Detroit Lions: 4-4 Record and Tough Remaining Schedule
Detroit Lions 2012 Schedule Gets Tougher
The Detroit Lions ended the first half of the 2012 NFL season on a two game win streak. That small win streak took the Lions back to .500 with a 4-4 record. The Lions will look to take that winning momentum to the second half of the season, where the team faces some tough competition.
Opponents in the second half of the Lions schedule have a record of 48-20. In fact, only one of the Lions remaining opponents has a losing record (Arizona 4-5). The Lions will need to continue their offensive production to keep scores high, and hope that the improving defense does not collapse with recent injuries. The offense ranks first in the league in passing yards with 307.3, and twenty second in the league in rush yards with 103.6. The Lions have the second highest total of offensive yards averaged per game in the first half of the season. Scoring 24.0 points per game only ranks the Lions 12th in the league.
On the defensive side, the Lions are giving up the sixth fewest yards to opposing teams. The Lions are still allowing opponents to put up points on the scoreboard, as they rank 22nd in opposing points per game with 23.5 allowed per game.
The Lions have squeaked out some close down to the wire games. The combined margin in all eight games is 52 points. In the Lions four losses, a combined 24 points separated the Lions from winning all of the games. Two of the first half games went to overtime, which saw the Lions split the extra time contests. The good news for the Lions and fans alike is the fact that five of the eight remaining games are at home, where the Lions currently enjoy a 201 record on the season.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings, November 11
The Lions travel to Minnesota to take on the 5-4 Vikings. The Vikings beat the Lions 20-13 in the season’s previous matchup. In that contest, the Lions gave up two special teams touchdowns, including the opening kickoff return of 105 yards by Percy Harvin. The Lions did a good job of containing Adrian Peterson and only allowed the Vikings offense to put up two field goals. If the Lions can do the same and contain special teams, it should be a win for Detroit.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, November 18
Green Bay Packers come to Detroit on November 18th in the first of two matchups between the two NFC North foes in less than 30 days. The Packers have a 6-3 record and have beaten Detroit in several recent matchups including twice in the 2011 season.
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions, November 22
For the first time in its history, the Houston Texans will play a Thanksgiving Day game. The game has been an annual tradition in Detroit, where the Lions hold a 33-37-2 record in games played on the holiday. The Lions will look to stop the 7-1 Texans, and also end a losing streak of eight Thanksgiving Day games in a row, dating back to 2003.
Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions, December 2
The Indianapolis Colts visit the Lions in a battle of young quarterbacks. The Lions are led by Matthew Stafford, who was the 2009 NFL Draft number one overall pick. Andrew Luck, the number one overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, leads the surprising 5-3 Colts.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, December 9
The Sunday Night Football game features two NFC North rivals in the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Going into the second half of the season, the Packers had a 6-3 record. The teams meet earlier in the season on November 18th.
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals, December 22
Heading into the second half of the season, the Lions face only one team with a losing record. The Arizona Cardinals, led by quarterback John Skelton, hold a 4-5 record. This should be one of the easiest games on the back end of Detroit’s schedule.
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions, December 22
Assuming they do not fall hard before their Saturday Night meeting with Detroit, the Atlanta Falcons could be one of the toughest teams the Lions will face in 2012. The Falcons held an 8-0 record at the midway point of the season. The Lions will have their hands full with an explosive offense led by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, December 30
The final game of the Detroit Lions 2012 season is against NFC North rival Chicago Bears. At the start of the season, the game was picked to end the season with its playoff implications. The Bears held a 7-1 record at the midway point of the season. The Lions, with a 4-4 record, had some work to do to make the playoffs. Wins against NFC North rivals like the Packers, Vikings and Bears are the best Detroit can do to move up the standings. If the Lions come into the game with a 9-6 or 10-5 record, they might have a chance to make the playoffs with a win in their final home game.