October 5 - vs. Chicago Bears
Last season, the Lions surprisingly were victorious in both of their two games against the Bears. The pair of wins came in an exciting way, which is a surprise for a Lions-Bears match-up. Either way, Detroit was 2-0 against Chicago and will hope to continue that success in 2008.
The first of two meetings with the Bears comes at home and really is another game that the Lions should win. With Rex Grossman still penciled in as Chicago's starting QB, chances are that Chicago's offense shouldn't exactly be too scary, especially when you consider that Cedric Benson still isn't reaching his potential.
Just as usual, the Bears' defense will be its strength, but it can only take Chicago so far. Because of that, I see the Lions as the better team on paper, and also I see a 4-0 start happening for Detroit.
On paper: Advantage Lions
Prediction: Detroit wins in another close game to start the season 4-0.
October 12 - at Minnesota Vikings
Should the Lions actually start 4-0, we all will be in for quite the letdown. I can confidently predict that the local sports radio stations will be filled with fellow Kool-Aid drinkers talking about the playoffs and how this is finally our year and all of that. Unfortunately, it's exactly what happened after the Lions started 6-2 in 2007, and a 4-0 start would just make us all sound insane.
Heading out to Minnesota, the Lions would be in for a wake-up call if they were starting to feel a little too good about themselves. The Vikings destroyed the Lions at The Metrodome in 2007, and I have a feeling that would happen again. If it wasn't a blowout, then we likely would watch the Lions crush all of our hopes as they usually lose close games out in Minnesota.
As far as the match-up goes for this game, it has to favor Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is a beast on offense, and then the Vikings' defense is going to be one of the best in the league. It was good before this offseason, but add Jared Allen to the mix for 2008 and it is ridiculously good.
On paper: Advantage Vikings
Prediction: The Kool-Aid starts to taste a little funny after this game as the Vikings win in a blowout. Adrian Peterson rushes for 200+ yards and Jon Kitna says hello to the ground all day long in this loss.
October 19 - at Houston Texans
The Lions never usually play well on the road, and I think we see that when they head to Houston to square off against the Texans. If Detroit does come into this game after being beat by the Vikings, then I really don't see this as being remotely close to a win. If it's a win the week before, then I still don't like Detroit's chances.
Both Detroit and Houston match-up pretty good with each other, but this is one of those scenarios where I have a feeling we all will be scratching our heads when all is said and done. I see it as being a close game where Detroit gets down early and fails at coming back, though they do make things interesting. Think of it as being something like the Cardinals game from last year where they easily could have won despite their poor play, yet ended up with the loss.
On paper: Advantage Lions (barely)
Prediction: The Texans make it two straight losses for the Lions in a close win after leading big early on.
October 26 - vs. Washington Redskins
As much as I'd like to say this is Detroit's chance for vengeance after being beat 34-3 a year ago against the 'Skins, I can't say that at all. Washington is clearly the better team in this game and the final score will reflect that.
The Redskins' offense had their way with Detroit's defense a year ago and it could be even worse this time around. Jason Campbell has more experience under his belt and now has a few extra happens thanks to the draft. On top of that, Clinton Portis, if healthy, is a great running back that can rack up a few TDs with ease.
On paper: Advantage Redskins
Prediction: Washington wins this one easily, leaving Lions fans confused as their team has now fallen to 4-3 after a perfect start. If the collapse comes this early in the year leaving time to pick up the pieces, I'll be happy. Although the schedule doesn't get much easier, Detroit plays at home three times in November, which should give the Lions a small kick in the rear to get things going again.
Recap: I have the Lions going 1-3 in October. Best-case scenario in my opinion is really only 2-2 as none of these games will be easy. Worst-case, well, let's not even go there as 0-4 probably could happen as well.
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