Landover, Md. — The Detroit Lions have led in all 11 of their games this season but have emerged victorious just three times. With close loss after close loss, including Sunday's 19-16 defeat at the hands of a Washington team that had won once in its first 10 tries, calls for coach Matt Patricia's job are inevitably going to grow louder.
But Patricia said he hasn't seen any quit in his team, despite four consecutive losses and defeats in seven of the past eight games.
"I definitely think the team is fighting," Patricia said. "I think we're working really hard, everybody is out there playing very hard. We see that, even through the different lineup changes that we've had and the different guys being out on the field, whether it's injuries of whatever it may be. I think everybody that goes out there, goes out and tries to compete at a really high level, steps up and tries to do their job.
"For us, we know we're in a lot of close games, we're really close on all these things and I think everybody has the same sort of frustration not being able to close them out," Patricia said. "The good thing is for this group is they really do work hard."
The handful of Lions players that spoke after the game seem equally confused by why the team's hard work and game-to-game effort aren't paying off, but no one is publicly blaming Patricia.
"He's our head coach and he's the guy we rally behind," offensive lineman Graham Glasgow said. "I think he's trying his hardest and we're also trying our hardest. We just need to execute and I think that at the end of the day that comes down to everybody on the team — the coaches and the players. I don't think it gets pinned on one person.
Asked what's gone wrong this season, Patricia said minutes after a game was the wrong time to offer a larger assessment on the year. But one thing is clear: The losing is eating away at him.
"I absolutely hate losing," Patricia said. "I'm a super competitive person. I can't stand it. It gets (to) me. Like everybody, like all of us, you have to turn around and get ready for the next one. You can't really stay in that mode for too long. You just have to keep working harder, try to get better, try to fix it."
The Lions are 9-17-1 since Patricia signed on to coach the team in 2018.