The Detroit Lions came into the 2013 season with a pretty tough schedule on paper. Based on what happened last season, it was one of the toughest schedules in the entire league. Things change from year to year, though, and based strictly on Week 1, the Lions' schedule is suddenly looking a bit easier. The Lions' 15 future opponents (yes, I'm counting the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers twice) went a combined 4-11 in Week 1. Here's a rundown of what happened with each team:
Week 2 - at Cardinals (0-1) - lost to Rams, 27-24
The Cardinals were actually up 24-13 after three quarters, but the Rams stormed back and won on a late Greg Zuerlein field goal.
Week 3 - at Redskins (0-1) - lost to Eagles, 33-27
Robert Griffin III looked extremely rusty in the first half, but he turned things around and finished with 329 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Week 4 - vs. Bears (1-0) - beat Bengals, 24-21
The Bears rallied from down 21-10 in the third quarter to beat the Bengals (on a Matt Forte touchdown run and a Brandon Marshall touchdown grab).
Week 5 - at Packers (0-1) - lost to 49ers, 34-28
This was a back and forth game that the Packers actually led with 8 minutes left. They couldn't hold the lead, though, as San Francisco charged ahead a few minutes later and didn't give the advantage back.
Week 6 - at Browns (0-1) - lost to Dolphins, 23-10
Brandon Weeden threw 3 interceptions in this game. He actually attempted 53 passes, and Trent Richardson only carried the ball 13 times as a result.
Week 7 - vs. Bengals (0-1) - lost to Bears, 24-21
Andy Dalton put up pretty good numbers against Chicago, but 2 interceptions and an inability to convert yards into points cost the Bengals the game.
Week 8 - vs. Cowboys (1-0) - beat Giants, 36-31
Dallas forced 6 turnovers and still only won this game by 5 points. Yes, the Giants only made it a 5-point game with 11 seconds left, but this was a close game for how one-sided the turnover battle was.
Week 10 - at Bears (1-0) - beat Bengals, 24-21
Week 11 - at Steelers (0-1) - lost to Titans, 16-9
Pittsburgh had a whopping 195 yards of total offense in this game. Their run game was nonexistent (32 yards on 15 carries), and their offense appears to be in a lot of trouble with starting center Maurkice Pouncey going down with a torn ACL and MCL.
Week 12 - vs. Buccaneers (0-1) - lost to Jets, 18-17
Tampa Bay would have likely won this game if not for an awful late hit penalty that set up New York's game-winning field goal. Even so, this was an ugly performance out of the Bucs.
Week 13 - vs. Packers (0-1) - lost to 49ers, 34-28
Week 14 - at Eagles (1-0) - beat Redskins, 33-27
The Eagles' hurry-up, spread offense put on quite a show in the first half, as did Philly's defense. They slowed down a bit in the second half and ended up playing in a fairly close game, but teams are definitely going to have issues getting ready for such a unique offense.
Week 15 - vs. Ravens (0-1) - lost to Broncos, 49-27
Baltimore allowed Peyton Manning to throw for 7 touchdowns. I think that pretty much says it all.
Week 16 - vs. Giants (0-1) - lost to Cowboys, 36-31
Eli Manning was picked off 3 times and David Wilson fumbled the ball twice. The Giants were extremely careless with the ball in Week 1.
Week 17 - at Vikings (0-1) - lost to Lions, 34-24
Minnesota led at halftime thanks to a sloppy first half by the Lions. In the second half, the better team pulled away and won this game.