So I was curious.
I took a little jaunt back in time. 15 years to be exact. I was curious to see what kind of effect the bye week seems to have on the Detroit Lions when they return the next week. Does a week off help or hurt this team in their next game?
Well here are the stats:
1998 - week 6 bye, week 7 win vs GB 27-20 Home (NFC Central)
1999 - week 4 bye, week 5 loss vs SD 20-10 Home (NFC Central)
2000 - week 7 bye, week 8 win vs TB 28-14 Away (NFC Central)
2001 - week 3 bye, week 4 loss vs STL 35-0 Home (NFC Central)
2002 - week 5 bye, week 6 loss vs MIN 24-31 Away
2003 - week 6 bye, week 7 loss vs DAL 38-7 Home
2004 - week 4 bye, week 5 win vs ATL 17-10 Away
2005 - week 3 bye, week 4 loss vs TB 17-13 Away
2006 - week 8 bye, week 9 win vs ATL 30-14 Home
2007 - week 6 bye, week 7 win vs TB 23-16 Home
2008 - week 4 bye, week 5 loss vs CHI 34-7 Home
2009 - week 7 bye, week 8 loss to STL 17-10 Home
2010 - week 7 bye, week 8 win vs WAS 37 -25 Home
2011 - week 9 bye, week 10 loss vs CHI 13-37 Away
2012 - week 5 bye, week 5 win vs PHI 26-23(OT) Away
Here's a sum up:
2-3 vs division opponents.
Well, not much of an effect after all, huh? (But I'll be damned if I spend time on looking this crap up and don't make a fanpost. lol) However there are a few takeaways.
First of all, I think it is worth noting the lack of overall effect. Going into this little bit of research, I figured the record would be much better than it was. The .500 nature of the results were a bit surprising to me and even more surprising to see the 2-5 record from 1999 to 2005. Obviously the Lions weren't exactly the top team in the league those years, but even still the perception I had of the bye week helping the team out seems to be a bit of a fallacy. Of course banged up players will get a chance to heal and this year particularly I think this bye week will help the Lions because of nagging injuries to players such as CJ, Bush, our O-line, and of course Nate (I meant Burleson, Nate D. seems to be able to bring his A game to POD despite playing through whatever injury). And obviously it would be nice to compare results to "what would've happened" if they didn't get the bye week when they did. But alas I am not Tooter Turtle and I do not know Mr. Wizard the Lizard. So I can not approach him with "another favor to ask"
(BTW, if any of you actually got this old school cartoon reference, you can consider yourself "old")
Probably the most major takeaway, IMO is the record versus division opponents. While in the last 15 years the Lions are 2-3 against division opponents, they are 0-3 since 2002. So, while their overall record improved their record against division opponents got worse. In fact, the Lions haven't beaten a division opponent after the bye since 2000, against TB. (When it was the NFC Central) This does not bode well for us Sunday.
Of course this is a different team this year. In fact, I think this is the strongest the Lions have been in recent memory (Yes, even better than 2011). We know Chicago could be missing key players in Briggs and Cutler. But I wouldn't get too excited about Cutler. While I think he is much better than McCown, I'm not sure there's gonna be as huge a dropoff as some are expecting. The Bears ALWAYS play us tough and besides, Dr. Brandon Marshall seems to think Cutler will be just fine. Either way, I think tonight's game will be one to watch while considering our matchup on Sunday.