming off a dreadful performance against the Minnesota Vikings.
In the 24-9 loss, quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked a career-high 10 times and the offense continued to struggle in the red zone, failing to score a touchdown on any of their three possessions inside the 20.
"We did not play our best last week," Cooter said. "It was a unit-wide effort and obviously I’m in charge of that, so I’m not doing a good enough of of getting us ready to play well on Sundays. It’s a lot of different things. You wouldn’t necessarily narrow it down to one thing or one position or one group or maybe even one gig picture item. It’s overall, got to play better, I’ve got to coach better, I’ve got to get our guys better."
It's the second straight week the Lions have struggled offensively. A week ago, the team was held to 14 points at home against the Seattle Seahawks. In the team's five losses, the Lions have averaged 10.3 points through the first three quarters of those contests.
Overall, at the halfway point of the season, the Lions rank 21st in yards per game and 20th in points per game. The biggest issues have come in the red zone, where Detroit is converting just 44.4 percent of their trips into touchdowns. Only the Jaguars, Jets and Giants have been worse.
Assessing the job he's done this year, Cooter pointed to the standings.
"About 3-5. A wise old coach once said, 'You kind of are what your record says you are,'" Cooter said. "Need to improve, need to keep getting better. That's part of our weekly process. (I'm) expecting our team to win at a higher level offensively."
Asked if Marciano's firing served as a warning about his own job security, Cooter said he can't afford to think about that.
In this business, in the NFL, I think you know it’s a results-oriented business," Cooter said. "It’s kind of best to do my job and work as hard as I can to get our offense to be the best it can. It’s in my best interest and the Detroit Lions best interest not to think about sort of hypotheticals and sort of play those games. Those are better for you media guys to write your stories than they are for me to think about. My job is focus on the Chicago Bears, see what I can do the help our offense score points on these guys and help our team win this game.
Cooter joined the Lions as a quarterbacks coach in 2014. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in the middle of the 2015 season, after the team fired Joe Lombardi.
The Lions finished 21st in scoring in 2016 before jumping to seventh last season. The 25.6 points per game were the franchise's most since 2011.