In the span of six days, the Lions went from 0-3 and on the ropes to 0-5 and on the mat.
The team dug deep, late in the fourth quarter against Seattle on Monday night and showed poise to put themselves into scoring position before fumbling away the game. The team had no such resolve Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals, losing 42-17.
Expectations were such this year that a main barometer for success would be if the Lions could win their first playoff game since 1991. Now, the team is still trying to win their first game of the season.
“We have too good of a team – and you guys agree with me – we have too good of a team to be doing this right now,” said wide receiver Golden Tate. “But if everyone is individually not doing their part, we’re making silly mistakes, the result likely is going to be an L.”
The Lions have piled up ticks in the loss column this season – so much so that they’ve already matched their regular season total from a year ago, when they were 11-5.
It’s clear that the team is shocked with how the season is unfolding. There were big expectations in Detroit this season – none higher than inside the organization’s own walls.
“We have a better team – roster wise – than we did last year,” said Safety James Ihedigbo. “The additions that we have. We add (running back) Ameer (Abdullah), you got a healthy (wide receiver) Calvin (Johnson). We have to go back to the drawing board.”
Many players have called this loss “embarrassing”. Ihedigbo ranked this as “number one” on his most embarrassing loss. Others struggled to pin point the root of why the team is not living up to expectations.
“I don’t know what happened,” said safety Glove Quin. “I done said it over and over. I don’t know what happened today. We got beat in every aspect of the game. I don’t what it was. We got to figure it out.”
Still, it’s clear that the team isn’t pointing fingers at one another. Ihedigbo said quarterback Matthew Stafford didn’t address the team after his benching but there seemed to be resounding support from his teammates.
“I trust Stafford, I trust Calvin. I trust those guys,” said Ihedigbo.
Everyone – from coaches to players – seems to be pointing the finger inwardly instead of outwardly. Defensive players are saying they need to pick up the offense when their down. Head coach Jim Caldwell is standing in front of the media and saying he is ultimately responsible while his players are pointing the fingers at themselves.
The locker room still seems to be united but that’s of little consolation with results such as this.
“Losing like that is not acceptable, we understand that,” said quarterback Matthew Stafford. “We take a lot of pride at playing football and playing it at a high level, we didn’t do it today and it’s disappointing.”
There seems to be no shortage of people falling on the sword when discussing the current state of the Lions. It’s easy to find blame when a team is 0-5.