The Lions are 4-5 after Sunday’s loss at Minnesota and 0-3 in the NFC North, yet to play Green Bay in 2012.
That’s the current state in Allen Park.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after a 34-24 loss that he wouldn’t describe their mentality as desperate.
“Desperate is not a very good word to use,” he said. “We’re 4-5. We need to go play. We’ve got some home games we need to take advantage of.”
That’s what it’s come down to. That’s the current state the Lions find themselves in. They’ll still have the next-game-is-the-most-important game mentality, and right now that the Green Bay Packers Sunday at Ford Field, but the Packers kick off a three-game stretch that also includes the Texans and Colts at home.
Those three games have become the difference between a late playoff run for the Lions or irrelevancy in the playoff picture by December.
The Lions have to win at least five of their last seven games to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs at 9-7. Six of seven to get to 10-6 and likely assure themselves of a spot.
If the Lions can go on a mini-roll over the next few weeks and get to 7-5, things wouldn't look terrible in early December.
But how realistic does that seem just one day after watching quarterback
The offense has scored just one first-quarter touchdown all year. Coincidentally, they’ve only led at the half one time this year (at Jacksonville).
"Our shot for the playoffs, it's kind of slim,” cornerback
Houston’s was the one honest assessment Sunday of where the Lions are nine games into the season.
The NFC North race tightened up Sunday when the Bears lost for only the second time this season, a 13-6 defeat at home vs. Houston. There is now one game separating the Bears (7-2) and Packers (6-3). The Vikings, by way of their win Sunday, are now 1.5 games back at 6-4.
The Lions are 1.5 games behind the Vikings and three games back from the Bears with only seven games remaining.
After digging out of the 1-3 hole to start the season, the Lions are right back in another hole in the NFC playoff race. Currently, eight teams in the NFC have a better record.
"It's a long season," linebacker
"We are a good football team. We just need to put it all together and limit the mistakes. We talk about it week in and week out, but it's gut-check time here. Green Bay is the mission at this point. We need to put this one behind us and move on."
AROUND THE NFC NORTH
Bot bad as far as first impressions go for rookie receiver Jarius Wright
Mark Graig – Star-Tribune
Plenty goes right in Vikings win
Dan Wiederer – Star Tribune
Christian Ponder is back, all is forgiven
Tom Powers – Pioneer Press
Ready or not, Vikings have a chance after righting woes
Tom Pelissero – ESPN1500.com
Bears need better play from their quarterbacks
Dan Pompei – Chicago Tribune
What's next for Cutler after latest concussion?
Two more picks by Tim Jennings help spare Bears a bigger beating
Adam Jahns – Chicago Sun-Times
Week 10 Report Card: Dismal Day
Michael C. Wright – ESPNChicago.com
Packers have easiest remaining schedule of NFC North teams
Assessing Rodgers' MVP chances
Rob Demovsky – Press Gazette
Packers prepare for NFC North-heavy finish
Tyler Dunne – Journal Sentinel