The Detroit Lions are trying to make 2013 look a little more like their 10-6 season from 2011 than their 4-12 season from last year. They are on a current eight game losing streak and should have a legitimate shot at breaking that streak and even starting 2-0 in 2013.
An early draft pick as well as key signings such as Reggie Bush should give this team a kick-start to the season. Locking up Matthew Stafford long term wouldn’t hurt either. Let’s take a look at all 16 games for the Lions and make some predictions.
Week 1 vs Minnesota: The Lions open the season at home against a team that lost one of its most dynamic player in Percy Harvin. Whatever the reason for the trade, their backfield as well as their passing game will not be the same. The Vikings will grab to first rounders, but I like the Lions to find a way to win this game. It will be a match-up of superstars with AP and Megatron facing off. The Lions win 27-23 to start 1-0.
Week 2 at Arizona: Arizona has a legit chance to finish the year with two or fewer wins. This will not be one of them. The Lions open the year 2-0 with a 34-13 win.
Week 3 at Washington: The Skins winning the NFC East in 2012 was no fluke. Detroit will find it very difficult to stop RG3, a healthy Pierre Garcon, and second year back Alfred Morris. The Lions lose this game 17-27 to fall to 2-1.
Week 4 vs Chicago: The Lions play a second of three division games in the first five weeks when the Bears come to town. This should be a great game and I could see it going either way. In the end, the Bears defense and special teams are enough to take the W. Lions lose 24-27 to move to 2-2.
Week 5 at Green Bay: This could be a shoot-out, but the Lions offense won’t be able to keep up with the Packers nor will their defense force turnovers like the secondary will for Green Bay. Lions drop a third in a row, 24-37 to fall to 2-3.
Week 6 at Cleveland: It isn’t easy to win on the road in the NFL and the Browns are slowly improving; but the Lions should have enough offensive power to take this one and stop their three game skid. Lions win 23-16 to move to 3-3.
Week 7 vs Cincinnati: Games against the AFC North are never easy and this one will be no different. The Bengals have a very good shot at taking that division and this game will be a great chance for a road victory. Lions go down 23-31 to fall to 3-4.
Week 8 vs Dallas: The Lions have to find a way to go into their bye week with a .500 record and must avoid back to back losses at home. While Dallas might be the better team, Detroit will have more passion in this one. The Lions squeak by in overtime 23-20 to go to 4-4.
Week 10 at Chicago: The Lions play their second game against the Bears with a chance for revenge. Chicago protects their home field advantage though and takes another one from the Lions. Lions lose 16-24 and fall to 4-5.
Week 11 at Pittsburgh: Playing back to back road games after a bye doesn’t exactly excite anyone. The Lions playoff hopes are nearly dashed after another loss, 20-23 and drop to 4-6.
Week 12 vs Tampa Bay: The Bucs could be a huge surprise this year. They have the talent and match-up evenly with the Lions. Detroit must again protect their home field to have any shot of righting the ship; but they fail to do so and lose 24-31 to move to 4-7 with their third straight loss.
Week 13 vs Green Bay: With five games remaining and next to no shot at making the playoffs, the Lions start thinking about a top five draft pick. A game against Green Bay is an easy excuse to get a little bit closer to that pick. Lions fall 17-37 and drop to 4-8.
Week 14 at Philadelphia: The Lions are trying to figure out a way not to match their 2012 debacle when they lost their final eight games. Unfortunately the trend line continues in that fashion with no shot at stopping the Eagles offense in a 17-27 loss and a new 4-9 record.
Week 15 vs Baltimore: A game that should have been an important one for both teams playoff hopes ends up being a chance for each to climb closer to a top pick in the 2014 draft. Baltimore fails to live up to their Super Bowl win after key losses on both sides of the ball, but with some chance of making the playoffs left, the Ravens still go into Detroit and get the win. Lions fall 19-16 and sit at 4-10.
Week 16 vs New York Giants: Week 16 of the season is not a good time to play a Giants team that seems to always be in the mix towards the end of the season. Detroit takes a good look around the league and realizes that a 4-12 record would likely mean a top five selection. This isn’t even a game. Detroit loses 13-34 and lands at 4-11.
Week 17 at Minnesota: The Lions have one more chance for redemption while the Vikings are sitting in no man’s land not being able to make the playoffs or get a decent draft pick. Thankfully the division game means something to AP and Megatron who are both looking to break records. It at least gives us a high scoring game, but the Lions lose another, 34-37, and drop to 4-12, completing their second season of losing their final eight games.