Lions begin countdown to 0-16

After giving us New England’s run at history last year, the NFL is giving us Detroit’s walk of shame this year.

Heading into Sunday’s game against Washington, the Lions are 0-6. They now are at the point where it is worth scanning their schedule to see where, if anywhere, that first elusive “W” will come. Or if it will come.

Detroit’s schedule is chock full of playoff contenders. There’s not a team on there -– Washington, Chicago, Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Minnesota, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Green Bay –- that wouldn’t be favored to beat the Lions.

And so the countdown of magic numbers begins. It’s now at 10 -– 10 losses from a record that never can be broken. Ten losses from becoming the anti-1972 Dolphins. Ten losses from history.

Since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, no team ever has gone 0-16. The 1976 Buccaneers went 0-14, and the 1960 Dallas Cowboys went 0-11-1. But Detroit has a chance to be at the bottom of its own barrel, forever.

It’s a mark that will hang over this team until it wins a game. It’s a pressure that will follow the Lions all season. With each game played, and lost, the pressure will grow. The players and coaches will feel it. Everyone in the organization will.

Just look at how the Dolphins celebrated when they beat Baltimore last year for their only victory of the season. They acted like they won the Super Bowl. Staying out of the record books was the ultimate victory in a lost season.

Now Detroit is trying to do what Miami did. It is trying to find one win, one single win, in a lost season. And it’s all right for this to be a lost season. Detroit needs to avoid making it a historical one.

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