Jim Schwartz’s contract with Lions still has three years remaining on it after this season and runs through 2015. Schwartz is safe for 2013.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2012
The interesting postscript to this tweet was one of the replies that stated:
@adamschefter thnx for passing along depressing holiday news— BOB LICHT (@hortonhomers) December 23, 2012
The news should be depressing to Lions fans after an already depressing season. Going into their game against Atlanta, the Lions were 4-10, losers of their last six games and saddled with a minus-50 point differential. The only bright spot in an otherwise horrible season has been Calvin Johnson's pursuit of Jerry Rice in the record books.
The reasons for Detroit's one-year fall from playoff team to the same old Lions has to do with discipline, which is a reflection of the head coach.
For the season, the Lions are averaging 6.9 penalties per game, which is currently ranked 26th in the NFL coming into their game against Atlanta. They're also giving up 63.9 yards per game due to those penalties, many of which are easily preventable.
That's on coaching, and is a reason why the Lions are making a mistake by bringing Schwartz back.
The Lions have plenty of talent on their roster, and it's evident on both sides of the ball. The process of putting together this team post-Matt Millen has been a model of great management.
But despite the talent, the discipline isn't there, and it's not just in the penalties and the yards, but also in how the Lions have lost. Coming into their game against the Falcons, the Lions have lost their games by an average of 7.8 points per game, and even that number is skewed by their Week 15 blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
A team with the talent of the Lions should be able to close out games, something that was apparent last season, but has all but escaped this team this season.
Schwartz will likely be the first coach mentioned in 2013 when the talk is about coaches on the hot seat in the preseason. If 2013 starts off in any way like 2012 ended, that seat will only get hotter.
But instead of giving it another year and waiting, the time is now for Detroit to make the change. The way things are trending, 2013 could be a long season.