The Lions were finally able to get the winless monkey off their back after defeating the Chicago Bears in overtime on Sunday. It wasn’t pretty, but neither were many of their wins last season. Winning in the NFL is tough. Just look at the Lions first five games and you’ll know how it’s truly of game of inches that can change at any second depending on how the ball bounces. As brutal of the a five game stretch as the beginning of the season was, the next ten should give the Lions some hope going forward.
It starts in the division
The good news for the Lions is that while they do have five losses, only one has come from within the division – a Week 2 loss against the Minnesota Vikings. That leaves a lot of ground that can be caught up if the Lions can manage to pull out wins against division rivals. The bad news is that they will need to win virtually every division game (well, every game) going forward . A task that starts next week as the Vikings come to town.
A soft schedule going forward
If there’s any minute glimmer of hope it’s the Lions’ schedule going forward. Their opponents combined record going forward is currently 28-28 (.500) – with Philadelphia yet to play this week. Take away the Green Bay Packers’ 12 wins and the rest of schedule looks even weaker – 16-28 (.364). The Lions also have the fortune of playing half of their remaining schedule at home, including a three game home stretch in the middle of November.
An even softer conference
Amazingly, six weeks in, only one game separates nine teams with two wins from the 7th and 8th spots in the conference. The math is incomplete at this point because not everyone has had their bye week, but the point is made, this conference is pretty weak right now. And the Lions, even at 1-5 aren’t out of the hunt yet. Of the teams at the top of that two-win heap are the Cowboys, Rams, Buccaneers, and Eagles. All of those teams have shown flashes this year, but each one is deeply flawed. Remind you of another team?
Make no mistake, the Lions still have a very large hole to dig themselves out of. They may be able to only lose one more game this season if they have any hope at the playoffs, and much of the blame can be seen by looking looking in the mirror. The Lions have lost in just about every way imaginable this season. Whether it’s untimely penalties, too many turnovers, or poor officiating the Lions have seen it all through six weeks. Let’s hope the next ten bring a little more excitement back to Motown.