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Gunther Cunningham: I almost booed my Detroit Lions

Gunther Cunningham nearly lost his mind Sunday. Detroit Lions fans were right there with him.

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The Lions' defensive coordinator watched helplessly as his unit committed five penalties on the Seattle Seahawks' first drive of the game. Two were declined, but that didn't stop the boos inside Ford Field.

"I was about ready to go up there with them and start booing," Cunningham told the team's official website. "(The penalties) were unacceptable."

The Lions lead the NFL in offside penalties, partially because of their aggressiveness in trying to get off the ball as quick as possible. But Cunningham and his staff put an emphasis on not committing those penalties at home. The defensive coordinator pulled his group together after that first drive and had a few choice words.

"We didn't jump offside again," Cunningham said.

This has been an issue for the Lions all season. Wide receiver Nate Burleson said the team was passive during the slow start because of offseason arrests. He believed the Lions needed to get back to their aggressive ways. Well, that aggression also gets them in trouble with dumb penalties. There has to be a happy medium.

To give props where they're due, the Lions only had two more penalties as a team after the opening Seattle drive, and one was on offense. There's no way they come back and upset the Seahawks if they kept shooting themselves in the foot.

That could be the story of 2012 for the Lions.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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