In the salary cap era in the NFL, there are very few “gimme” games. The league has been designed to promote equality from top to bottom and most games still hang in the balance as the fourth quarter of each contest begins.
With the manifestation of parity in the league, a winning record is no guarantee of future success and, likewise, a miserable year does not guarantee another disappointing season.
The Lions surprised many with their 10-6 record in 2011, but can they follow up that winning season with another playoff-caliber campaign in 2012 and post back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1995?
If they can, the following seven contests will be the most difficult on the schedule to put in the win column.