Lions still struggle in London, lose to Chiefs 45-10 – could Jim Caldwell be fired? (Shutdown Corner)

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell canned his offensive coordinator and offensive line coaches this week, promoting popular young quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter to coordinator.  Caldwell explained at the time that the moves were about “winning, plain and simple” and that the Lions, who were in the playoffs last year, were “running out of time” to turn things around. Sunday was not the day that turnaround to got underway. Detroit fell to 1-7 after a 45-10 drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs in the third and final London game of the season, with Matthew Stafford throwing two interceptions and sacked seven times, incuding on three straight second-quarter snaps, though the middle sack was wiped away when tackle Riley Reiff was flagged for holding. A former first round pick, Reiff was consistently beaten by the Chiefs, in particular Tamba Hali. All over the box score was evidence of the Lions’ offensive ineptitude: they totaled just 276 yards, mustered only 16 first downs (just two by rush), and were a woeful 2-for-12 on third down.  The question now is: will the Lions fire Caldwell? The biggest issue for Caldwell might not be that Detroit isn’t playing well, but rather that they don’t seem to have any fight in them. After going 11-5 last year, the Lions already have seven losses, and it’s damning that Caldwell may have lost the locker room. However, while Caldwell could become the third coach in two seasons to be fired after a woeful performance in London, following Miami’s Joe Philbin and Oakland’s Dennis Allen, the history of the Ford family, who own the Lions, would suggest that won’t be happening. Reportedly, Caldwell’s contract with Detroit is for four years and around $4 million a year, meaning the Fords would have to eat $10 million by firing Caldwell with 2 1/2 seasons left on that deal. However, NFL Network’s Albert Breer wrote this week that Martha Ford, who has taken command of the team since her husband, William Clay Ford, died last year, did not play a role in the team hiring Caldwell, so she is not as invested in him personally.      

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