Al Bello/Getty Images
Arian Foster and the Texans could be in position to end the Lions season, officially
So say the curse isn't real and the Lions can weather the treacherous NFC North. The rest of the schedule should be a breeze, right?
Matthew Stafford said earlier this week, "“We started 5-0 last year, we had to battle our way to 10-6 to get into the playoffs...It’s a humbling business” (via Larry Lage of BattleCreekEnquirer.com).
If they could only go 5-6 after a 5-0 start last season, the Lions will be lucky to get three more wins this season. Looking at Detroit's remaining schedule, the Lions will probably be watching the playoffs from home like the rest of us.
Detroit plays four of their next five games on the road. The next two games are against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) and the Chicago Bears (4-1).
The Eagles are unpredictable. Michael Vick could very easily fumble away the game like he did against Pittsburgh. Chicago, though, is going to be more than ready to put the Lions down for another loss.
Then, Detroit gets Seattle (3-2) at home, Jacksonville (1-4) on the road and they travel to the Minnesota Vikings (4-1).
Seattle has wins over Green Bay and New England. The Seahawks offense is lacking outside RB Marshawn Lynch, but the Lions' defense is so bad that the offense will likely join the defense as a dominant force.
The Jaguars are one of the few teams Detroit has a chance to beat. Jacksonville has the worst offense in the NFL, scoring only 13 points per game.
The game at Minnesota, though, could be the game that decides the Lions season. The Vikings defeated Detroit 20-13 back in Week 4, and a second loss would be devastating.
Detroit could realistically be 2-7 after the Minnesota game.
The next two games are against the Packers (2-3) and the currently undefeated Houston Texans, both at Detroit.
Green Bay could be in the same boat by this point, but this is a team that won the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. And the Texans are solid in every aspect of the game, and as long as they stay healthy, Houston is a Super Bowl contender.
The best chance for Detroit to win a game, then, will be against the Indianapolis Colts. They are not particularly strong in any one area, but rookie quarterback Andrew Luck did just earn a comeback victory against Green Bay.
With games at Green Bay, at Arizona (4-1), against undefeated Atlanta and against Chicago to end the season, there will be little hopes of a playoff run if it does not start now.
If the Lions do not become the aggressive—and a touch uncontrollable—team they were last season, they'll return to their losing history. This would be a shame after watching the historic franchise finally feel what success is like.