The Lions entered 2012 with some quiet talk of a deep playoff run, and dare we say a Super Bowl appearance? After their nail-biting win over the Rams in week 1, things quickly headed south, and suddenly, Jim Schwartz's job seems anything but safe.
The Lions sit at a miserable 4-8 following this weekend's collapse to the Colts. The Lions round out their season by playing the Packers, Cardinals, Falcons and Bears. Of those final four games, it seems likely the Lions will find ways to lose at least three of them, although one would think even they can handle the Cardinals.
Early in his tenure as the Lions head coach, poor play was simply attributed to a terrible roster that was the cumulative result of the Matt Millen era, but following last year's trip to the playoffs, Schwartz can no longer dismiss poor and undisciplined play as a result of fielding bad players. Now it's bad coaching.
Many issues continue to be a problem for the Lions under Schwartz. His team seemingly doesn't show up until halftime of most games, requiring furious comebacks for the Lions' rare wins. When they do show up on time, they often build a quick lead before becoming oddly conservative. When the Lions think they have the game won, they stop playing hard, and as we saw on Sunday, it costs them games in the wins column.
To top off the case against Schwartz staying beyond 2012, his players are seen as one of the most undisciplined groups in the NFL. Ndamukong Suh finds new ways to upset opposing players at least a couple of times per year, and Titus Young isn't even with the team due to behavior problems. In other words, Schwartz doesn't run a tight ship.
Jim Schwartz will likely fall back to being a defensive coordinator somewhere in the NFL, but his time may be up in Detroit. Who knows, maybe he'll survive the season, but unless something changes very abruptly, hanging on to his job after this season is over will only be putting off the inevitable.