Here are highlights from Jim Caldwell’s four years as head coach with the Detroit Lions.
2014, 11-5, lost in wild-card round
Jim Caldwell was hired in January as the Lions’ first African-American head coach. Owner William Clay Ford died in March. The Lions clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2011 behind a stellar defense that only allowed about 301 yards per game. They lost to the Cowboys, 24-20, in the wild-card round, a game memorable for the referees changing a pass interference call against the Cowboys that would have given the Lions a crucial first down on their last possession.
2015, 7-9, missed playoffs
After starting 0-5, the Lions went 7-4 to end the season. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was fired midseason along with team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah had his first Pro Bowl season, netting 14.5 sacks, third in the NFL. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson played his last season in the NFL, finishing with 11,619 career receiving yards and 83 touchdowns. The Lions got their first victory in Green Bay since 1991.
2016, 9-7, lost in wild-card round
In January, the Lions hired Bob Quinn as general manager. Kicker Matt Prater was the Lions’ only Pro Bowl selection with an 86.1 field-goal percentage and 7-for-7 from 50 yards or more. The NFC North division title came down to the Lions-Packers game Week 17. The Packers won, 31-24, but the Lions still secured a wild-card spot. They lost to the Seahawks in the wild-card round of the playoffs, 26-6, extending their playoff losing streak to nine games.
2017, 9-7, missed playoffs
The Lions had an identical record to 2016, but missed the playoffs this time. It was the first time the Lions had had consecutive winning seasons since 1994-95. Cornerback Darius Slay was the Lions’ lone Pro Bowler. He had eight interceptions on the season. The Lions were knocked out of playoff contention with a 26-17 loss in Week 16 to a Bengals team that would finish 7-9. Caldwell was fired Monday, one day after the Lions beat the Packers in Week 17.