Even those expecting the Lions to take a step back this year weren’t predicting the 2012 season to turn out this poorly. That being said, Lions fans can find at least some measure of satisfaction in the fact they aren’t New York Jets fans. Sure, the Jets are a game better in the win column so far this season and will likely finish the season with a better record than the Lions but that’s just window dressing. Both teams’ seasons are effectively over, it’s what comes next that Lions fans should be thankful for.
Jim Schwartz and Rex Ryan are the only two NFL head coaches hired prior to the 2009 season (there were a total of 11) to remain in their position. While Ryan found immediate success in turning the Jets into a contender, or at least the appearance of a contender, can anyone say the Jets are in a better position going forward than the Lions?
There is one “must have” in the NFL. Something so important that you either have it or better be looking for it and that is a solid starting quarterback.
Sanchez was pulled last week after completing 10 of 21 passes for just 97 yards while throwing three interceptions. In came third-string quarterback Greg McElroy to lead the Jets to their only score of the game on way to the Jets’ less than thrilling 7-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Now the quarterback controversy is on.
In Detroit, we know a little something about quarterback controversies and my first thought was to compare the Sanchez-McElroy situation to the changing of the guard from Scott Mitchell to Charlie Batch. Truth be told, such a comparison would be insulting to both Mitchell and Batch, who just led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a road win over the Baltimore Ravens. Perhaps the Joey Harrington-Mike McMahon quarterback controversy is a more fitting comparison.
Rex Ryan has put the issue to rest for now by naming Mark Sanchez the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unfortunately for Rex, no decree he makes will suddenly turn Sanchez into a franchise quarterback.
This season will mercifully end for the Lions and Jets in a matter of weeks. The Lions will be able to move on knowing they are set at the most important position on the team while the Jets must get back to the quarterback drawing board.