Draft talk should be at a fever pitch but the 2011 schedule is the new hotness. I’ll get back into draft related posts in a bit but first I thought I’d offer a few off the cuff reactions to the newly released schedule.
- The most highly anticipated Lions season in recent memory will conclude its regular season with a game in Green Bay. It would be poetic justice for the Lions to wrap up their first trip to the post season in over a decade in the same stadium they wrapped up their 0-16 season.
- It is possible that the Lions could pick up an additional primetime game through the league’s flexible scheduling beginning in week 11, although that would require a true break-through season combined with a quality opponent and disappointing seasons from the teams originally scheduled in the Sunday night slot. Don’t count on it.
- The Green Bay Packers will be the Lions Thanksgiving Day opponent for the 20th time, a number no other team can match. This will be the third straight time the Packers have been the opponent when it is the Lions turn to host an NFC opponent. The Packers were the last team to lose to the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, dropping a 22-14 decision in 2003.
- 2010 records say that the Lions have the fourth toughest schedule ahead of them although the schedule looks relatively balanced from beginning to end. The second half may be a bit tougher than the first but it doesn’t really matter. Good teams win, bad teams lose.
- The Lions have the benefit of a three game streak at home without having to play more than two straight on the road.
- Bye weeks seem to have come quite early in the year for the Lions recently. The week nine bye is as late in the year as they’ve had since 1997.
- After a late season win at Tampa Bay in 2010, do the Lions enter week one as favorites with a healthy Matthew Stafford? Perhaps not but it won’t be full bellies of cornbread that will having the fanbase brimming with confidence.