Lions are a messand they know it

972783.png

Lions are a messand they know it

DETROIT -- The Bears held on to defeat the Lions 26-24 at Ford Field, but didnt get the help they needed from the Packers -- who lost to the Vikings -- and will not make the playoffs. While the city of Chicago searches for answers, the people of Detroit also are left wondering how the Lions went from a 10-6 playoff team in 2011 to a 4-12 mess just a year later.
Its tough, Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. You feel like you were turning the corner as a franchise and for the people and for the city and the fans. Its frustrating to let down the guys in the locker room, but for me its more frustrating to let down the fans.
Lions guard Rob Sims couldnt wrap his head around his team's eight-game losing streak.
It does blow my mind, Sims told CSNChicago.com. Matthew Stafford was missing a lot of his weapons for a good part of that time. We couldnt fix it.
It seemed like the pile of Detroit losses was just starting to sink in for defensive end Cliff Avril.
Thats crazy, Avril said. To not have a won a game in two months is tough."
In Week 9, both the Lions and Bears had their biggest blowout wins of the year. Chicago crushed Tennessee by 31 to move to 7-1, while Detroit throttled Jacksonville by 17 , pushing their record to 4-4. The Bears would lose five of their next six games before getting things back on track with back-to-back wins to close out the regular season. The Lions, on the other hand, lost eight straight to finish a dismal 4-12.
In the end the Lions and the Bears just werent good enough this season. Whether a 10-win team that failed to make the playoffs or a four-win team that failed to make the playoffs, you are still on the outside looking in.
Is Schwartz the right fit in Detroit?
My opinion, Jim Schwartz is a real good mixture of being a smart coach and an emotional coach, Vanden Bosch said. I think he understands what players need and this year, for whatever reason, as a group we didnt respond the way we needed to.
There were conflicting job security reports on Schwartz prior to Sundays loss to the Bears, but afterwards his players seemed to still believe he was the right guy to lead them out of their recent slumber.
I think hes a great coach, Sims said. Hes an improving coach, I think well all band together. Once in a while you can hit a bump in the road.
Lions wide receiver Brian Robiskie, who had two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, summed everything up.
Last year we were in it, this year didnt go our way, he told CSNChicago.com. We know we have the pieces to make things work, we just have to get it turned around and get it going.
Melton is no clown to all Lions
Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team earlier in the week and took some criticism from Lions center Dominic Raiola. While Raiola did not speak on the record following Sundays loss, one of his teammates on the offensive line chimed in.
I wouldnt say Melton is spectacular, but hes an emerging player, Sims told CSNChicago.com. I think what he gets he deserves. In the beginning of the week he was running his mouth a little bit too much and we didnt like that.
Better luck next year
So what does Avril think about the Packers and Vikings being at the top of the division and in the playoff discussion, while Detroit is not?
I dont care about them, Avril said. I want to win. I want to get to be one of those teams. It sucks that we werent a part of it.
I think thats something all fans of non-playoff teams, in the Motor City or the Windy City, can agree on.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Jonathan Marchessault's hat trick leads Panthers rout of Blackhawks

Javier Baez won’t change his style around Cubs after World Baseball Classic: ‘We’re not showing anybody up’

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

Marian Hossa named Blackhawks' nominee for 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Brett Anderson’s personality mixing well with Cubs: ‘I don’t hate anybody yet’

Former Bulls center Joakim Noah suspended 20 games for violating NBA's anti-drug policy

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Joe Maddon breaks down the Matt Szczur vs. Tommy La Stella decision for Cubs

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OLB Dawuane Smoot

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you're ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Bulls fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Bulls Pulse