LIONS INSIDER

Twentyman: Lions need the season's second quarter to start with a win

Posted Oct 9, 2012

If the first quarter of this season represented the first quarter of a basketball game, the Lions (1-3) are heading into the second quarter trailing by double-digits.

The Lions compartmentalize their football season into four quarters. Each quarter represents a four-game segment of their 16-game schedule. For players and coaches, it’s a way to break up the season and keep the focus on short-term goals and not the long-term ones.

If the first quarter of this season represented the first quarter of a basketball game, the Lions (1-3) are heading into the second quarter trailing by double-digits.

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch knows how important this second quarter is if both he and the Lions hope to reach their long-term goals: a playoff berth for the second consecutive season.

“This quarter right here is huge,” the seventh-year pro said. “I don’t want to say it's make-or-break our season, but it either puts us in a good situation or puts us behind the eight ball.”

The Lions need a comeback before halftime.

They caught a break with the bye week falling before they start their next four-game quarter. For a team reeling from three straight losses, the bye week gave them an opportunity to look back at how they got to 1-3 and gave them a few extra days to figure out what's been the problem and what they have to do moving forward to kick start their season.

“I think probably in three areas we've got something done,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of the bye week. “One is fine tuning some of the stuff that we do that’s just part of us and some things we can do a little bit better over the first four games; evaluated that, worked on some of that.

“Part of it also was getting started on Philadelphia, which we did last week just a little bit. Today our whole day was Philadelphia.

“Probably the biggest thing any time during the bye week is physical rest. We have a chance to be healthier than we’ve been for a long time.”

Schwartz made no excuses for the Lions 1-3 record, but said it wasn’t a stretch to think they could be 3-1 if a few plays would have gone differently.

“There’s a difference between fine tune and overhaul,” he said. “We need to play better in some spots; we need to improve in some areas. No different than if we were 3-1 right now.”

Center Dominic Raiola probably said it best in the locker room after Tuesday’s bonus practice when he said: “We need to just get back to where we where last year. Talent wise it’s all the same.”

The Lions know they’ve put themselves in a hole and the process of climbing out starts Sunday in Philadelphia with the start of the second quarter of their season.

It’ll be hard to picture them as playoff contenders unless they - at the very least - split their next four games against the Eagles, Bears, Seahawks and Jaguars. Three of which are on the road.

“We dug ourselves in a hole and its time to start digging our way out of it,” defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. “The bye week probably came at a good time. We were able to look at some things and now it’s a fresh start and time to move on.”