ALLEN PARK — Tough stretch? The Lions haven’t been through a tough stretch yet this season, if you ask coach Jim Caldwell.
The Lions are coming off a 14-6 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals which snapped a four-game win streak. They are 7-3, atop the NFC North and have not lost back-to-back games this season.
So Caldwell said he doesn’t really know yet how this team will handle a tough stretch.
“One of the things is that it takes you time, I think through an entire season,’’ Caldwell said on Monday. “We really haven’t, I’ve mentioned this before, we haven’t been through a tough stretch yet. One loss, losing a game is not a tough stretch to me.’’
Then he defines a tough stretch.
“A tough stretch is obviously when you go through an extended period of time. A tough stretch is losing four out of the last five like we did in Baltimore, I think it was four out of the last five and ended up winning the Super Bowl. We went through a tough stretch in there.
“A tough stretch is when we were in Indy, the last couple games of the season and one of those games, Jacksonville ran for over 300 and some yards on us and then going into a situation where we’re getting ready to play Larry Johnson in the first game of the playoffs, a guy who could rush it. We went through tough stretches in both of those, how they come out of those is what counts.’'
Caldwell is just 10 games into his tenure in Detroit and said they’ve shown in spurts what kind of team they are.
“Obviously, they have grit, they come back, they fight you and don’t give up,’’ Caldwell said. “Even in this ball game, our effort was unreal, unbelievable effort. When you get that kind of effort, we just have to work on execution in some things and we’ll get better. Penalties we have to clean up, but I do think this team has the fortitude to be really resilient under disappointment.”