Now At 1-2, Detroit Will Struggle To Get Back To The Playoffs

Will The Lions Match Last Year's 10 Wins?

9/26/12 in NFL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Sep 23, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) drops back to hand off against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Lions 44-41 in overtime. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIREA year ago today, the standings in the NFC North were almost an exact opposite of what they are right now.  The Packers and Lions sat on top of the division, both at 3-0, while the Bears started off 1-2 and the Vikings 0-3.  Flash forward to the 2012 season post-week 3, and it’s the Vikings and Bears tied in first, both 2-1, while the Packers and Lions sit a game back.
 
For us Lions fans, a 1-2 start isn’t usually something to be particularly angry or disheartened about.  It took the 2010 squad until week 14 to register their third win, took the 2009 team until week 11 to notch win number 2 and we all know the historical awfulness of the team before that.  But the 2012 Lions are different.  Coming off of the team’s first playoff appearance in over a decade, the 2012 Lions will either prove that Detroit deserves to be taken seriously or show that last year’s team was some sort of flash in the pan.
 
This past week’s overtime loss to the Titans really puts the Lions in a tight spot going into week 4.  If the Lions can’t hold their home field against the Vikings this Sunday, they’ll go into their bye week with a 1-3 record before traveling to Philadelphia and Chicago, tough environments to get victories when the home teams are on their game.  And that’s not to mention that the Lions still have two games against Green Bay (who they haven’t beaten since god knows when), a week 12 meeting with the undefeated Texans and a week 16 meeting with the undefeated Falcons.
 
Right now, it looks like 8 or 9 more wins are going to be difficult to come by.  The Lions are going to need to win some tough games at home, while coming up with key road victories to find themselves back in the NFC playoff picture.  That makes this weekend’s game just about as close as you’ll come to a week 4 must-win game with Minnesota being one of their weakest home field matchups the rest of the way (see full schedule below).
 
The team’s been quiet and elusive over the status of Matthew Stafford following Sunday’s loss, but the truth of the matter is that the team didn’t look altogether in sync even when he was on the field this year, barely being able to put together touchdown drives in the first two weeks.  Mikel Leshoure gave the running game a big boost this past week, but his tests will become more difficult over time and a defense that gave up 378 yards to Jake Locker will be forced to start making some key stops as the year goes on.  A playoff run isn’t too far out of the question, but at this point, things look a bit hazier than Lions fans would have liked.

Full Remaining Schedule:

@ Philadelphia,
@ Chicago,
vs. Seattle,
@ Jacksonville,
@ Minnesota,
vs. Green Bay,
vs. Houston,
vs. Indianapolis,
@ Green Bay,
@ Arizona,
vs. Atlanta,
vs. Chicago.
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9/26/12   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect

Sure, they might even do better this season.