12th Man Report: Lions "lose" hope

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Two weeks ago, the stage was set on Monday night for the Lions to defeat the Baltimore Ravens and move one win closer to a spot in the 2013 playoffs.

Of course, they didn’t do that. But their hopes for the playoffs weren’t over yet. With a win this past weekend and a loss from the Bears and Packers, the Lions would’ve found themselves again in the playoff hunt. Chicago was playing Philadelphia and Green Bay the lowly Steelers — games that with post-season hopes on the line, you’d think were must-haves.

As time would have it, while those games were “must-haves,” neither team played like it. Both Green Bay and Chicago lost this past Sunday, leaving Detroit only needing to defeat the New York Giants to make the playoffs more of a reasonable chance. What did the Lions do? They Lions lost in overtime, blowing the game late in the fourth quarter

yet again.

This was pretty much expected. I mean, they’re the same old Lions, right? But the worst part is that the Lions’ divisional rivals practically handed them the division on a silver platter. And Detroit took the platter, gave it a little taste, and then said, “I’m not partial to that flavor.”

Instead of going into the final game of the season with a lot on the line, the Lions will play the Minnesota Vikings — the NFC North’s worst team — on the road. Not too far away, though, the Packers and Bears will square off with the division on the line. Whoever wins will go the playoffs and whoever loses will join Detroit in the “close, but no cigar” category.

As the Lions' fate this season has now been decided, the fate of their leader Jim Schwartz isn’t so certain. If he can somehow weather this 1-5 finish to the season and keep his job, he’ll have his work cut out for him next year.


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