The writing was on the wall for Schwartz, as Ian Rapoport had previously reported that the coach would only keep his job if the Lions managed to make the playoffs.
Schwartz was hired by Detroit in 2009 after eight years as the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, and the Lions finished 2-14 in his first season -- a slight improvement from their 0-16 mark the year before. In 2010, Detroit started the year 2-10 and looked like they could finish with an identical record to the year before, but won their last four games of the season to end up 6-10.
The 2011 season was Schwartz's only real success with the team, as the Lions went 10-6 and clinched a Wild Card spot in the NFC. Detroit ran a pass-heavy offense that scored a franchise-record 474 points that season, with Matthew Stafford throwing for a franchise-record 5,038 yards. The Lions finished five games behind the Packers in the NFC North, but still made the playoffs thanks to a Wild Card bid. In their opening postseason game (and their first playoff appearance since 1999), they lost to the Saints 45-28. Detroit has not made it past the first round of the playoffs since 1991.
In 2012, Detroit languished to a disappointing 4-12 record, including an eight-game losing streak (their worst under Schwartz) to finish the season after starting a more-acceptable 4-4. In 2013, the Lions finished with a 7-9 record after starting the season 6-3 with playoff potential. Detroit was already knocked out of playoff contention entering the final week of the season, as Chicago and Green Bay were the only teams left standing in the NFC North.
Schwartz has been prone to bursts of emotion on the field, including an altercation with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh during a post-game handshake and an incident where he yelled at booing Lions fans who were questioning his conservative decision to send the game against the Giants (which Detroit would lose) to overtime.