A month ago, Jim Schwartz's Detroit Lions sat in first place in the NFC North. Today, he's out of a job.
Back-to-back losing seasons doomed Schwartz, who oversaw a Lions team that crumbled down the stretch this season, losing six of its last seven to tumble out of postseason contention.
Schwartz joins the pile of coaches who failed in the seemingly futile attempt to turn around a decrepit Lions franchise. The firing ends the longest-tenured coaching run in Detroit since Wayne Fontes was fired in 1996.
The Lions dismissed Schwartz with two years and $12 million remaining on his contract, according to NFL Media's Albert Breer.
The 47-year-old took over an 0-16 team in 2009 and helped improve the talent level on a team that steadily improved in his first three seasons.
However, his team fell off a cliff the last two campaigns.
With the NFC North ripe for the taking this season, Detroit imploded while division opponents shuffled in backup quarterbacks and fought through decimated defenses. The Lions were the only team in the NFC North to start one signal-caller this season, and were far and away the healthiest team in the division.
They still couldn't get out of their own way.
Schwartz should be commended for taking on the challenge of turning around the worst team in professional sports. However, in his fifth season, he proved not to be the man to get a talented roster to the next level.