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Nate Caminata - LionsFans.com
Ty Detmer knew it. The Detroit Lions knew it. But the Chicago Bears simply didn't care.
In Sunday's 24-0 loss to the Bears (12-3), the Lions failed to salvage what was an obvious lost season. But that didn't make the contest insignificant for a few Lions, including the veteran Detmer.
Entering the contest, Detroit had the potential to play spoiler. Ironically enough, the selfish Bears -- already playoff bound -- swindled that label onto themselves.
Detmer, replacing injured rookie quarterback Mike McMahon, wasn't just playing for a win. He was playing for his job. If not with Detroit, Detmer -- among many other Lions on the bubble and under team surveillance -- were auditioning to other NFL ball clubs.
Although the group of Lions being alienated seems to be growing each week, each are faced with a chore that is unequaled. Not by Johnnie Morton, a capable veteran who is virtually untradeable, not by rookie quarterback Mike McMahon, full back Cory Schlesinger, or linebacker's Chris Claiborne and Barrett Green. Those jobs, among others, will stay intact.
The growing list of bubble players are, in essence, fighting for their livelihood.
On Sunday, six sacks and 4 quarters later, it didn't matter.
Detmer, despite completing 31 passes for over 300 yards, was unable to shed the average critics memory of his disastrous early season performance against Cleveland. Without the assistance of a running game, which like most of the roster was ravaged by injuries, Detmer failed to put points onto the board.
And that alone made any individual performance moot.
After falling behind early to Chicago, Detmer's ability to move the offense was dwarfed by a pressuring Bears' defense. It forced two Detmer interceptions, but the consistent pressure made the task almost impossible.
Detmer's pocket presence was as brief as his role as starting quarterback three months ago.
Although many other Lions will take a stab at redeeming themselves next week, Detmer may not have that opportunity. Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg has yet to name his starting quarterback for next week, but the time off for McMahon could have rested him enough for Sunday's home match up against Dallas.
It is a match up Detmer was originally supposed to start back in September.
Ty Detmer's 303-yard performance on Sunday is the only evidence he has to prove he can still play on the National Football League. Aging quarterbacks, like Detmer, are being replaced by a new breed at the position. So his ammunition is light.
He can only hope it will be enough to answer the seven interception game tape his host will be harboring.