The Detroit Lions finished the first half of the 2013 season with a 5-3 record. Now they're ready to get the second half started. Here's a look at the final eight games on the Lions' schedule:
Week 10 - Nov. 10 - at Chicago Bears (4-3)
The Bears have followed up a 3-0 start to the season with three losses in their last four games. Injuries have piled up for the Bears, and they may be without Jay Cutler on Sunday when Detroit comes to town to kick off the second half of the season. The last time the Lions played at Chicago the week after their bye? 2011, when the Bears won by a score of 37-13.
Week 11 - Nov. 17 - at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6)
The Steelers dropped the first four games of 2013 before winning two straight. They have now lost two in a row to drop to 2-6 overall. Barring a major turnaround, this team is destined for a high draft pick and its second straight year without a trip to the playoffs.
Week 12 - Nov. 24 - vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8)
Unbelievably, Greg Schiano is still the head coach of the Buccaneers. It still remains to be seen if he will survive long enough to coach against the Lions this season considering the Bucs are 0-8, but they did give the Seattle Seahawks all they could handle on Sunday. That's a big win in the moral victory department, but they still don't have any victories in the actual win column.
Week 13 - Nov. 28 - vs. Green Bay Packers (5-2)
This could very well be the biggest game of the Lions' season. The Packers opened the season 1-2, but they've won four straight. That streak began with a win over the Megatron-less Lions at Lambeau Field, and Detroit will have a chance for revenge on Thanksgiving. Could first place be on the line in this game? Even if it's not, there will likely be NFC North title race implications.
Week 14 - Dec. 8 - at Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)
You never know which Eagles team is going to show up each week -- the one that looked explosive offensively in its four wins or the one that didn't look quite so hot (especially in the last couple weeks before Sunday) in its five losses. In any case, despite being 4-5, the Eagles are right there in the hunt for the NFC East title since they're only a game out of first place.
Week 15 - Dec. 16 - vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-5)
The Ravens have had an up and down follow-up season to their Super Bowl championship. They got blown out by the Denver Broncos to start the season, but they rebounded with three wins in four games. Since then, they've lost three straight games and have allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to start pulling away in the AFC North. With their game against the Lions set for Monday Night Football, it should be a hostile environment for the Ravens when they come to town.
Week 16 - Dec. 22 - vs. New York Giants (2-6)
The Giants couldn't do much of anything right in the first six weeks of the season. They actually started 0-6, but they've since won two straight games. As a result, they're actually not that far behind first place in the NFC East. They're also not far behind the top of the NFL Draft. It will be interesting to see if the Giants are able to continue their turnaround and if they will be playing for anything of significance when they take on the Lions toward the end of the season.
Week 17 - Dec. 29 - at Minnesota Vikings (1-7)
The Lions handed the Vikings their first loss of the season back in Week 1. Since then, things haven't gone much better for Minnesota. The Vikings are 1-7 after blowing a late lead against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. By the time the Vikings and Lions meet again in Week 17 for what will almost certainly be the final game at the Metrodome, Minnesota may have its sights set on one of the top picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.