16 reasons the Detroit Lions will have another season of record-breaking futility.
16. Commissioner Roger Goodel has warned them that if they don't stop sucking they're going to lose their annual Thanksgiving Day game as the league is tired of the team's perennial armpit being showcased on the second-most watched game of the year (besides the Super Bowl).
15. Their place kicker (Jason Hanson) is STILL their best player.
14. Half the team is in their first or second year in the league, the other half is over 30.
13. Living in Detroit is depressing enough even without playing on an 0-16 team.
12. I know it was only the preseason, but every single game the Lions kept their starters in after the other team had put in backups and rookies, and more often than not the other team's backups and rookies were outplaying the Lions starters.
11. The triple-teams Calvin Johnson will inevitably be seeing as they don't have another receiver worth covering. Their other receivers and tight ends have combined for a grand total of 657 catches in a combined 23 years of NFL experience. That's an average of 29 catches a year. This is just going to be one of those years when Megatron finishes with 80 catches, and about 25 guys will be tied for second on the team with 11 catches.
10. The defense that just might be even worse than last year. Apparently the Lions idea of upgrading their defense was getting rid of their starters, bringing in free agents who weren't good enough to start on their old teams, and starting them instead.
9. All the other imported free agents who are really excited about the opportunity to be playing in Detroit (read: they couldn't make a real team's roster).
8. In attempting to create a winning culture in Detroit, new coach Jim Schwartz planned to bring in winning coaches from winning programs. Instead he got Gunther Cunningham, recently known as the defensive coordinator for the Chiefs. Fun fact: in their last 24 games, the Lions are 1-23. That one win? Against Gunther Cunningham's Chiefs.
7. Again, I know it was only the preseason, but the Browns have already embarrassed them. THE BROWNS.
6. The second assistant Jim Schwartz scraped off the tighty-whiteys of the NFL's bottom-feeders. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who was so bad as the head coach in St. Louis that he got fired in the middle of the year. You have to be a special kind of miserable failure to get canned in the middle of the season.
5. Head coach Jim "I don't believe in blitzing" Schwartz. His big thing was how he believes in generating pressure with your front four rather than with blitzes. Yeah, that's great. That might work when you have the best front four in the last decade like the Titans had when he coached there, but you try that with the rotating clusterfuck of rookies and scrubs the Lions have and just see how well that works.
4.Severe lack of cheerleaders. What's the motivation to score touchdowns when it won't result in cheerleaders bouncing up and down on the sidelines?
3. 14-year-old Matthew Stafford as the starting quarterback, with an 11-year veteran and former Pro Bowler holding the clipboard. Stafford may have a hell of an arm, but he threw an interception in every single pre-season game. Playing two quarters or less per game. Going against 2nd, 3rd, and no stringers. You can talk about Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco going to the playoffs as rookies all you want, but they didn't inherit 0-16 teams. Stafford will be lucky if he doesn't set the single-season record for interceptions (42 if you're keeping score at home).
2. Matt Millen may be gone, but the people who took his place were trained by him, and it shows. Particularly Millen-esque was the decision to blow the first overall draft pick on a junior quarterback in a weak draft class and then invest additional picks in giving him targets (i.e. taking a tight end with their second pick in the first round when there were several solid linebackers still on the board when they needed one badly).
1. Millen may be gone, but Old Man Ford is still there.