The Detroit Lions have limped into their bye week with a 1-3 record. But for a clock-operator error in Week One against the Rams, the Lions could be 0-4.
Either way, it’s a steep decline from last year, and it has the Lions doing some soul-searching.
Specifically, they’re searching for the soul they had a season ago. “I think one of the reasons we had some success last year is we felt like it was us versus everybody else,” guard Rob Sims said, per Carlos Monarrez and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “We were kind of pissed off and we were playing a little bit reckless and kind of doing our thing.”
The problem is that the attitude created too many penalties. “Now we cut out some of the penalties . . . which I think is a good thing,” Sims said. “But we maybe lost some of our recklessness and playing with that reckless abandon. We need to get that back.”
Coach Jim Schwartz agrees. “We do need to play emotional,” Schwartz said. “We do need to, for lack of a better word, put a chip on our shoulder and things like that.”
But that edge isn’t lost — or found — during a bye week. This team has lost something in the past several months. Deciding in the middle of the season that they’re going to get it back won’t bring it back, especially when four of their first five games after the week off will be played on the road.
Then there’s the reality that, from a talent standpoint, it won’t matter how pissed off or otherwise the team may be. This team currently is destined to be back on the outside looking in, and they’ll need to spend time (and money) in 2013 addressing the many weak spots on the depth chart.