The Lions went from first place to third place in the NFC North last week, but coach Jim Schwartz notes that all is not lost.
Schwartz says that because the Lions still have a scenario in which they make the playoffs — win both of their remaining games while the Bears and Packers each lose at least one — that means most NFL teams are envious of their current position.
“As we go in to the 15th game of the year, that scenario is there for us and there are probably 20 teams in the league right now that would like to switch positions with us,” Schwartz said. “There are some teams that three games down with two to play. Not exactly good. There are a lot of times some of them are probably eight games down with two to play. Being one down with two to play, it’s not our ideal situation, but it’s the hand that we play. We are not dealt this hand, it’s the hand that we’re playing right now and the only thing that we concern ourselves with is the Giants.”
Schwartz is right that a lot of teams would like to switch positions with the Lions, although he’s overstating things when he says there are 20 such teams. None of the 12 teams that would make the playoffs if they started today would want to trade places with the Lions, and three other teams that will make the playoffs if they win out wouldn’t trade places with the Lions, either.
Perhaps more importantly for Schwartz, there aren’t many coaches who would trade places with him right now. Because the Lions have quickly gone from playoff favorites to playoff long shots, Schwartz is one of the NFL’s most endangered coaches.