Did the Detroit Lions believe they had arrived? A 10-6 season and a playoff berth had Ford Field packed and Detroiters actually complimenting the organization.
That's a seismic shift in the D.
"Now we cut out some of the penalties, the (presnap) penalties, which I think is a good thing. But we maybe lost some of our recklessness and playing with that reckless abandon. We need to get that back."
The Lions were plenty reckless off the field this past offseason with seven arrests between January and July. Were those a premonition of bad times to come?
Either way, aggression seems to be missing from the offense. The defense has its issues in the back seven, but that's no surprise. That the defensive line hasn't been dominant as planned, however, is.
Stafford and company haven't adjusted to two-deep safeties aimed at taking away Megatron and the big play. The 1,182 passing yards from Stafford ranks No. 5 in the NFL as teams have allowed shorter completions.
But he's thrown three touchdowns and four interceptions.
"We do need to play emotional," coach Jim Schwartz said. "We do need to, for lack of a better word, put a chip on our shoulder and things like that."