The Lions have now won five of their past seven games. And although they were eliminated from the playoff race a couple of weeks ago, Detroit seems to be finding its rhythm under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
Since Cooter took over the duties of offensive coordinator, Matthew Stafford has thrown 2,098 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions for a cumulative record of 5-2.
Stafford led the Lions to yet another win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Completing 29 of his 37 pass attempts for 301 yards and two touchdowns keeping the former first-pick on a roll with a solid rating of 118.6 for the game and a cumulative rating of 133.6 over the past two weeks.
Returning to a pass-heavy offense may be one dimensional for now, but seems to effective as Stafford consistently finds a variety of weapons to throw to. After just 28 rushing attempts, running back Theo Riddick was frequently used in the backfield as a check down option as well as a screen receiver. In fact, the Notre Dame alum finished the afternoon with the most receptions among the Detroit Lions with seven. Riddick also set a franchise record for the most receiving yards in a season by a running back with 668.
Meanwhile, recent Pro Bowl selection Calvin Johnson was more involved in the offense in what could have been his last home game at Ford Field due to his massive contract. Megatron recorded six receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown, his first in over two weeks.
After giving up 17 points in the first half to the 49ers offense, the Lions defense rebounded shutting out San Francisco in the second half. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is likely to get offered a head coaching position this offseason. He was already believed to be the runner up to Dan Quinn for the Atlanta job last offseason.
The Lions now take on the Chicago Bears next Sunday in their season finale, as the Lions will soon have to find a permanent general manager who will decide whether or not Jim Caldwell will remain the head coach.
In a poll conducted by Detroit Lions Pro, 55% of over 1,100 respondents felt that Jim Caldwell should be the head coach next season. However, 45% believe Caldwell should be fired, citing his poor game management as the main reason.
If Caldwell is released, Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase would be the top candidate to replace him, reuniting Gase with Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who worked together during their time in Denver.