17 April 2012
The NFL has released the Detroit Lions' schedule for 2012. For more in-depth information on the the 5 nationally televised games, check out this post.
Home games are in italics, nationally televised games in bold. Click here to see a flash version of the schedule at NFL.com, or click here for a printable PDF:
Week 1: Sep 09 - 1:00 PM ET - St Louis Rams - FOX
Week 2: Sep 16 - 8:20 PM ET - at San Francisco 49ers - NBC
Week 3: Sep 23 - 1:00 PM ET - at Tennessee Titans - FOX
Week 4: Sep 30 - 1:00 PM ET - Minnesota Vikings - FOX
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: Oct 14 - 1:00 PM ET - at Philadelphia Eagles - FOX
Week 7: Oct 22 - 8:30 PM ET - at Chicago Bears - ESPN
Week 8: Oct 28 - 1:00 PM ET - Seattle Seahawks - FOX
Week 9: Nov 04 - 1:00 PM ET - at Jacksonville Jaguars - FOX
Week 10: Nov 11 - 1:00 PM ET - at Minnesota Vikings - FOX
Week 11: Nov 18 - 1:00 PM ET - Green Bay Packers - FOX
Week 12: Nov 22 - 12:30 PM ET - Houston Texans - CBS
Week 13: Dec 02 - 1:00 PM ET - Indianapolis Colts - CBS
Week 14: Dec 09 - 8:20 PM ET - at Green Bay Packers - NBC
Week 15: Dec 16 - 4:05 PM ET - at Arizona Cardinals - FOX
Week 16: Dec 22 - 8:30 PM ET - Atlanta Falcons - ESPN
Week 17: Dec 30 - 1:00 PM ET - Chicago Bears - FOX
At first blush, a few things stand out...save for nearly 1/3 of the Lions' games being nationally televised, of course.
- Week 1 is the home opener against the Rams. You could not ask for a better opportunity to get off on the right foot...and with a 1-0 record.
- Game 2 against the Niners will dominate NFL talk for the week. I'm sure it'll be billed as "Handshake at the 'Stick: Schwartz vs Harbaugh 2" or something just as ridiculous. Should be damn fun!
- The bye week is a little earlier than it has been in the past, at week 5. Not a big deal, it's all about who is and isn't healthy in the first month. I've always preferred something closer to the middle of the season, but it's not a huge deal.
- Coming off the week 5 bye, the Lions have a rough stretch of 4 road games in 5 weeks, including back to back games at Philly and Chicago. Gut check time.
- The Lions play only one 2011 playoff team in the first 10 games, the Niners in week 2. Though you can make the argument the Bears, Titans and Eagles may be playoff quality, if healthy and/or have their acts together.
- The Lions play 5 of their final 7 games at home, which will help in a big way in making a final playoff push.
- Detroit native and fomer Lions backup QB Drew Stanton returns with the Colts...holding a clipboard, of course. Expect the NFL's probable number one overall draft pick, Andrew Luck, to be under center.
- Will the road losing streak against the Packers finally come to an end? If it does, it'll be on national TV. At least ithe game is in early December, when the the frozen tundra won't be quite so frozen.
- Good thing, as the schedule turns into a gauntlet in the final weeks. The final 7 games include 4 against 2011 playoff teams (Packers twice, Texans, Falcons) and what should be a quality Bears team in week 17.
After looking at the schedule, how many games do I see the Lions winning? 11.
Yes, it's far too early, and and my opinion could change as the season comes closer...and liklely will, depnding on the draft, personnel moves in training camp and the nmood I happen to in on a given day. But right now, I think the Lions care capable of posting an 11-5 record. Call me a slappy, call me an optimist, call me Sally. But this is going to be a very good Detroit Lions team in 2012.
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