With all of the injuries surrounding the Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers) and the Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler) this season, there’s no reason in the world why the Detroit Lions shouldn’t have been able to come through and win the NFC North title. For a team loaded with talent on paper, the Lions seemed to have enough weapons on both sides of the football to be contenders in the NFC this season, but that was far from the case as the team finished the season losing six of their final seven games.
So when the team made the decision to fire head coach Jim Schwartz on Monday–it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone.
Schwartz became the latest coach to lose his job on Black Monday as the Lions came off a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17 to finish the year with a 7-9 record. After a 6-3 start, Detroit seemed to be a lock when it came to being favorites to win the division, but their final seven games became nothing but struggles as they just couldn’t seem to catch a break–other than their blowout win against the Packers on Thanksgiving.
On top of having one of the league’s most dangerous duos in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, the Lions arguably had one of the league’s top defensive lines led by Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, but they just couldn’t live up to the high expectations in the second half of the regular season. Schwartz has received plenty of criticism over the last two years (especially after last year’s 4-12 finish) and if there would have been even more criticism if the former head coach returned for the 2014 season–so there’s no question this was the correct move by the organization.
Whoever does end up taking over the head coaching duties for the Lions this offseason, at least they will be inheriting one heck of a talented team on paper–it’s just a matter of whether or not they’ll have what it takes to help this team live up to their true potential.