Lions' improved roster has given coaches a chance

By Larry Lage

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 29 2010 3:50 p.m. MST

Detroit Lions place kicker Dave Rayner (3) kicks a field goal in the first quarter during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010.

J Pat Carter, Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions are vastly improved just two years after becoming the NFL's first 0-16 team.

They have a Pro Bowl starter on both sides of the ball and a front office that has made a lot of good moves to give their coaches a chance.

Receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will represent the franchise next month in Hawaii.

Detroit has more than doubled last season's win total with three straight victories in December for the first time since 1995. The Lions can close with a sixth win Sunday at home against the Minnesota Vikings.