4. Week 11: vs. Chicago Bears
3. Week 14: at Chicago Bears
Doubling up on the Bears, as the Lions play five of their six division games from Week 11 on and the face them twice in a four week-span.
The Bears should be a better team this year, not that it’ll take much after earning the No. 1 overall pick last year (before trading it). How much that translates to wins is a question, and they won’t be favored to win many games.
Being home against the Bears before the short Thanksgiving week is an advantage for the Lions off the top in the first matchup. Coming off a tough stretch of the schedule (at the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7, and at the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10), they get a soft landing in Week 11.
Week 14 at Chicago two weeks before Christmas invites the prospect, actually strong likelihood, of rough weather to play in for the Lions. But how much the Bears will be playing for as the season’s final month starts, beyond pride to avoid a season-sweep by the Lions, is an automatic question.
It’s a drum that has and will be beaten here a lot regarding this year’s schedule. But if the Lions are going to meet expectations, a season-sweep of the inferior Bears is a practical prerequisite.