Former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher had a rough USFL debut on Sunday after his team, the Michigan Panthers, dropped its season-opening contest, 17-12, to the Houston Gamblers.
But the final score wasn’t the only issue. Michigan had plenty of problems at quarterback with Shea Patterson and Paxton Lynch, both of whom struggled.
The Panthers’ first six drives were a total disaster and resulted in three punts, two fumbles, and one interception. Patterson started, was replaced by Lynch, and then came back in after the latter found a way to play even worse.
Patterson and Lynch accounted for five of the team’s nine fumbles (two lost). To make matters worse, the communication system between the signal-callers and coaches broke down on multiple occasions.
At halftime, Fisher rightly pointed out that his team’s own worst enemy was itself, according to Brandon Champion of MLive.com:
“You didn’t know anything about your opponent when we stepped out there,” Fisher said. “What we do know now, is our opponent is us.”
Things did get better for Patterson and the Panthers as the game wore on, but their 12-point second half wasn’t enough to overcome the early 17-point hole.
Adding to the woes of Fisher and the Panthers, two Michigan players got into a fight on the sideline. Fisher also drew some trolling from Twitter for wearing his hat backwards.
— Follow @FTB_VIDS (@FTB_VIDS) April 17, 2022
After the game, Fisher had this to say about his team’s debut, per The Detroit News’ Tony Paul.
“Since our arrival here 3½, four weeks ago, the one thing that was going through my mind on a daily basis is, how do we measure up and how do we compare against the other seven teams, just because of the unknown and the lack of familiarity with their rosters, what they’re doing,” said Fisher.
“A lot of those questions, at least from my perspective, were answered today. We did some really good things. We got some things done in a short period of time that I’m especially proud of.
“Now, in the game of football, you don’t turn the football over like we did and win very many (games).”
Fisher and Co. will return to the field on Friday, April 22, when they meet the New Jersey Generals.