After posting the worst record in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions should have a more favorable schedule in 2019. But they also have other advantages.
Coming off a 6-10 season and currently sitting in the basement of the NFC North, the Detroit Lions can use every advantage they can get. And with the recent release of the 2019 regular season schedule, the Lions benefited in a couple different ways.
Along with playing their normal divisional rivals twice, Detroit was already locked into playing opponents from both the NFC East and the AFC West in 2019 regardless of their previous standings.
But their poor record from last season did mean they’d get to face the last place finishers in the both the NFC West (3-13 Arizona Cardinals) and the NFC South (5-11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
But that’s not the only advantages the Lions will have when they kick off their new season this September. According to ESPN’s Brian Burke, Detroit has the best rest differential in the entire league this year … and more.
That essentially means the Lions will have a dozen more rest days than their opponents over the course of the season. The franchise with the worst rest differential this upcoming season? The New England Patriots with -13 rest days as compared to their opponents.
Burke went on to point out Detroit’s moderate travel distances, that they possess just one short road week and the fact that they will play only one contest against a more well-rested opponent as positives. Plus, the Lions will face no team coming off their bye week and Motown will only have one back-to-back road stretch starting in Week Nine.
If you missed it, here’s the Detroit Lions 2019 regular season schedule.
Week 1: Sept. 8 at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2: Sept. 15 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 3: Sept. 22 at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: Oct. 14 at Green Bay Packers
Week 7: Oct. 20 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 8: Oct. 27 vs. New York Giants
Week 9: Nov. 3 at Oakland Raiders
Week 10: Nov. 10 at Chicago Bears
Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 12: Nov. 24 at Washington Redskins
Week 13: Nov. 28 vs. Chicago Bears
Week 14: Dec. 8 at Minnesota Vikings
Week 15: Dec. 15 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 16: Dec. 21/22 at Denver Broncos
Week 17: Dec. 29 vs. Green Bay Packers
The Detroit Lions are going to need every advantage their schedule can afford them if they are going to get back into playoff contention with second-year head coach Matt Patricia at the helm. But with a highly-successful free agency haul this offseason and the upcoming NFL draft to add even more talent to the roster, the arrow is certainly pointing upward for the Motor City.