The Detroit Lions saw the Jahvid Best saga come to an end, at least for 2012, when his return was ruled out prior to week nine. It was a blow to the team’s hopes that they would get their speedy weapon to help fuel a second-half surge. Even so, the Lions’ 1-3 start to the 2012 season was starting to look like a thing of the past when the Lions evened up their record at 4-4 after winning at Jacksonville on November 4. It was the kind of dominating performance, albeit over a weak team, that suggested the Lions may have turned a corner.
That set up a key NFC North game against the Vikings in Minnesota. The Lions felt they let an opportunity slip away when the Vikings won in Detroit in September but another slow start doomed the Lions as they fell back below .500. It was clear a corner had not been turned and rumblings regarding Scott Linehan’s job security and the “same old Lions” grew louder.
The Lions were entering must-win territory and unfortunately had some of the best teams in the league coming up on their schedule. The Lions played a competitive game against the Packers but lost the lead late to come up short yet again. They followed that with a Thanksgiving Day loss in which they literally threw away a win in the form of an illegal challenge flag that allowed an egregious missed call to turn into an 81-yard touchdown run for the Texans.
That was loss number seven, enough to likely keep the Lions out of the playoffs no matter what happened in December.