A season ago, the Detroit Lions made good on promises of a turnaround by making the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Despite losing in the opening round, they set the bar for 2012 higher than any point in recent history. Unfortunately, they haven't followed through.
The Lions are off to a stunning 1-3 start, with their lone win coming against the St. Louis Rams. In their four games, Matthew Stafford has thrown for just three touchdowns and four interceptions. Considering how inept the Lions' running game is, that's simply not going to get it done.
On Sunday, the Lions put a new twist to losing. They gave the Vikings a win by simply not covering kicks. The Vikings took back the opening kickoff of the game for a quick six and followed it up later by giving the Vikings a punt return for another touchdown.
The Lions' defense forfeited only two field goals the entire game, but their offense continued to struggle, putting up just thirteen points.
Maybe we were too quick to judge Martin Mayhew's Lions squad as a success. The team has been erratic at best all season long. At times, they give away points like candy on Halloween (see Titans game), and at other times their defense looks like one of the better units (see Vikings game).
No, it's not time to blow up the roster again, but it is time to consider where the team actually is. How could we be fooled by this team? They have a very poor secondary and nearly no ability to shut down opponents' running games. Their offense is explosive, but Stafford has been off all year, and they have no running game.
I was a believer, and like Lions fans everywhere, I feel betrayed. I bought into the "new" Lions, but they appear to be the same old team with a slightly updated look. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but I doubt it. They're destined to sit at the bottom of the NFC North once again. I was wrong about the Lions, and I'm sorry.