Fresh off their much-needed bye week, the Detroit Lions will face two divisional foes back-to-back in a race to own the month of October.
Not much went right for the Detroit Lions in 2018. But the one thing the Pride did prove is that they can beat the Green Bay Packers. Despite posting an NFC North worst 6-10 record last season, the Lions did find a way to defeat their rivals, the Packers, in both of their meetings.
After starting last season losing three of their first four games, the Lions and first-year head coach Matt Patricia hosted the 2-1-1 Packers at Ford Field in a Week Five battle. Detroit would lead 24-0 by halftime and eventually win the contest 31-23.
Twelve weeks later, the Lions and the Packers would meet again. Unfortunately, Detroit entered the matchup at Lambeau Field having lost seven of their previous nine games. And at 5-10, their season was over before the Week 17 contest even kicked off. The 6-8-1 Packers didn’t fare much better, having parted ways with longtime head coach Mike McCarthy earlier that season.
The Pride decimated the Cheeseheads in that meaningless matchup, tuning their divisional rivals up with a score of 31-0. For Lions’ fans, the blowout was a rare bright spot amidst another lost season. But it at least offered hope for a more successful 2019 campaign.
And through the first five weeks of this season, Detroit has played well. After a fourth-quarter collapse against the winless Arizona Cardinals in Week One that resulted in an unsatisfying tie, the Lions beat two 2018 playoff teams, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles, back-to-back. And before their Week Five bye week, Motown was less than two minutes away from upsetting the then-unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs.
Following a much-needed break to allow their numerous injured players to heal, the Lions are primed to dominate in the month of October. And their first opponents are those same Packers in Lambeau, although Green Bay is off to a hot start winning four of their five contests and sit atop the NFC North standings.
Following the Packers, Detroit will head back home to face another familiar team, the 3-2 Minnesota Vikings. The Lions failed to defeat the Vikings at all last season. But Minnesota has yet to beat a divisional opponent, losing to both the Packers and Chicago Bears already this season. And their three wins have come against the 3-2 Oakland Raiders, the 2-3 New York Giants, and the 1-4 Atlanta Falcons.
Here’s what Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote following the Lions impressive run so far and their chances to keep it going throughout this hallowed month.
"“Bottom line is this team is 2-1-1 despite facing Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Patrick Mahomes in a row, and I don’t think anyone in their division is going to run away and hide. The Lions have shown me enough to believe they can be a factor, and with games against the Packers and Vikings looming, they have a great chance to make a statement in October.”"
The Lions’ final game in the month of October will come against the Giants. New York lost their first two contests of the season before a quarterback changed vaulted them to two straight victories. The G-Men are coming off a loss to the Vikings in Week Five, 28-10.
The Detroit Lions are slowly turning doubters into believers. The Pride have proven they can go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the NFL. If the Lions go on to dominate the month of October, they should be well on their way back to playoff contention.