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How the Lions' upcoming opponents fared in Week 9

Aside from a few surprising upsets, the Lions' future opponents had an awful Week 9.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The tail end of the Detroit Lions' schedule has long been thought to be the easy portion of the season. Although, after teams like the Raiders and Saints emerged as real contenders, it started to look like the Lions schedule wouldn't be as simple as it previously seemed. But in Week 9, the Lions' future opponents struggled, posting a record of just 3-5.

Week 10 at Packers (6-2) - lost to Panthers, 29-37

After being humbled last week by the Broncos, Green Bay looked similarly lost in the first half against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Packers quickly fell behind 27-7 at the break. Once again, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense were completely stymied by one of the best defenses in the league.

...until the second half. Rodgers looked like his old self for much of the third and fourth quarters, finishing with 369 passing yards and four touchdowns on the day. However, after an improbable comeback left the Packres just four yards away from a potential game-tying score, Rodgers failed to see a wide-open Randall Cobb and ended up throwing his only interception of the day.

Overall, the Packers have serious issues on both sides of the ball. Their defense allowed the Panthers to total up 427 yards of offense, including 9.9 yards per passing attempt. On offense, the Packers' struggles relay back to their offensive line. Rodgers was sacked five times on Sunday and Green Bay only managed 71 rushing yards on 19 carries.

Week 11 vs. Raiders (4-4) - lost to Steelers, 35-38

The Raiders just barely missed out on moving to a surprising 5-3 record. Oakland and Pittsburgh traded scores for much of the day, but as the Steelers took a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter, the Raiders were presumed dead.

However, Derek Carr led the Raiders on two touchdown drive in the last stanza, including the game-tying score with just 1:15 left in the game.

But Oakland could not stop Antonio Brown all afternoon, despite Ben Roethlisburger's injury earlier in the game. Brown's 57-yard catch-and-run set up the Steelers' game-winning chip shot field goal with only two seconds remaining.

Week 12 vs. Eagles (4-4) - beat Cowboys, 33-27

The Sunday Night Football matchup between these two NFC East rivals needed an extra quarter to determine the winner.

The Eagles offense was off to another slow start, only scoring seven points in the first half, but it was enough to take a 7-7 tie into the locker room. It was a different story in the second half, as the Eagles took their first possession in the second half 95 yards to take the lead, 14-7.

Each possession for both teams ended with a score in the fourth quarter (not including one kneel down at the end of regulation), including a crucial pick-six from Jordan Hicks early in the period.

The Eagles received the ball first in overtime and never gave the Cowboys offense an opportunity to rebut. After a risky fourth-and-1 conversion, Sam Bradford connected with Jordan Matthews on the next play for the 41-yard game winning score.

Week 13 vs. Packers (6-2) - lost to Panthers, 29-37

See above.

Week 14 at Rams (4-4) - lost to Vikings, 18-21

The Rams ended up on the losing side of a defensive battle on Sunday. The two teams combined for just 308 total net passing yards, despite the game going to overtime.

The big story to come out of this game was a brutal hit from Lamarcus Joyner that knocked Teddy Bridgewater unconscious:

The hit knocked Bridgewater unconscious and out of the game. In relief, Shaun Hill was unable to bring the Vikings to any fourth quarter points, giving the Rams an opportunity to get back into the game. After missing the potential game-tying field goal minutes earlier, Greg Zuerlein booted a 53-yarder to send the game to overtime with 12 seconds remaining.

In overtime, the Vikings made the shocking decision to take the wind rather than the ball first. With the new overtime rules, the call wasn't quite as egregious as when Marty Mornhinweg made a similar choice back in 2002. And it paid off for the Vikings. After forcing a three-and-out, the Vikings got the ball at midfield and quickly kicked the game-winning field goal seven plays later.

Week 15 at Saints (4-5) - lost to Titans, 28-34

The Saints seemed to have figured out all of their problems, winning four of their previous five games heading into Week 9. But any momentum they built over that time was completely lost after dropping a home game to the previously 1-6 Titans.

In another game that needed overtime to decide a winner, the Saints defense had no answer for rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, who finished 28-39 for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including the worst touchdown pass ever thrown.

That being said, Drew Brees was able to keep pace with Mariota, tallying 387 yards and three touchdowns of his own. But in overtime, Mariota got the ball first and drove the Titans 80 yards in nine plays for the game-winning touchdown.

Week 16 vs. 49ers (3-6) - beat Falcons, 17-16

With Blaine Gabbert behind center, not many gave the 49ers a chance against the 6-2 Falcons. But it was the 49ers defense that led the team to a big upset victory. San Francisco held the Falcons to just 17 yards rushing on the day. Atlanta is averaging 25.4 points per game, but could only manage 16 against this defense.

Gabbert's 2015 debut was mixed. He threw for two touchdowns, but also added two interceptions, including one in the fourth quarter that very nearly led to the game-winning score for the Falcons. But the 49ers held tough in the red zone, and the Falcons made a curious coaching decision. Atlanta was facing a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line with just three minutes remaining, down four points. Rather than trying to punch the ball in, the Falcons opted to kick a field goal and never got the ball back.

Week 17 at Bears (3-5) - beat Chargers, 22-19

Jay Cutler led the Chicago Bears on their third fourth-quarter comeback of the season, handing the Chargers their fifth straight loss.

After a pick-six put the Bears behind 13-0 early in the second quarter, Cutler rebounded nicely with the help of receiver Alshon Jeffery, who hauled in 10 catches for 151 yards. A scoreless third quarter gave way to a fourth quarter in which the Bears outscored the Chargers 15-3. Up next for Chicago is a trip to St. Louis to play the Rams.

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