After going up 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Lions looked poised to end a four-game losing streak. Instead, the meltdown exacerbates a frustrating 2012 season in Detroit—one that came with high expectations following last year's 10-6 playoff effort.
The Lions have now blown a 10-point lead in three straight games, tying an NFL record shared by six other teams.
The NFL has taught us that the success and failure of an organization falls on the head coach and quarterback. Though Matthew Stafford has regressed this season, his future in Detroit is safe—for now—leaving Schwartz as the obvious scapegoat for the Lions.
Detroit's failure to gain momentum after last season's resurgence can be pointed to many areas, but it is Schwartz's job to mitigate those problems and still find ways to win games. And with much of the same roster in place, the on-field leadership of this team must shoulder the bulk of the blame.
The Lions travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals in Week 15 before closing the season with home games against the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears. Short of winning all three in decisive fashion, Schwartz doesn't deserve to return to the Detroit sidelines in 2013.
Though he is largely responsible for the recent turnaround of this franchise, Schwartz is now playing a huge part in everybody wondering if 2011 was more of an aberration in Detroit.
Though the talent on this team would lend credence to a bright future for this organization, a new leader could be the answer as guys like Stafford, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh hit the prime of their careers.
Follow Jeremy on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy.