Breaking news, Lions fans: The Detroit Lions did not complete a single pass this Sunday. They did not score a single point either. If any of you play fantasy football, then you are probably disappointed with every Lions player being absent from the stat sheet.
Then again, the Lions were on the bye.
The Lions took Week 5 off—one of the earliest dates in the season—and sat back and watched the rest of the NFL and NFC North duke it out. Perhaps the most important part of the bye week is recovery time for injured players. Quarterback Matthew Stafford played very well last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he did so on a bad hip. He will hopefully be healthier against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, as will the rest of his teammates. The Lions were without Darius Slay, Mike Daniels, and Da’Shawn Hand against the Chiefs, all of whom are integral parts of the defense. We will see if they can return to action soon.
Along with rest, it also gives the Lions plenty of time to study their upcoming opponent, the Packers. A prime time tilt against a division rival is extremely important, and the Packers are looking like a dangerous foe this year. They lead the NFC North with a 4-1 record after shutting down the Dallas Cowboys. Their defense is a legitimate threat in the league, and running back Aaron Jones is finally getting the touches he deserves.
The other two teams, the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, are both 3-2, but they both have plenty of concerns. Chicago is still without Mitchell Trubisky—if you believe that he is an upgrade over backup Chase Daniel—and their offense is struggling, with Allen Robinson being the only player to stand out in a positive way.
The Vikings, meanwhile, are coming off a dominant victory, but it came at the hands of the hapless New York Giants. Still, if Kirk Cousins can make a resurgence and Dalvin Cook can continue his torrid pace, they could be a team to watch.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you feel better, worse, or the same after the bye week?
My answer: I feel a little worse. Obviously I cannot critique the Lions’ performance, since they did not have one, but getting healthy is extremely important for this banged-up team. Stafford could really use Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson back as soon as possible. They managed to stay afloat without Slay in the secondary, but his return is crucial.
That being said, the Packers make me nervous, because after years of being carried by Aaron Rodgers, they finally have a complete team and look like a legitimate Super Bowl threat. Their defense is one of the league’s best, and they are a unit I severely underestimated coming into the season. In the past, the role of Green Bay’s defense was to keep them in games so that Rodgers can do his thing. Now, it’s all about the offense doing enough to secure a win with how they’re shutting down teams.
The next game against Green Bay will be huge if the Lions want to win the division or be relegated to fighting for a Wild Card spot in a tough NFC.
How do you feel about the Lions after their bye week?
This poll is closed
A lot better
A little better
A little worse
A lot worse