If it wasn't the Lions' most volatile season in franchise history it was close, with firings, a quarterback benching, comebacks, a 1-7 start and a 6-2 finish that added up to a 7-9 record.
There was good and bad, highlights and lowlights, and everything in between.
Here are two opinions on the Lions' best and worst -- and a lot in between -- of their 2015 season.
As always, we're interested in other opinions, so feel free to disagree:
Best 3 games of 2015:
- Week 10 -- streak-snapper: Lions 18, Packers 16 at Lambeau Field. There were anxious moments and nail-biting right to the end -- and beyond, for that matter -- but a 24-season road losing streak to the Packers was snapped. Doubt if the Lions have to wait until 2039 to win again.
- Week 13 -- temporary bliss: Lions 23, Packers 21 -- after 60 minutes at Ford Field. Great game, great performances, Ford Field rocking -- until what happened in the next 13 seconds.
- Week 12 -- holiday feast: Thanksgiving Day -- Lions beat the stuffing out of the Eagles, 45-14, for a third straight win that made a playoff run look possible.
- Week 10 -- it's finally over: Lions 18, Packers 16 at Lambeau Field. No more questions about that terrible streak of losing in the state of Wisconsin since 1991. The Lions tried to give the game away on a number of occasions late, but they held on and this win helped propel their second-half surge.
- Week 12 -- turkey roast: The Lions were on a two-game winning streak when the Eagles came to town on national television. Detroit roasted them to the tune of 45-14 and Calvin Johnson (3 TDs) proved he still couldn't be covered one-on-one.
- Week 17 – finishing strong: It was important for these players and these coaches to finish what they started after the bye week. Matthew Stafford was good again in Chicago, and the Lions finished their last eight games at 6-2.
Worst 3 games of 2015:
- Week 13 -- best to worst, same game: Packers 27, Lions 23: Worst loss for the Lions since moving to Ford Field in 2002. A questionable face-mask penalty as time ran out gave the Packers another play. Aaron Rodgers connected with Richard Rodgers in the end zone on a 61-yard Hail Mary for the winning TD.
- Week 5 -- blowout at home: Cardinals 42, Lions 17. Matthew Stafford was benched for the first time in his life after his third interception as the Lions dropped to 0-5.
- Week 8 -- London letdown: Chiefs 45, Lions 10. Everything collapsed except the London Bridge. Three assistant coaches were fired before the team left for London. After the return home, president Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew were fired.
- Week 13 -- Hail Mary fail: Packers 27, Lions 23. How could they not have anticipated the Hail Mary?
- Week 8 -- London exposure: Chiefs 45, Lions 10. It's one thing to be embarrassed at home in the U.S., but this was an international drubbing for the whole world to see. The Ford family traveled a long way to watch that game and were none too pleased afterward, which led to the firings of president Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew.
- Week 4 -- blown call: Seattle 13, Lions 10. What would have happened if the Lions got that call on the batted ball out of bounds at the end of the game? A tough road win early in the year against the defending NFC champs. Would it have a made a difference? We'll never know.
Offensive play of the season:
Week 6 -- Stafford to Calvin Johnson for 57 yards in overtime to set up Matt Prater's field goal that beat Chicago, 37-34, for the first victory of the season.
Week 10 -- I'm cheating a little bit here and going with two plays. The 104-yard Ameer Abdullah kick return that set up the 1-yard Stafford to Brandon Pettigrew TD that helped end "the streak" in Green Bay.
Defensive play of the season:
Week 10 -- Crezdon Butler bats away Aaron Rodgers' pass in the end zone on a two-point conversion attempt to preserve the Lions' 18-16 win at Lambeau. Signed to the roster on Friday, Butler played eight snaps on Sunday as an injury replacement in the secondary and was one of the heroes.
Week 12 -- Ziggy Ansah nearly single-handedly wrecked the entire offensive game plan of the Philadelphia Eagles in front of a national audience on Thanksgiving. He recorded 3.5 sacks, two tackles for loss, three more quarterback hits, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Unit that stepped up:
Defensive backfield. Combined with veteran safety Glover Quin, four young players were getting most of the snaps in the second half.
Defensive backfield. Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs and Isa Abdul-Quddus being inserted into the starting lineup due to injuries and performance turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to this defense. The future looks bright in the secondary with talent and youth.
Unit that needs most help:
Offensive line. It was a rebuild project for 2015. Load up the family pickup and head to Home Depot and Ikea for more repairs in 2016.
Offensive line. If you can't block, you can't win in this league. It's really as simple as that. The O-line did a better job in the second half, but some major retooling needs to happen upfront this offseason.
Offensive MVP: not counting QB Matthew Stafford:
Theo Riddick: A sure-handed safety blanket for Stafford, and a nemesis for defenses with 80 catches of 99 targets out of the backfield. It was a breakout season for Riddick, with more to come. That was not a one-season fluke.
P.S. -- Stafford is the true MVP, but that's a given when a QB plays as well as he did. Give an assist to Jim Bob Cooter, who cashed his ticket as one of the bright, young offensive coordinators when given the promotion before Week 8.
Calvin Johnson: All the talk about Johnson's demise now that he's 30 has been greatly exaggerated. All he did at age 30 was catch 88 passes for 1,214 yards and lead the team once again with nine touchdowns. His 1,200-plus yards ranks him in the Top 10 in the NFL. His impact on the game extends far beyond the stat sheet and that's why his peers and coaches voted him to the Pro Bowl, not the fans.
P.S. -- I agree with Mike that Stafford is the true MVP, but I was just following instructions.
Ziggy Ansah: He had 14.5 sacks and relentless pressure and pursuit with speed and power off the edge. Ndamukong Suh missed Ansah more than Ansah missed Suh.
Ziggy Ansah: No brainer here. His 14.5 sacks ended just a half sack short of tying Robert Porcher's franchise record of 15.0. He plays the run just as well as he rushes the passer. He'll be a Pro Bowl player for the next decade or so.
Special teams MVP:
Ameer Abdullah: Among players with more than one kickoff return per game, Abdullah's average return of 29.1 yards was second to the Vikings' Cordarelle Patterson (31.8). Abdullah consistently gave the Lions' offense decent field position.
Sam Martin and Don Carey: Martin re-set the team's single-season record with a 42.0 net punting average. Martin is the only Lions punter since net punting became an official statistic in 1976 that has finished with a plus-40.0 net punting average in a season. And, he has accomplished that feat in each of his three seasons in the league.
The Lions punt coverage team allowed just 6.1 yards per punt return this season (sixth in the NFL), the club's lowest average since 2002 (4.5 yards). Don Carey led the NFL with 15 special teams tackles.
Season turning point:
Bye week, the owner speaks: Martha Firestone Ford's message to the media, team and fans after the midseason firings was that the team would not give up on the season, and she wanted it to compete, improve and win. The 6-2 record in the second half is evidence that the team responded.
Caldwell goes to the pen: The firing of Joe Lombardi and hiring of Jim Bob Cooter as offensive coordinator had the biggest impact on the second half of the season, in my opinion. Cooter is young, bright and he and Stafford see offensive football the same, which had a huge impact on Stafford's second half.