They rest on the deep fringes of the wild-card picture looking back at two straight, thorny losses, but don't tell coach Jim Caldwell his campaign is shot.
"We're always tinkering with things, but also, the season's not over yet, all right," Caldwell said of his 6-6 team, per ESPN's Michael Rothstein. "I mean, you guys are talking as if it's all is lost and that kind of thing. That's the great thing about our game: It's going to challenge you. It's going to be tough. It's not going to be an easy road.
"And it's either going to polish you up or grind you down, and it's our job to make certain that we get polished up. We got a lot of work to do, but that's all part of what we do."
Detroit has made a habit of knocking off nobodies and falling to stiffer competition. Caldwell is right, there's still more games to play, but the thought of a playoff appearance feels like a fantasy.