The Detroit Lions' performance against the Houstons Texans was just another poor one in a decades-long series of rough outings.
Nothing encapsulated the sadness and despair of those riding the emotional wave with this team more than MLive.com photographer Mike Mulholland's photograph online of principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp.
With her head down in despair, the actualization of what is ailing this organization may have come to her.
Most likely it didn't. So, I am here to tell her: This football team is clearly devoid of enough leadership and talent to win consistently at the National Football League level.
It's true across the board, from top to bottom. From the owner who sits back and watches her football team fall short year after year, to the head coach whose message isn't resonating with the players he brought on board.
Leadership means facing adversity and overcoming it.
Sure, half the team was missing. But, at least put forth fundamentally sound football on film. Compete every play until the final whistle blows.
For Detroit and its organization, it's just another day. Another chance to head back to the drawing board to figure out what caused the issues.
The issue is the lack of players taking accountability and willing the roster to overcome hurdles.
The team across from Detroit on Thursday -- the Houston Texans -- fired its head coach earlier this season, was down talented wide receivers and featured massive holes on defense.
Yet, there Houston was, making plays and executing at a high level.
Meanwhile, Detroit was huddling down 16 points late in the fourth quarter -- resigned to the fact the game was over.
Matthew Stafford was asked postgame if has started to think about playing for another organization.
"I just put my head down, and go to work," Stafford said. "It's on us as players. We've got to go out there, make plays. It doesn't matter what uniform you're wearing. The team that makes more plays is going to win the game. And we didn't do that, and haven't done it consistently enough this year. We understand that we work every day trying to make sure that it's us making the plays to win the game. So, we got to go out there and make the plays when they're available."
Lions head coach Matt Patricia offered up the same coach speak and cliches that he always has, when peppered with questions regarding his job security.
"Hard work is also perseverance. I think it's guys that are here putting a lot of hard work and (that) persevered through a lot to get here. So, we've got to just keep pushing from that standpoint," Patricia explained. "There's never an easy fix. It's never a magic wand. It's hard work. We know that when we put the hard work in and it doesn't come out the way we want it to, we just got to stay firm, and we got to keep pushing and give some credit. They're a good ball club. They've got a lot of really good players over there. They played well. They've been playing well the last several games. So, they played better than we did today."
Patricia's focus on the present, at least publicly, has turned the fan base against him.
Add to that a 13-29-1 record, and predictably, out came more support online from Jim Caldwell's former players.
"My thoughts are really just with the team here today and what we were trying to do here today. It doesn't go beyond that. It's what I focus on. I focus on the team. I focus on those guys that go out on that field. Those guys are in that locker room, and (I) try to give them everything I can to give them a chance to go be successful. So, that's the focus that never changes. It is what it is," Patricia said.
Quite possibly, drastic measures were needed after a disappointing 3-12-1 2019 season.
Instead, leadership decided to play it safe and resort to bringing in players with familiarity instead of proven leaders.
This roster will likely only win a couple of more games the remainder of the season.
But, the ills of the franchise will continue until the players take leadership and ownership of the play out on the football field.
Until then, it's more of the same each and every week.
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