- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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I would imagine some Detroit fans were upset Monday when a calmer coach Jim Schwartz declined to toss out a “sacrificial lamb” as an accountability message to players who absorbed a 48-3 loss at Baltimore. Here’s how Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press put it:
"Schwartz looks silly today. There is no getting around it. After his team lost, 48-3, in Baltimore on Sunday, he strongly implied that he would make roster changes, then he came back Monday and said, in effect, "Hey, never mind, our players might be bad but they're all we have." And when you are a head coach and you get into serious discussions about whether your team quit ... well, like I said, Schwartz looks silly."
The backdown didn’t bother John Niyo of the Detroit News, who wrote: “Frankly, we've seen enough publicity stunts from this team over the years.”
As we discussed Monday, the reality is there wasn’t much Schwartz could do with three games left in the season. His mistake was letting his emotions get the best of him immediately after Sunday’s game. While I appreciate Schwartz’s willingness to speak his mind, this was a lesson in the 24-hour rule for coaches. In short: Make no promises, announcements, decisions or predictions in the immediate aftermath of a game. Emotions are too high. It’s good theater for reporters, but that’s about it.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. has stepped away from focusing on the Lions this season, he told Ken Thomas of the Associated Press.
Minnesota rededicated itself to running the ball Sunday against Cincinnati, according to Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Vikings place-kicker Ryan Longwell has converted 22 of 23 field goals this season, notes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers is still producing unscouted looks to opponents, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers linebacker Brandon Chillar took the sure thing of a contract extension rather than test what could be an uncapped offseason, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher played his first full game Sunday in Chicago but showed some signs of fatigue, according to Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler’s performance Sunday was worse than it looked in the box score, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago offers five reasons to keep watching the Bears this season.