Bye weeks often provide a much-needed chance for teams to regroup after some early season bumps and bruises, both physically and in the win-loss record, but the Lions head into an awkward Week 5 off week at an interesting time. The team has started the season fairly impressively, and though there are a few banged up players, odds are that Detroit’s injury woes will be greater over the next couple months than right now.
With the Lions off this Sunday, fans have an opportunity to check out how other teams across the league are looking. This is technically the case on most weekends, but having literally no game to emotionally invest in does free up some bandwidth compared to the typical routine.
There is still much to learn about teams after the first month of the season, but some trends are starting to come to light. If the Lions continue to play as well as they have started, Detroit fans are going to have a bunch of different NFC teams to pay attention to as the playoff race progresses. Though there is a lot of competition, it would be nice to be back in this situation where we are more interested in playoff positioning rather than draft pick order.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Which game are you most looking forward to this weekend?
My answer: The obvious answer would be to check out the other NFC North members, but the Bears and Vikings should both have an easy time taking care of the Raiders (at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium—#COYS) and Giants, respectively. The Packers have the most challenging matchup, traveling to Dallas, but that just does not seem like a pleasant viewing experience.
The most intriguing game to me this weekend is between the Falcons and the Texans. On one side are the talented Falcons, who currently sit in last place in their division. Twice already Atlanta has put up fewer than 14 points, which is not really acceptable with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones leading the charge. The NFC South is always a tough battle, and a 1-4 start could doom the Falcons.
Meanwhile, the AFC South looks like it may be pretty congested as well, with all four teams currently sitting 2-2. Houston seems like it should be the favorite with the retirement of Andrew Luck, but like Atlanta, the early results have been modest, especially on offense. In a lot of ways Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins are the superior version of Ryan and Jones, but the Houston duo is still easing its way into the season. Both teams need this win, and both offenses have the potential to put some serious points on the board.