This blog wont so much be a recap as it is an address to the state of the Lions. They are at an interesting point in team history. Bob Quinn is in his second year as general manager and he has a lot to think about. As the season is slowly falling apart, not as slowly as their offensive starts, their playoff chances look slimmer by the week. In a stretch that should have been one of the easiest in the NFL, the Lions have started on the wrong foot. Shocker, I know. Dreams of winning the division have dropped almost as quickly as a pass from Stafford to Ebron and dreams of making the playoffs are looking like Golden Tate against Atlanta. As of today, the Lions are 2 games back from the last Wild Card spot and a game behind the Falcons who sit in the 7-spot and also hold the head to head tie breaker over the Lions.
While the Lions have yet to be mathematically eliminated, it’s the way that they have been losing games that is the most discouraging. The slow offensive starts, the defensive lapses, the recent special teams miscues; it is all horrible and all familiar. Watching the Lions play the Ravens on Sunday was deflating. The Lions couldn’t do anything correct in the first half. One of the more helpless feeling games that I’ve watched in a while and the Ravens really aren’t that good. Now, there was plenty of blame to go around but lets not focus on that game, lets look at the season.
Who have the Lions beat? The Cardinals, Giants, Vikings, Packers, Browns, and Bears. Of those teams, the Packers and Vikings are at .500 or above so its fair to say most of those teams are bad. Now look at who they have lost to, Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Steelers, Vikings, and Ravens. All of which are playoff teams. Now, maybe this is the team the Lions have been all year. Beat the bad teams and lose to the good teams. Their 6-6 record certainly would support that hypothesis. While the beginning of the schedule looked to be difficult, it turned out to be quite easy. What I’m getting at is that the Lions are not a fraud team, the 3-1 start just looked better than what it was because of preconceived notions on who was good in the NFL.
I have been known as a Caldwell defender. I thought that his stoic presence was good for the locker room and he brought a very poised approach to the game. But, after witnessing the last 4 weeks of football and hearing him take the blame himself, I think it is time to let Jim Caldwell go. Now, Im not saying fire him this instant. Never a good look to fire the coach in the middle of a playoff race, but the name of the game is winning Super Bowls and it doesn’t look like Caldwell is the coach that will be able to get this team over the hump.
Looking at how the NFL season has shook out thus far, I think it is fair to say the Lions are who we thought they were at the beginning of the season. They are an average NFL team who will win the games they should and lose the games they should. While it is entirely possible for the Lions to win out and a few losses to go their way and sneak into the playoffs, but for the future of this team, it may be best if they miss the playoffs, get a better draft pick, and find a new coach.