DETROIT - The Lions' season ended on Sunday -- unofficially, of course.
Yes, the Lions could actually win the rest of their games, the stars could align and they could make the postseason.
It's just unlikely, er, impossible after the Lions dropped a heartbreaking 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon.
If the Lions -- who won 10 games last season -- had any chance to making it to the postseason for the second straight year, the comeback trail had to start with a victory over the Packers.
It didn't happen, though.
Instead, the Lions (4-6) are now 0-4 in their division and have to take AFC South-leading Houston Texans (9-1) on Thanksgiving Day. It appears to be another loss awaiting to happen.
Receiver Calvin Johnson was asked if the season's over. "The season's not over, man,'' Johnson barked. "We've got six games left.''
With the way the offense played against Green Bay, the Lions could have 10 games left and it wouldn't matter.
The offense was, well, stinky.
And quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't help at all. He was brutal, perhaps playing his worst game of his career.
"Yeah, I didn't play my best," said Stafford, who threw for 266 yards and had two picks and one touchdown. "We didn't play our best as an offense. Getting too many opportunities, turning the ball over too many times, didn't make enough plays."
Worse, there were so many bad, inaccurate passes. Often some of Stafford's passes wound up on the ground downfield without anyone truly knowing whom it was intended for. He was just plain terrible.
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Stafford said. "Obviously, to have spurts of playing good and then just not being able to be consistent enough with it. That's the biggest thing."
Even worse, is that now there appears to be a beef between coaches.
With 1:13 left in the game, after the Lions went four in out following the Packers' TD that gave them the lead for good at 21-20.
Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson was livid with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Jefferson was caught on camera screaming at Linehan and clapping his hands in frustration to make his point.
It appears, if you read his lips, as if Jefferson told Linehan, "I told you to throw the ball."
Apparently, Jefferson was disappointed in the play-calling in the third to last possession when the Lions scored a field goal instead of a touchdown.
On first and goal at GB's 10, Linehan ran the ball the first two downs. The Lions had to settle for a field goal after Stafford threw an incomplete pass on third down. It left the door for The Pack to score a touchdown and win. And they did.
The scene of coaches arguing was not a good sign at all.
``I'd rather not get into that,'' head coach Jim Schwartz said about the coaches conflict. ``Everybody was disappointed in not being able to score a touchdown on that last drive.''
Still, many have wondered if Schwartz will be able to hold this squad together as the games because more and more meaningless.
The sad part about the Lions' collapse this season is that many predicted it. Many NFL experts thought the Lions would be just a .500 team and not make the playoffs.
Many fans called those experts haters because they didn't see the Lions taking the next step. The reason many didn't like the Lions' chances this season is that last season they didn't beat a team with an over .500 record, despite 10 wins.
Enter the Packers, who entered the game with a four-game win streak. A victory over The Pack is exactly what the doctor ordered if the Lions were going to make that move fans have been waiting for.
"It's tough to swallow because we were up," said receiver Calvin Johnson. "Yeah we were up and had a chance to win the game, you know, and letting go of a divisional game, so it kind of would have counted for two for us, you know? It sucks in multiple ways but we'll keep on fighting."
In the end, though, it probably won't matter because the season came to a halt with that last-minute loss.
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