Rod Wood doesn’t get his request this year
Rod Wood says his main request for the Lions’ schedule this year is that their 2 west coast games (San Francisco, Arizona) be back to back in the second half of the season so the team can stay out west between games.— Tori Petry (@sportstori) March 26, 2018
During the owners meeting last month, Lions team president Rod Wood said he had one big request for the league this year: He wanted to have Detroit’s two west-coast games (at 49ers and at Cardinals) in back-to-back weeks. The hope was that the Lions could stay on the west coast, instead of traveling back home in between games.
That didn’t end up happening. The Lions play in San Francisco in Week 2, then travel to Arizona in Week 14.
We will own the Bears twice in 11 days
Not only are the Lions getting the Bears on Thanksgiving, but they’re getting them a few weeks before Thanksgiving. The Lions will play the Bears in Week 10 and Week 12, but because they have a shortened week for Thanksgiving, they will be playing the Bears twice in just 11 days. That’s pretty ridiculous, especially when you consider that the Lions will somehow fit a game against the Panthers in between matchups.
See you in December
If the Lions are in the playoff hunt, the final two games of the season are going to be absolutely crucial. First, they host the Vikings in Week 16, then they finish with the Packers—for the third year in a row—but this time on the road. The entire NFC North could be decided in those two games.
Bye week blues
The Lions get their bye week a little earlier than most teams. In fact, only four teams have an earlier bye than the Lions.
Bye week breakdown for the 2018 season:— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) April 20, 2018
Week 4: CAR, WAS
Week 5: CHI, TB
Week 6: DET, NO
Week 7: GB, OAK, SEA, PIT
Week 8: LAC, DAL, ATL, TEN
Week 9: CIN, ARI, IND, PHI, NYG, JAX
Week 10: DEN, BAL, HOU, MIN
Week 11: SF, BUF, CLE, MIA, NYJ, NE
Week 12: KC, LAR
Week 6 isn’t a horrible bye week, but most teams prefer to have theirs a little later in the season.
Last year, the Lions didn’t have back-to-back games in any two weeks of the season. This year, they’ll have a home stretch from Week 11 to Week 13 all at home. However, those games will not be cake-walks. The Lions will host the Panthers, then Bears, then Rams.
The Lions may be playing outdoors in cold weather often this year. First, they’ll face the Bears at Soldier Field on November 11. A month later, they’ll be in Buffalo on December 16. Then, of course, they finish at Lambeau on December 30.
This schedule, while not at all “easy,” is pretty fairly balanced in terms of difficulty. They have some soft early games (Jets, 49ers), but some tough ones mixed in (Patriots, Packers). The same can be said for the back end of the schedule with the Bills and Cardinals on the easy side and the Rams, Vikings and Packers on the harder end of the spectrum.