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Originally published Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 6:45 PM

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It could be worse, Seahawks fans: you could be in Detroit

Lions come to Seattle with one win in past 23 regular-season games.

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — Seattle's 12th Man is restless, angry and perhaps even a little bitter this week.

It is a season of discontent and no one is bulletproof from criticism. Not president Tim Ruskell, who assembled the team. Not Jim Mora, who is coaching it, and not the wide receiver who gesticulates a little too much for the taste of some. Even the building that houses the team headquarters has been blamed.

Going 2-5 will do that to a fan base, especially when it comes after last year's 4-12 clunker. But before anyone shoves a fork in a light socket, it's worth remembering something.

It could always be worse.

Just look at Detroit.

The Lions are coming to town this weekend, a team that has lost 22 of its past 23 regular-season games. They're the closest thing the NFL has to the Washington Generals. Detroit hasn't won on the road in more than two years, has not made the playoffs since 1999, and hasn't won a playoff game since January 1992, the day before Tom Flores was named Seahawks coach.

The Lions are 1-6, which constitutes progress, having actually won a game this season. Last year, they became the first team to go winless since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978.

The Lions have a first-year coach, Jim Schwartz, previously the defensive coordinator in Tennessee. They switched out half the roster, changed almost the entire coaching staff. The locker room got a facelift. So did the weight room. Even the parking lot got changed.

"Just to let the players know things were different," Schwartz said.

Last year has become "The Season We Don't Mention" around Detroit.

"We never really spent time with the team because it was irrelevant," Schwartz said. "It's irrelevant as we move forward. With what happened the previous year, it's history."

The year was indeed historic. The Lions became the first winless team since the Bucs went 0-for-1976. But that was a shorter season. The Lions lost a record 16 games in one season.


It was also truly unforgettable for Cory Redding, a defensive captain for the Lions before being traded to Seattle for linebacker Julian Peterson in the offseason.

"That will stay with me for the rest of my life," Redding said. "You learn a lot of things about yourself. You learn a lot of life lessons. Life is not easy. It's tough. You've got a lot of hills and valleys, ups and downs, and when things aren't going right, what are you going to do? Fight or fold?"

That sounds kind of like the crossroad moment Mora outlined to his team after last week's loss in Dallas.

The difference is that this wasn't supposed to be a rebuilding year. The Seahawks characterized last season as an injury-induced aberration. This season has been more of the same, and just about everything except Seattle's punting has failed to live up to expectations.

Meanwhile, Detroit is showing signs of progress. The Lions have allowed more than 30 points twice in seven games this season after giving up more than 30 in 11 games last season.

And the Lions already have something they didn't get all of last year: a victory, which Peterson was able to joke about.

"At least we don't have to worry about going 0-16 again," Peterson said.

See, it can always get worse. Even in Detroit.


• T Sean Locklear practiced Wednesday for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2. He did not participate in 11-on-11 drills, and it's unlikely he will start Sunday.

• QB Matt Hasselbeck did not practice Wednesday because of sore ribs, but he's expected to play Sunday against Detroit.

• WR Ben Obomanu (oblique) did not practice and LB Will Herring (shoulder) was very limited, but both could be available for Sunday's game.

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