Start slow, finish strong.
The Detroit Lions know the drill all too well.
They've done just that in most of the first nine games with mixed results. Standing at 4-5 entering the FOX America's Game of the Week against visiting Green Bay (1 p.m. ET Sunday), the Lions must now rally for a postseason berth.
Why it has come to this makes Detroit the NFL's most enigmatic team.
The Lions are one of just three clubs to rank in the top 10 statistically on offense and defense. There's continuity with 39 of the 53 players on this year's roster here last season when the Lions ended a 12-year playoff drought. All three coordinators are back on head coach Jim Schwartz's staff. There's a franchise quarterback (Matt Stafford), franchise wide receiver (Calvin Johnson) and one of the NFL's top defensive lines.
Yet this is a squad that has put together only two complete games in victories over Jacksonville and Seattle.
The Lions had the preseason earmarks of being...