NFC North Roundup for NFL Week 17

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Detroit Lions Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) catches a touchdown pass against Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Greenwood (33) in the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Lost: Lions 13, Minnesota Vikings 14 

A disappointing season culminated in a meaningless game that should have had playoff implications.

Of course, the Lions are lucky it didn’t, since they once again blew enough opportunities against an inferior team to lose a winnable game. That’s basically the story of the Lions’ 2013 season. And their 2007 season. And a number of others.

The Detroit Lions are a classic example of how talent without execution is not enough to win football games. With reasonable execution, the Lions could have beat any team in the NFL this season. But as it turned out, they beat less than half of them.

Now the question will turn to coaching, because it’s hard to point anywhere else, given the disparity between talent and performance. Jim Schwartz’s shelf life might be shorter than that of this article.