Detroit Ended 5-4 After the First Half of the Schedule, How Will the Second Half Turnout?
What a wacky ride 2016 has been for the Detroit Lions. They are the first team in NFL history to have their first nine games decided by seven points or less. Out of those nine games, Detroit was able to win five. Tennessee and Chicago were embarrassing losses where Detroit should have came out on top. Losses to Green Bay and Houston were just poor performances by the team. All of the wins have been come from behind game winning or tying drives and an overtime win. How will the second half fare for the team that has a chance to become a playoff team?
Week 11: Jacksonville Jaguars
Detroit comes back from the bye with a home game against a struggling Jacksonville team. They are 2-6 right now and could be 2-7 as they play Houston in week 10. Blake Bortles is getting questioned at the quarterback position by fans of the team. Detroit should have DeAndre Levy and Darius Slay back, along with Riley Reiff on the offensive line. Detroit comes back with a bang with a win over Jacksonville.
Week 12: Minnesota Vikings
Both teams were banged up in the week nine matchup and come week 12, both will be healthy and the game will change. Detroit will have the advantage at home, but Minnesota should have a better team with some offensive line players coming back and some help at the linebacker spot as well. This game will be close and sadly will turn into a loss for the Lions.
Week 13: @ New Orleans Saints
Detroit goes back to NOLA to take on the Saints again in the Superdome. While the Saints have an impressive, balanced offense, their defense is lacking in talent. Detroit has a pass heavy offense that should be able to dismantle the Saints defense. While the Lions defense isn’t crazy impressive, they still have some playmakers and will be able to take down the Saints once again.
Week 14: Chicago Bears
Vengeance is sweeter at home. Detroit had one of the worst games of the year in Chicago in week three and 11 weeks later things have changed. Detroit should be healthier coming in as long as no injuries occur from week 11 until 14. Detroit will be at home and have a improved offensive line. Detroit will be expecting Jordan Howard this time around, so they can prepare for what he brings and they will have Jay Cutler at quarterback. Detroit gets a win at home.
Week 15: @ New York Giants
Back on the road into New York and for the first and only time this season, Detroit plays outdoors in the cold. Now while Detroit is in the state of Michigan that has a harsh winter from time to time, they are indoors for Sunday’s and they don’t practice outdoors much once winter comes. This advantage will go to New York and could be the deciding factor. Detroit will have to overcome such issues in the post season if they make it, but for now it costs them in week 15.
Week 16: @ Dallas Cowboys
Revenge on Monday Night? Possible. Dallas is the hottest team in the NFC right now with Dak Prescott leading the way along with Ezekiel Elliot. Week 16 though could mean a different quarterback is playing and that would be number nine Tony Romo. This team will change if Romo is back. If Detroit plays against Romo, they have a better shot at winning this game. If Prescott is out there, expect a loss. Since Jerry Jones has said this is Tony’s team, it has been noted that he will start once he is healthy. On that note, Romo plays and Detroit will end up coming up short again in Dallas on Monday Night as the offensive line and rushing game for Dallas will be the key difference.
Week 17: Green Bay Packers
Thirteen weeks can change a lot between two teams. Detroit welcomes the new year with Green Bay at home to close out the season. Right now, Green Bay is on the decline. No running game and Aaron Rodgers is declining and making big mistakes. Detroit will once again have the home field advantage which will help the team a lot. Also, playoff implications could possibly be on the line and that gives both team an extra reason to win this game. Green Bay played a Detroit defense with no Ziggy Ansah or DeAndre Levy and Detroit had Kyle Van Noy and Thurston Armbrister as the other linebackers. This time Detroit will have better personnel at the spot and that will be the main difference in the game.
Detroit wins and ends the season 9-7 and looking into the playoffs either as a wildcard member or the winner of the NFC North.