A lot has been made of the Lions' easy upcoming schedule. But Week 6 put a dent in that Kool Aid cruiser. Detroit's upcoming opponents went 6-2 in Week 6, including a few big upsets.
Week 7 vs. Vikings (3-2) - beat Chiefs, 16-10
The Minnesota Vikings have won three of their past four games, but all of them at home. Last week, the Vikings took down the free-falling Chiefs. Neither side had much going on offense, combining for just four field goals and two touchdowns. Adrian Peterson's comeback tour bus blew a flat tire last week, as Peterson only managed 60 yards rushing on 23 carries.
However, the Vikings defense stood tall, once again. Minnesota held the Chiefs to just 51 total yards in the first half, and 57 rushing yards for the entire game.
Week 8 at (in London) Chiefs (1-5) - lost to Vikings, 10-16
The Chiefs look like a disaster at this point. With Jamaal Charles lost for the year, Kansas City seems to have completely lost their offensive identity. Alex Smith had a respectable 282 passing yards and a touchdown in the game, but couldn't lead the Chiefs to any points until the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Kansas City can still be disruptive. They picked off Teddy Bridgewater twice and tallied two sacks as well.
The Packers were able to fend off Philip Rivers and the Chargers to remain undefeated. Despite Rivers' 503 yards passing, Green Bay held the Chargers to just 20 points, and thwarted a last-minute drive by Rivers, forcing an incomplete pass on fourth and goal with just 20 second remaining.
Aaron Rodgers did Aaron Rodgers-like things, throwing for 8.8 yards per attempt and two touchdowns. James Starks took the reigns for the Packers running game for the day, and excelled. His 112 rushing yards was the second-highest total in his career.
Week 11 vs. Raiders (2-3) - Bye week
The Raiders were on a bye in Week 6. They will face the Chargers next week.
The Eagles beat down the Giants in the ugliest Monday Night Football game of the year. The teams combined for seven turnovers, 21 penalties and 12 punts.
Sam Bradford continued his struggles, throwing three interceptions on the night, including another bad pick deep in the opponent's territory.
But to give credit where it is due, the Eagles defense was a terror all night. They sacked Eli Manning three times on the night, picked him off twice and even scored a touchdown.
Week 13 vs. Packers (6-0) - beat Chargers, 27-20
Week 14 at Rams (2-3) - Bye week
The Rams took the week off and will host the Browns in Week 7.
The Saints pulled a huge divisional upset, toppling the previously-undefeated Falcons on Thursday Night Football. New Orleans jumped out to an early lead after taking the opening possession 80 yards for the score and following it up with a blocked punt touchdown a few possessions later. They would never relinquish the lead as Drew Brees looked like his old self, totalling 312 passing yards and a score.
The Saints defense is still struggling however. Atlanta racked up 413 yards of offense. If it weren't for three untimely Atlanta fumbles, this game may have had a much different outcome.
San Francisco had a somewhat surprising turnaround in Week 6. After losing four straight, the 49ers bounced back by besting a bad Baltimore team.
This was a good ole-fashioned quarterback shoot-out. The teams combined for nearly 700 passing yards, but both teams struggled to find the end zone early.
It was Colin Kaepernick's ability to make big plays that won the game for the 49ers. Kaepernick connected with Torrey Smith for a 76-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and later hit Anquan Boldin for a 51-yard connection that led to another score.
Week 17 at Bears (2-4) - lost to Lions, 34-37 (OT)
As we all know, the Bears were downed by the Lions in an ugly, bizarre game. Chicago found some rhythm on offense with Alshon Jeffery back in the lineup, but their defense could not keep the Lions at bay. Detroit, having averaged just 321 yards of offense per game prior to the matchup, put up a whopping 546 on the Bears.
Still, the Bears led late in the game. But a combination of poor clock management, conservative play-calling and Calvin Johnson allowed the Lions to score late, and Detroit eventually prevailed in the extra frame.