The Detroit Lions have a lot of reasons to be optimistic heading into this season, but they need to be careful not to grow up too fast and avoid pressing the fast forward button. The Lions are coming off one of their best NFL drafts in recent memory thanks to the absence of former Team President Matt Millen. Following up on the selection of quarterback Matthew Stafford with the top overall pick a year ago, Detroit added All-American defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and running back Javid Best in the first round and may have very well added a couple more starters in the process. Time will obviously tell if any of those players go on to become All-Pros and lead the Lions back to the playoffs, but right now they simply need to focus on getting a little better game by game. Considering they have only won two games combined over the last two years, topping that number should be a goal that is certainly within reach to achieve this season.
Odds to win NFC North Division: +2500
Odds to win the NFC Conference: 50/1
Detroit Lions Odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 100/1
Regular Season Wins Total Line: 5
*all odds quoted from Bodog*
Here’s what this year’s schedule looks like for the Lions:
Week 1 Sunday, September 12, 2010 @ Chicago Bears
Analysis: The Lions will get a defensive test right away to start the season after surrendering 85 points in losing two meetings with the Bears last year.
Week 2 Sunday, September 19, 2010 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Analysis: Philly will be playing an NFC North opponent for the second week in a row after hosting Green Bay in the season opener.
Week 3 Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Brett Favre and the Vikings get their first break of the year against the Lions before their bye week after playing New Orleans and Miami to start the season.
Week 4 Sunday, October 3, 2010 @ Green Bay Packers
Analysis: Detroit plays the second of three road games in four weeks at Green Bay and third divisional opponent in the first month of the season.
Week 5 Sunday, October 10, 2010 vs. St. Louis Rams
Analysis: The Rams beat the Lions on the road 17-10 for their only win of last season.
Week 6 Sunday, October 17, 2010 @ New York Giants
Analysis: New York hosts Detroit in between difficult road games at Houston and Dallas.
Week 7 — BYE WEEK —
Week 8 Sunday, October 31, 2010 vs. Washington Redskins
Analysis: The Redskins close out the first half of their season with the second of consecutive road games against NFC North opponents.
Week 9 Sunday, November 7, 2010 vs. New York Jets
Analysis: The Jets play the first of two straight road games at Detroit before visiting Cleveland the following week.
Week 10 Sunday, November 14, 2010 @ Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Bills play the second of three home games in four weeks against Detroit before visiting Cincinnati.
Week 11 Sunday, November 21, 2010 @ Dallas Cowboys
Analysis: The Cowboys host the Lions before facing Super Bowl finalists New Orleans and Indianapolis the next two weeks.
Week 12 Thursday, November 25, 2010 vs. New England Patriots
Analysis: Detroit plays the first of three straight home games against the Patriots on Thanksgiving Day.
Week 13 Sunday, December 5, 2010 vs. Chicago Bears
Analysis: If anything, the Lions should start showing some kind of improvement in the second round of games against NFC foes, starting with this home game against the Bears.
Week 14 Sunday, December 12, 2010 vs. Green Bay Packers
Analysis: The Packers visit Detroit for the first of two road games in a row before visiting New England the next week.
Week 15 Sunday, December 19, 2010 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Analysis: The Lions make the first of two straight trips to Florida at the end of December.
Week 16 Sunday, December 26, 2010 @ Miami Dolphins
Analysis: Detroit may choose to spend Christmas in Miami after visiting Tampa the week before.
Week 17 Sunday, January 2, 2011 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: The Vikings close the season on the road after visiting Philadelphia the previous week while the Lions hope to start the New Year at home on a positive note.