A big part of being a fan of any team in the NFL is believing that your team has a shot at winning the Super Bowl every single season. The harsh reality, though, is that there are some teams who are a long way off from being close to competing for a playoff spot, never mind winning a championship. One of those teams is the Detroit Lions, who are in the early stages of a rebuild that has them well off the pace of the top teams in the NFL. This is a team that is coming off a 3-win season in 2019, and who have a returning QB in Matt Stafford, who is coming back after a broken back sustained earlier in the previous season. All signs would appear to point to another year of struggle, but let’s take a closer look inside the Detroit Lions 2020 schedule and their NFL odds.
Detroit Lions Schedule Analysis
Strength of Schedule
There are certainly plenty of people who will argue that the strength of schedule is basically meaningless, mostly because it is based on what every team did last season. No team looks exactly the same as they did the previous year, but we can still look at the strength of schedule and get a basic idea of what we might expect. An a already tough season for the Lions now looks even tougher when you look at the teams they have to face in 2020. Those teams put together a combined record of 134-121-1 last season, giving the Lions the 5th toughest schedule, on paper, coming into this new season.
Could This Be the End of the Stafford Era in Detroit?
Matthew Stafford has put up some incredible numbers during his years in the NFL, all of which have been with Detroit, but he has continually been surrounded by a sub-par squad. He has also had more than his fair share of injuries, mainly because he gets little in the way of protection and is hit more than most. The Lions are saying that they are committed to building around Stafford, and they certainly had a great draft, but if he gets hurt again, do they continue down that path. The Lions figure to be near the bottom of the league again, so they might yet get a shot at one of the QB’s in next year’s draft.
Primetime and Featured Games
When you have been as bad as the Detroit Lions have been over the past few seasons, you don’t expect a lot of opportunities to be shown on national TV. That is the case for the Lions this season, as they do not have a single game in primetime. It’s a steady diet of 1 PM starts for Detroit, which probably shouldn’t come as that great of a surprise. One thing that will remain the same, though, is that the Lions will once again be on national TV on Thanksgiving Day. They will have a very tough home game in that one, with the Houston Texans rolling into town.
The Lions have a pretty brutal start to the season and could well be 0-4 by the time their bye week comes around in Week 5. Detroit went winless in divisional play last season, so they will try to rectify that this year, but I would not be totally optimistic about their chances.
The Detroit Lions Complete Schedule
- Week 1 Sept. 13: vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 2 Sept. 20: at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 3 Sept. 27: at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m., Fox
- Week 4 Oct. 4: vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 5: BYE
- Week 6 Oct. 18: at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 7 Oct. 25: at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., Fox|
- Week 8 Nov. 1: vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 9 Nov. 8: at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 10 Nov. 15: vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 11 Nov. 22: at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 12 Nov. 26: vs. Houston Texans, 12:30 p.m., CBS
- Week 13 Dec. 6: at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 14 Dec. 13: vs. Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 15 Dec. 19 or 20: at Tennessee Titans, TBD
- Week 16 Dec. 26 or 27: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TBD
- Week 17 Jan. 3: vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox