The season for the Lions is essentially done, it's time to start looking ahead to next year. After a disappointing year like this, changes are bound to be made.
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News says that coach Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew might be feeling their seats get hot.
He's not calling for anyone's heads, mind you, nor saying either will get fired.
What he is saying—and it's completely on point and reasonable—is that the franchise needs to take a hard look at both men, their choices and how they conduct business.
The team is once again among the most penalized teams in the NFL. If they were winning, this could be overlooked (though it shouldn't be) but they aren't, so it can't be.
Discipline comes from the top, and until recently, when he suspended Titus Young (for a second time), the perception is that Schwartz doesn't have control of his players nor is interested in disciplining them.
Again, it's perception—it might not be reality—but perception plays a heavy role in how a franchise conducts its business. The perception now is that this franchise is in chaos, that the inmates might be running the asylum.
After all, Schwartz can say that the Lions weren't celebrating the injury of a Colts player, but the story is still 'Lions celebrate injured player'.
That's perception, and nobody this side of 70s/80s Al Davis wants to be known as the dirty team. It's not good for business.
It's not just a question of whether Schwartz is in control, but who Mayhew is drafting. Guys like Titus Young had issues prior to their selection and yet the Lions seemingly said 'eh whatever' and dove in head first.
Young, Suh and Fairley all had reputations prior to becoming Lions, and that hasn't changed.
Nobody is getting fired, not a year away from a playoff berth.
However it might be time for the team to take a long look at how things are happening in their building and how they could get better.
On to more NFC North news.
Brad Biggs of the Tribune points out how we were reminded this weekend that the turnovers generated by the secondary rely on the pass rush.
The Sun-Times' Adam Jahns asks if the defense is fading as we hit the end of the season.
ESPN Chicago has some video of Jay Cutler's appearance on the radio in Chicago.
The Lions are at the point in their season where players have to be worried about playing well enough to have a job next year, according to MLive.com's Anwar Richardson.
Also looking ahead, the Free Press' Jeff Seidel says the team needs to focus on defense in next year's draft.
Green Bay Packers
Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel says that while the Packers kept tight ends and backs in to help the offensive line, it's not the way they prefer to do things.
Don't like Crosby as the Packers' kicker? Too bad, as according to Zach Kruse of Cheesehead TV, he's the guy the Pack is going with.
Rookie Don Barclay's solid play against the Vikings gives the Packers some options when T.J. Lang returns according to the Press-Gazette's Rob Demovsky.
As always, Tom Pelissero is back at 1500 ESPN with a breakdown of the tape from Sunday's game.
Dan Weiderer of the Star-Tribune says with Ponder's recent struggles, questions are arising as to whether he is the quarterback of the future.
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