The Lions were 6-3 on Nov. 10 before going 1-6 down the stretch, including 0-4 in December. Not only did they miss the playoffs after leading the division in Week 15, coach Jim Schwartz was fired the day after the season.
For NBA Hall of Famer and TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley the Lions are a lot like those underachieving NBA teams loaded with talent.
"The Detroit Lions would be the perfect example of a team that's got a bunch of talent that don't have no clue, any clue, how to play football," Barkley said during a recent appearance on the "The Rich Eisen Podcast. ...
"In the NBA I could go over a bunch of teams like that -- who have a bunch of talent but they are never going to win. But when I watch that Detroit Lions team play, I'm like 'Wow, man they got a lot of talent, but they have no idea how to play football.' And it's frustrating to watch because I'm a fan. I'm a fan. I want to see greatness. Anytime I watch sports I want to see greatness."
First up: Finding a new coach. Possible candidates include Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Whomever's hired, at the top of the to-do list should be sorting out franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, who said recently that, despite his inconsistent play and sometimes suspect decision making, he didn't feel a passing coach "would be my style or beneficial to me."
Hopefully, that decision won't be up to him.