Pat Caputo: Sheila Ford Hamp should stop enabling Lions' ineptitude


Good thing the Lions didn’t face the MVP of the Alliance of American Football Sunday.

Whoever that might have been had the league not folded could have joined the long list of quarterbacks, good, bad and indifferent, thriving against the Lions. You know, those routinely outplaying Detroit’s $27 million per year man, Matthew Stafford.

Sunday, it was the Panthers’ P.J. Walker, pride of Temple University and the former MVP of the XFL. He lit up the Lions’ defense while replacing injured starter Teddy Bridgewater.

Walker was far from perfect. He handed the Lions’ two red-zone interceptions on a Honolulu Blue and Silver platter. The Lions were nonetheless shutout, 20-0.

The Lions were dominated by a squad not only without its starting QB, but one that had lost four straight games and that was also missing perhaps the best running back in football, Christian McCaffrey.

Walker played five games in the XFL. He threw for more yards against the Lions’ defense (248) than he did in two of those starts.

So although the Lions were shorthanded, they can’t make injuries an excuse.

They played with no plan, no passion, no purpose.

It turns out the Lions weren’t even on the fringe of the playoff race. The soft part of the schedule is running out.

There will be excuse-making for the Lions. Rookie running back D’Andre Swift, rather mysteriously and unexplained last week, suffered a concussion just as he was emerging. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay is also hurt and Stafford played despite a thumb injury on his passing hand.

But the offensive line, with two first-round draft picks, a third-round selection and an expensive free agent, is intact. Stafford was sacked five times and Lions’ ran for just 40 yards, averaging 2.4 yards per carry against a defense that allowed 46 points the week before at Tampa Bay.

Cornerback Jeff Okudah, taken third overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, was again burned.

The truth is the Washington Football Team and the Falcons didn’t do the Lions any favors by making huge mistakes, which led to Detroit victories.

It only prolonged the inevitable about the Bob Quinn-Matt Patricia regime. That is, if the new person in charge, Sheila Ford Hemp, doesn’t continue to be the enabler of such ineptitude.

There isn’t going to be a miracle comeback from the Lions under this general manager and coach. It’s didn’t work.

It’s over.

That was never more evident than Sunday when the Lions impersonated an XFL team.​

Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)