On paper, the Detroit Lions have had one of the most talented teams in the NFL. Matthew Stafford is inconsistent, but he is at least an above-average quarterback. Calvin Johnson is undoubtedly the best WR of this era, and is arguably the most talented player in the league. Ndamukong Suh is a monster up front, and is one of the most dominant defensive players the NFL has to offer. Nick Fairley, Reggie Bush, DeAndre Levy — the list of talented Lions goes on and on.
The Detroit front office has done an incredible job of drafting and acquiring talent. They should be a perennial playoff team and Super Bowl contender. Unfortunately, even though he has had a ton of talent to work with, head coach Jim Schwartz has a 29-51 regular season record with the team since he was hired for the 2009 season.
The Lions only had a winning record once in Schwartz’s tenure, a 10-6 team in 2011. That was also the only playoff appearance the team made, and they were defeated in the first round. The Lions always seem to be undisciplined and over-penalized. The players never seemed to respect Schwartz and he never really had a good handle on the team. I think it is fair to say that his firing has been long overdue, and the Lions finally agree as they have finally parted ways with Schwartz.
With injuries to QBs Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, and both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers struggling a ton on defense, the NFC North was there for the Lions to win this season. The team lost their last five games of the year and were not able to capitalize on their opportunity.
It was obviously time for the two parties to move on. This is still a very talented roster, and with the right leadership, I believe that the Lions can make a quick turnaround and become a very competitive team.