2015 NFL Schedule Breakdown: Predicting the Detroit Lions Record Next Season


Tuesday night, the NFL officially announced the schedules of every team, and the Detroit Lions were quickly the talk of the league.

Detroit, usually a team hidden from the nation, was stunningly included on six national broadcasts, including two appearances on Monday Night Football, one on Sunday Night Football, two games on Thursday and a contest in London.

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Uncharacteristically, America can now expect to see a whole lot more of the Lions, which could be considered a definite indication as to the way the league expects the team to be trending after an 11-5 season put them on the map in 2014.

This coming season, the schedule remains a challenge, but the Lions should be equipped to deal with it. How will they fare? Here’s an early look at how 2015 might be expected to go.

Week 1: at San Diego Chargers. The Chargers are a team in turmoil considering it’s unknown where they will be located next season and if Philip Rivers will be quarterbacking the team. Still, it should be smoldering in California early and the Lions will melt in the heat, finding a way to fall. Loss (0-1)

Week 2: at Minnesota Vikings. Last season, the Vikings gave the Lions a pair of close games both at home and on the road, and considering their improvement, expect that to continue. Detroit has a few more experienced horses, though, and that gets them over the hump in this game. Win, (1-1)

Week 3: Denver Broncos (home opener, Sunday Night Football). Detroit gets Peyton Manning under the lights for their home opener, and the atmosphere should be absolutely electric at Ford Field. There’s no doubt Denver is good, but is their roster aging? This could turn into a coming out party for Detroit, and thanks to an atmosphere revved up for Detroit’s first home Sunday Night Football appearance on NBC alone, it will be. Win, (2-1)

Week 4: at Seattle Seahawks (Monday Night Football). The third road game of the season is a real doozy, as it’s never easy to go up against the 12th man in Seattle, much less do so in prime time. Detroit gets hammered from start to finish and struggles across the board. Loss, (2-2)

Week 5: Arizona Cardinals. A tough loss last year in Arizona came when the Lions couldn’t put together enough offense to overcome the Cardinals late. Offensively, expect Arizona to be better, but the Lions will be able to overcome them thanks to the home crowd element which helped them in close games last season. Detroit wins a close one. Win, (3-2)

Week 6: Chicago Bears. The Bears shook things up over the offseason, hiring John Fox as their coach, who brought in Adam Gase as the offensive coordinator. Either way, the Bears still have lots of work to do in order to catch up to the Lions, who have swept them the last two seasons. They’ll win this one at home. Win, (4-2)

Week 7: Minnesota Vikings. A close game earlier in the season will lead to another close one at Ford Field, but once again, Detroit’s defense will force Teddy Bridgewater into a few mistakes while the offense makes a few clutch plays. It will  be a very similar result again. Win, (5-2)

Week 8: at Kansas City Chiefs (London). Detroit managed to handle the London trip well last year, and their reward was a return engagement in 2015. This time, though, they won’t get the Atlanta Falcons who were prone to falling apart. Kansas City has a solid team with a good coaching staff, and they trip up Detroit across the pond. Loss, (5-3)

Week 9: Bye

Week 10: at Green Bay Packers. Detroit doesn’t win big games in Green Bay. Period. Unless there’s some type of a miraculous sea change, it’s not going to happen again in 2015, either. Matthew Stafford has another bad day, and the Packers go wild offensively, handing Detroit their second straight loss. Loss, (5-4)

Week 11: Oakland Raiders. Fortunately for the Lions, the chance to get healthy comes in the form of the Oakland Raiders at Ford Field. Oakland should be much better under Jack Del Rio than they were last season, but there is still plenty of work to be done. Detroit has too much weaponry, and they use it to their advantage. Win, (6-4)

Week 12: Philadelphia Eagles (Thanksgiving Day). With two straight Thanksgiving wins, the Lions have restored the roar on their big holiday. Chip Kelly has changed the feel of the Eagles this offseason, and arguably, that might not be a good thing. Detroit protects home field with a nice victory. Win, (7-4)

Week 13; Green Bay Packers (Thursday Night Football). Detroit doesn’t play well against the Packers on the road, but always plays Green Bay much tougher when at home. Another prime time game will help this  even more, and the Lions come out prepared and motivated to avenge their earlier loss. The Lions score a huge win for their playoff hopes. Win, (8-4)

Week 14: at St. Louis Rams. Many will chalk this game up as an automatic win thinking the Rams are as bad as they’ve been in the past, but the truth is, they’ve built a phenomenal defense and now have a quarterback with Nick Foles. St. Louis is sneaky good, and proves it by upending the Lions at home late in the year. Loss, (8-5)

Week 15: at New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football). Detroit doesn’t get any favors late in the season on Monday Night Football, either. With as tough as it is to win in Seattle, it might be just as tough to do so in New Orleans. The Saints ambush the Lions, who are beginning to feel the heat late in the year. Loss, (8-6)

Week 16: San Francisco 49ers. A return home against the now potentially regressing 49ers should provide the Lions with a major respite. Detroit handles their business against San Francisco, and gets healthy with a late season romp. Win, (9-6)

Week 17: at Chicago Bears. Detroit put away Chicago on the road late last year, and they will do the same in 2015. The Lions cap off a 10 win regular season with a solid victory in the Windy City, and set their sights on a possible playoff birth. Win, (10-6)

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