THE PLAYOFF PICTURE: "There's no room for panic, but it's time for urgency"

Posted Nov 19, 2013

It's tough to think playoffs after a tough loss at Pittsburgh, but the Lions remain in the mix

Rashean MathisMathis. (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

"Time is not out, but it's running thin. There's no room for panic, but it's time for urgency."

This poetic line from cornerback Rashean Mathis following Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers says it all.

The Lions still hold a 6-4 record and would win the NFC North if the season ended today. The thing is, the season doesn't end today. Six games remain and the division and playoffs are still up for grabs. It's anybody's game.

Mathis makes the point that the pressure to win to stay on top shouldn't result in panic. This team is too talented to allow one road loss to affect it's psyche.

But he also makes the point that this loss has to affect the team. It was a poor performance in all three phases. To shrug it off would wash away any possibility of learning from the game.

The leadership in place -- Mathis, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Ndamukong Suh, Stephen Tulloch -- won't allow the loss to go by unnoticed. This team will address mistakes.

"We just have to learn from this one, move forward," said Stafford after the game. "It's tough to win on the road in this league. We had our opportunities today, we just didn't make the plays to get it done."

The Lions remain right in the thick of things, which is tough to get excited about following a loss like Sunday's.


NFC East: Philadelphia (6-5)

NFC North: Detroit (6-4)

NFC South: New Orleans (8-2)

NFC West: Seattle (10-1)

Wild Card: Carolina (7-3), San Francisco (6-4)

In the hunt: Chicago (6-4), Arizona (6-4), Dallas (5-5), Green Bay (5-5)