Allen Park — Glover Quin, despite a 1-5 start, isn't ruling out the possibility of the Lions matching their win total from last season.
"Last year we ended up 11-5," the star safety said. "We took a different route. We started out hot, won some games, finished out the season hot, but we were still 11-5."
The Lions started 4-2 — and were later 7-2 — last season in a year in which they had the second-ranked defense and didn't allow a 100-yard rusher until Week 17. So far, through six games the defense is 27th overall and allowing 120.7 rushing yards per game.
The offense, which ranks 12th in yards — but tied for 26th in scoring — after gaining 546 yards in overtime last week, hasn't been much help. And the special teams has had its share of blunders, too.
But, the Lions are confident in their approach and think they're capable of being better than they've been. And really, they have no choice because until they're eliminated from the postseason, anything can happen.
"I'm not saying it's going to be easy," Quin said. "It's definitely going to be tough, but that number is still in front of us. And until we lose another game, then now that number's not in front of us. So, at some point they say, 'This team has been eliminated from playoff contention.' Once they do that, then yeah, you don't have a chance, but until they do that, you still got a chance."
When Quin was a rookie in Houston, the Texans started 5-7, but won their last four games. Unfortunately, their 9-7 finish still wasn't good enough as the Texans lost tiebreakers to the Ravens and Jets for a wild-card berth. Still, Houston had lost four straight before the win streak, so Quin knows teams can turn things around.
Coach Jim Caldwell regularly explained last year what a loss meant for the season outlook. After a loss that dropped them to 7-3, for example, he might suggest the team simply couldn't finish 14-2.
For now, all the Lions know is they can't go 12-4, but 11-5 is still on the table. But everyone involved knows they have to start winning before truly discussing the postseason, and beating the division-rival Vikings (3-2) on Sunday (1 p.m., FOX) would help.
"I'm tired of talking about all that kind of stuff," Caldwell said Friday. "I don't want to just — let's get some results. So, the proof is yet in the pudding.
"Our guys have put in the work, we got one more day yet, and let's see what happens on the field. I believe we can get it done."