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Matt Patricia Facing Tall Task In First Game Against Bill Belichick

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

New Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia is "all about building Detroit."

But to build Detroit into what it needs to be in a hyper-competitive NFC North, the Lions need to get on the board with their first win of the season after two nightmarish performances. Patricia's biggest problem -- at least if recent history is any indicator -- in this regard? His 0-2 squad will have to do that against Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Another member of the famed (in name alone) Belichick coaching tree to branch outwards, Patricia is the fifth New England assistant or coordinator to land as a head coach elsewhere, joining Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels (though he's back in New England), and Bill O'Brien. Including Patricia's 0-2 start, that group has a combined 102-156 record.

Against Belichick, though, they're a combined 4-11.

Mangini was the first to get a crack against Belichick, as he took over as head coach of the New York Jets in 2006. That Jets squad finished the year 10-6, and lost to the Patriots in the first round of the 2006 NFL Playoffs. But it was in Mangini's first head-to-head against the Patriots that he found his team in an 0-24 to begin to the game, and lost by a 24-17 final.

Mangini, who had a two-year stop in Cleveland following his departure from the Jets and has not been involved in the NFL in any sort of coaching role since the 2015 season, holds a 3-5 record against Belichick in their head-to-heads.

The head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Crennel got a 2007 look against Belichick in what finished as 10-6 season for Crennel's squad. But Tom Brady and the historically good New England offense hung three passing touchdowns (none of which were thrown to Randy Mass, either) on Romeo's defense in a 34-17 victory. It would be Crennel's lone head-to-head against Belichick and the Patriots during his six-year head coaching run between Cleveland and Kansas City.

Nobody's struggled worse than O'Brien, though, whose Texans are a whopping 0-5 against Belichick and the Patriots. Belichick has made O'Brien look straight-up silly over that span, outscoring his team 151-75.

Among the four, Josh McDaniels is the only one that currently holds a winning record against Belichick.

In fact, McDaniels was the last ex-Patriot coordinator to beat Belichick in their first head-to-head meeting, as his Broncos defeated the Patriots by a 20-17 overtime final in 2009.

A stat Patricia's desperate Detroit squad hopes to change tonight.Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.