The beauty of the 16-game NFL season is that virtually every game is a must-win.
Of course, that's not absolutely true. Not every team that makes the playoffs goes 16-0, of course. But over the course of every season, there are some games that are seen as turning points.
Sometimes it's a win that changes playoff positioning, or that sparks a strong run, or ends a skid. Or maybe it's a loss that does the opposite of some of those things.
In either case, the Lions this season will be no exception. While there are no games on the schedule that are true "throwaway" games, there are a few that should tell the tale for the entire season.
In other words, by looking at these five games, we should get a pretty good sense for how the other 11 will go.