The Jim Schwartz era in Detroit is over. The Lions fired Schwartz today – according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter shortly before noon – making the long-expected move one day after their underachievement of a season ended with a 14-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. One of the NFL’s biggest disappointments, the Lions lost six of their last seven games to finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years. They blew fourth-quarter leads in seven of their nine defeats and finished third in an NFC North that seemed theirs for the taking two months ago. Schwartz, 47, went 29-51 and had one winning record in five seasons as Lions coach. He has two years and reportedly more than $12 million remaining on a contract extension he signed in June of 2012. In 2009, the Lions hired Schwartz to revive a franchise coming off the NFL’s first ever 0-16 season. He won two games that fall, six in 2010 and led the Lions to a wild-card berth a year later, but two straight late-season collapses made him a casualty on Black Monday. Last year, the Lions went 4-12 and dropped their final eight games with a splintered locker room. This year, they started 6-3 then fell apart after a mid-November loss to the Steelers, when Schwartz called an ill-advised fake field goal that fell short of a first down. Pittsburgh seized momentum on that play, drove 97 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the ensuing series, and the Lions never recovered.
Lions fire Jim Schwartz after late-season meltdown
Detroit Free Press | Dec 30