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Week 12: Packers fans can't help but love Lions coach Jim Schwartz
November 21, 2013 - Matt Wellens
There’s no bigger Jim Schwartz fan right now in the world than the former Mining Journal Armchair Quarterback Renee Prusi.
For Detroit Lions fans, that’s a horrible sign.
Why? Because Prusi may also be one of the world’s biggest Green Bay Packers fans and I have to think she’s not the only person in green and gold rooting for Schwartz to keep his job for many years to come.
In fact, ensuring Schwartz’s job security may be the one issue in the world both Packers and Chicago Bears fans can agree upon, especially if the Lions’ coach continues to call a professional football game as if he’s playing Madden on XBox.
Schwartz cost the Lions a win Sunday — and maybe even the NFC North Division title — by faking a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter with a 27-23 lead on the road.
The call blew up in Schwartz’s face — optimizing his tenure in Detroit — when rookie punter Sam Martin took the snap and tried to run around the right side of the offensive line. He not only failed to gain the five yards necessary for a first down, but he fumbled the ball.
The Pittsburgh Steelers then proceeded to drive 97 yards on 16 plays for the go-ahead score with 4:46 remaining.
After the game, Schwartz would not second guess himself.
“I don’t regret anything that happens in the game,” Schwartz said. “We’re going to do our very best to win the football game. We didn’t make enough plays to win this one, including that one.”
That’s a standard line for a coach in a postgame press conference. But what does Schwartz have to say 24 hours later after sleeping on the decision and maybe watching some game film?
“We got the look that we wanted, we thought it was there, we didn’t execute it great,” Schwartz said. “If we think there’s something there special teams-wise next week, (we’re) not going to be afraid to call it.”
And that right there is why Packers and Bears fans alike will continue to support a coach like Schwartz, who repeatedly find new ways to lose games for his team.
He’s like the Brett Favre of coaches, unable to learn from his mistakes.
It’s no wonder Packers fans can’t help but root for him.
Now onto my picks, where each week I will include a brief analysis on the Packers’ and Lions’ games, plus the primetime games on NFL Network, NBC and ESPN.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions
1 p.m., Sunday, 1320 AM WDMJ/1240 AM WIAN
The Bucs are winners of two straight, but still nowhere close to being considered a legit NFL team this season. I’d like to say Schwartz can find a way to lose this one, but I can’t because the Bucs are just that bad. Lions 31, Buccaneers 13
1 p.m., Sunday, FOX
The Packers have been painful to watch without Aaron Rodgers. Could Christian Ponder and the Vikings be the cure they’re looking for? Am I winning the Pulitzer Prize today? Vikings 16, Packers 13
8:25 p.m., Thursday, NFL Network
Just when the Falcons thought their season had hit rock bottom at 2-7, they give up 41 points to the Bucs in a loss last week. Atlanta’s lack of a defense has finally bit them hard. Saints 45, Falcons 24
8:30 p.m., Sunday, NBC
Had it not been Rob Gronkowski in the end zone and had that receiver not been a Patriot, would anyone care the refs picked up the pass interference flag during Carolina’s win Monday night? No, because every team in the NFL and every defensive back or receiver has been on the wrong side of pass interference before, except for Tom Brady’s boys. Welcome to the club. Broncos 31, Patriots 30
8:40 p.m., Monday, ESPN
Like the NFL Network, ESPN is not getting the game it thought it would get at the beginning of the season with the 49ers and Redskins, both teams combining for only nine wins between them this season. 49ers 24, Redskins 17
Here are the rest of my picks with winners in bold:
Jaguars at Texans
Chargers at Chiefs
Panthers at Dolphins
Steelers at Browns
Bears at Rams
Jets at Ravens
Titans at Raiders
Colts at Cardinals
Cowboys at Giants
Last week: 9-6. Overall: 96-66.
Matt Wellens is Sports Editor of the Mining Journal. Check out his Armchair QB column every Thursday at MiningJournal.net and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mattwellens. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz looks up on the sideline during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)