- Associated Press - Monday, November 15, 2010

ALLEN PARK, MICH. (AP) - The hapless Detroit Lions have lost an NFL-record 25 straight games on the road and seven of nine games anywhere this season. Separating the current version from the franchise’s miserable past has become even tougher.

“There’s a lot of people in this locker room that didn’t contribute to where the streak is now, but once you put on that jersey you’re embracing the past, present and future,” first-year Lions receiver Nate Burleson said Monday. “That’s how I feel every time I step on the field, especially on the road. I’m thinking about what I can do for this organization.

“I want to end this season .500 or as close as possible, but winning on the road is No. 1 thing for me.”

It won’t be easy for the Lions (2-7) to earn their first victory as visitors since Oct. 28, 2007, because their next chance comes Sunday against the suddenly clicking Dallas Cowboys (2-7).

Lions center Dominic Raiola, who contributed to the previous mark of 24 straight road losses from 2001-03, insisted the only time he thinks about the record-breaking skid away from the Motor City is when reporters ask him about it.

Raiola plans to use Dallas’ 33-20 win on the road against the New York Giants in its first game since coach Wade Phillips was fired as a source of hope.

“They came out with a purpose and their purpose was to beat the … Giants and they did it,” Raiola said. “You can use them as an example.”

Kicker Jason Hanson has provided an example of how an NFL player should conduct himself on and off the field since Detroit drafted him in 1992. But he has been stuck on a bad team so long he has set an unwanted mark in the league.

Hanson has lost 190 games in which he played, surpassing Morten Andersen’s mark of 188 losses from 1982-2007, according to STATS, LLC. The loss at Buffalo didn’t count against Hanson’s total because he was inactive with an injured right knee.

Detroit coach Jim Schwartz has tried his best to protect his players from being saddled with the stigma of being on the NFL’s first 0-16 team in 2008, the year before he arrived, and from being a part of the road losses that started the current streak.

But Schwartz said he and his players can accept responsibility for failing mentally and physically to make winning plays on both sides of the ball this season. Detroit lost 14-12 Sunday to the previously winless Buffalo Bills, making that its fifth loss by five points or fewer this season.

“We’re getting used to playing in close games,” he said. “What we’re not getting used to is winning close games.”

The Lions have been forced to get used to playing without quarterback Matthew Stafford, who missed the 12th game of his two-year career since being selected No. 1 overall last year. Stafford was traveling back to Detroit on Monday after having his banged-up right shoulder evaluated by Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. The team announced that Andrews’ evaluation was consistent with the diagnosis from its medical staff, which will supervise Stafford’s rehabilitation process that began last week.

“When he’s going to be back from this is when he’s healthy and he’s ready,” Schwartz said. “There is no timetable.”

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