Could a trip to London by the Detroit Lions result in the same fate as former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin?
For Jim Caldwell, who coached his team – if you want to call that – to a 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, it might be only a matter of time before the Detroit head coach gets a pink slip. Like all other teams that have played overseas this season, Detroit will have the bye week to mull over more changes in the coaching staff. The changes Detroit made last Monday, firing offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and both offensive line coaches, were moves that had to be made.
As Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reported, this is season where every game Caldwell remains the head coach, it is a situation where he is coaching for his job.
Caldwell should be coaching for his job the rest of this season, that’s what these firings Monday say. He has to improve this team, one that was constructed by general manager Martin Mayhew to win now. It was a team built to win with offense as well, as the Lions spent the offseason revamping their run game only to have it be last in the NFL after seven games.
Mayhew may also (and should be) on the hot seat as well. Whether both coach and general manager are released after the season is anyone’s guess. Since the Lions would own the first pick in the NFL Draft if the season ended right now, there are plenty of holes the top pick could fill. There is no real area that is stable on this roster.
The game on Sunday was more proof the offense, even with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson in the lineup, is as inept as a high school team trying to learn the game.
As Yahoo Sports eluded to the obvious, everything was below average in the game.
All over the box score was evidence of the Lions’ offensive ineptitude: they totaled just 276 yards, mustered only 16 first downs (just two by rush), and were a woeful 2-for-12 on third down.
The question now is: will the Lions fire Caldwell? The biggest issue for Caldwell might not be that Detroit isn’t playing well, but rather that they don’t seem to have any fight in them. After going 11-5 last year, the Lions already have seven losses, and it’s damning that Caldwell may have lost the locker room. However, while Caldwell could become the third coach in two seasons to be fired after a woeful performance in London, following Miami’s Joe Philbin and Oakland’s Dennis Allen.
Stafford has been quick to say some of the blame for the stagnant offense has been on him. The former No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, has had the worst season of his career so far. The quarterback from Georgia has not been able to take the next step forward as an elite passer and has teased Lions fans with brilliance at times and major failures at others.
Sunday was certainly a failure to move the ball and score points against a Chiefs defense that has been porous if anything this season.