This is a post for all the Lions fans who are borderline on Jim Schwartz or think Jim Schwartz should be fired. The casual fan only looks at the win-loss record and the division standings. The more hardcore fan will look at others statistics. The fact is the Lions are a struggling franchise. They are a group of athletes that has seen a lot of turnover the past two years and are just now coming together as a team. They are still trying to find their identity. After that Packers game it is safe to say they found one. Many would look at it and say Stanton was awful, and the Packers were beat up. That is very true, but , one must also look at the fact that the Lions did two things they have struggled with a lot this season; they closed out a game, and they took the lead in the fourth quarter.
Jim Schwartz is not a miracle worker. How many times have the Lions looked good on paper before the season and had nothing to show for it on the field? I can count many. This year the Lions had a lot of talent on the roster, one of the leagues best front four, an improved secondary, and one of the divisions top offenses. What makes this years team so different? They have something to show for it. The Lions rank 22nd in rush defense, as opposed to 25th in 2009 and 32nd in 2008 the last season for Rod Marinelli. The Lions rank 14th in pass defense, as opposed to 32nd in 2009, and obviously 32nd is worse compared to the 27th of 2008. The Lions offensive line is ranked 11th this season, as opposed to 25th in 2009, this position has seen the least amount of turnover over the past 4 years. The Lions are also ranked 19th in total offense this season, as opposed to 26th in 2009, and 30th in 2008. Then there is the dreaded rushing game....30th in 2008, 24th in 2009, 27th in 2010 (which is still better than Marinelli). There are improvements like this across the board. I think the improvements on special teams speak for themselves.
It is also important to keep in mind the Lions have got to be one of the unluckiest teams in the NFL. Up until the two bad showings against the Patriots and the Cowboys the Lions had outscored their opponents while only winning 2 games for those of you who need stats to back things up. We don't even need to discuss the bad calls in this. The way I see it Jim Schwartz has two things to work on with this team, fundamentals (not committing penalties) and a winning mindset. I will take this Lions team over any I can remember. They are setting themselves up for solid draft position and honestly, another good draft, and improvements in the penalty department will go a long way next year in a weak division.