The Detroit Lions have found themselves in the national spotlight twice this season, shining in their first appearance, then crashing and burning in their second.
The spotlight shines on the Lions again Sunday.
The Lions' Monday Night Football game Oct. 10 against the Chicago Bears definitely has been this season's high point. Their 24-13 win over the Bears at Ford Field surprised some skeptics who believed the Lions wouldn't be able to live up to the hype and achieve a 5-0 start with a huge MNF win.
That seems like a long time ago.
Since Oct. 10, Detroit (7-4) has gone 2-4 with losses to San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago and Green Bay. The loss to the Packers on Thanksgiving Day has definitely been the season's low point. Ndamukong Suh's ejection and consequent suspension capped off an embarrassing 27-15 loss at home.
Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints (8-3) offers the Lions a chance to go 2-1 this season in high-profile, spotlighted games.
Moreover, a Detroit win on Sunday could wipe out the Thanksgiving hangover and put the Lions in a position to make a late-season push for the playoffs.
Will it happen?
The Saints are led by one of the NFL's hottest quarterbacks, Drew Brees, and are coming off a huge win over the New York Giants. It appears Detroit has been set up to crash and burn on national TV, again.
This is probably the toughest of the three aforementioned spotlight games for the Lions. They will be without their best defensive player and this game is at New Orleans.
It's pretty much a scheduled victory for the Saints.
However, maybe, just maybe, the Lions will realize this is arguably their last hope for a real statement this year and that they must play with their backs against the wall.
Desperation is key to getting a victory Sunday.