The Detroit Lions played what may have been their best quarter of football in years on Sunday in the first 15 minutes against the Seattle Seahawks, and they lost the game anyway.
So does that mean these are the same old Lions? Or is there a glimmer of hope to be found in those first 15 minutes? Lions coach Jim Schwartz says that at this point, he doesn’t know what he should think of his team.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Schwartz said after having a day to think about how his team played. “I don’t know whether to look at it as ‘glass half-full’ or ‘glass half-empty’ because you put all of those things [together]: OK, cross-country trip, play on the road, obviously a loud place, adverse conditions and the fact that we were in that position. OK, there’s positives there. The fact that we were up 17-0 and let it slip away, there aren’t many positives that you can look at there.”
Schwartz has said he’s encouraged by some of the things he’s seen from his team this year, especially from the younger players who will — he hopes — be the nucleus of a team that finally turns things around in Detroit. But in going over everything that happened to his team in Seattle on Sunday, Schwartz came across like David from the Seinfeld episode “The Wait-Out,” who asks questions to himself, aloud, and then answers them.
“Are we happy where we are? Absolutely not,” Schwartz told reporters Monday. “Do we have a long way to go? Yes, we do. Are we working? Sure. Are we seeing positive signs? Yeah. Are we seeing inconsistencies? Yes. Are there changes to be made still? Yes. To label us happy or unhappy or anything else — we have work to do every Sunday and we’re not there yet.”
The bottom is that Schwartz inherited a terrible team — the only 0-16 team in NFL history. Can that kind of team be turned around quickly? Apparently not.