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Pressure lingers as losses pile up for Lions’ Caldwell

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The Sports Xchange

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find nice things to say about the Lions.

Wide receiver Lance Moore even rejected the idea that a week off could help the players take their mind off football.

“Losing before the bye week is one of the worst things that can happen to you as a player because you’ve got two weeks to sit on the most recent loss, and us being 1-7, we’ve got two weeks to think about us being 1-7,” he said.

The Lions haven’t been able to think about much besides losing this season, and they enter the idle week after their worse defeat of the season, falling 45-10 to the Chiefs in London. Making matters worse, Kansas City (3-5) is hardly a juggernaut and blew out the Lions without their best offensive player, running back Jamaal Charles.

The overarching problems with the Lions have been the same all season — poor blocking, too many turnovers, inconsistent play on defense and ill-timed penalties. Besides punter Sam Martin, kicker Matt Prater and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, everyone can be blamed for errors throughout the horrendous start.

Fortunately, coach Jim Caldwell said effort isn’t an issue.

“Our guys their hearts are in the right place,” he said. “Their efforts in the right place. We don’t have any difficulty with that.”

Unfortunately, that means the talent and coaching, both schematically and in terms of talent development, is not where it needs to be, which is why Caldwell will continue to face questions about his job security until things turn around.

The Lions, who have already fired three assistant coaches, enter the midway point of the season ranking 27th in defense and 26th in offense. They’re allowing more points, 30.6 per game, than any other team, and scoring more points, 18.6 per game, than just two other teams.

Despite the struggles, the Lions plan to keep trying as hard as they can to win. But with a road game in Green Bay, where they haven’t won since 1991, coming after the bye, and coming off a performance in which the defense looking slow and confused, it’s hard to imagine they’ll win many of their eight remaining games.

“If you’ve been in this league awhile, you understand it’s a week-to-week business,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “You can’t let great success over a period of time, or great failure, whatever it is, over a period of time, wear you down or build you up too high. You’ve just got to stay even-keeled, and that’s what we do.”


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