With training camp and the preseason almost upon us, Last Word on Pro Football is breaking down the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. This series will consist of the most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-16) games among each team’s 16-game slate. The focus for this article is the eight easiest games on the 2020 Detroit Lions schedule. The Lions have some advantages this season. They only have two back-to-back road games and a substantial amount of rest.
Detroit Lions Easiest Games in 2020
Week 2 and 13: at, vs Green Bay Packers
The Lions and Packers have been division rivals since 1933, meeting twice a year. Theirs is the longest continuously-running rivalry in the NFL, due to the fact that there have never been any canceled games between them. Green Bay leads the series 102-72-7. In 2019, the Packers won both matchups. However, they lost three in a row before that. The Lions do a great job of creating turnover opportunities for themselves, so this will be one of the tools needed to beat the Packers.
Week 6: at Atlanta Falcons
The two teams last played in 2017. The Falcons won that game 30-26. Not a huge win for them, but a painful loss to Detroit when a review found their game-winning touchdown wasn’t a touchdown at all. This game could be the revenge Detroit is seeking, and it’s more than possible to achieve. Despite losing four of their last five matchups, the Lions lead the series 24-13, and their overall performances have been similar.
Week 15: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Will the Lions be playoff contenders by late December? Will Matthew Stafford play a better game against an aging Tom Brady? The Lions are expected to be strong performers against the Buccaneers this season, so this game is going to be electric – if all goes according to plan. Detroit suffered a monumental 38-17 loss to Tampa Bay last season, but they’ve had plenty of success, holding the all-time series lead at 31-28.
Week 4: vs New Orleans Saints
The Saints are surprisingly weak against the Lions, who lead the series by one at 13-12-1. They last played in 2017, and New Orleans was a major problem for Detroit. They won 52-38. Having said that, the fact that it went into a five-score game just proves the Lions are capable against the Saints. This one could go either way.
Week 7: vs Indianapolis Colts
The Colts haven’t been strong opponents. They own a tiny lead in the series 21-20-2. At their last meeting in 2017, Detroit won 39-35. Motivation will be strong to secure two consecutive victories. That would be the first time since the 1991 and 1997 seasons. The Lions are more than capable of getting a win here.
Week 5: at Jacksonville Jaguars
They’ve only played each other six times, and the series sits at 3-3. The Lions had solid victories over the Jaguars at their last two meetings. The two teams were slated to play in London this year, but due to Covid-19, they will no longer have that event to look forward to. Detroit won’t play another away game against Jacksonville for another eight years. This is the perfect opportunity for the Lions to take the lead in the series.
Week 3: at Arizona Cardinals
With the Lions leading the series at 33-28-6, the Cardinals are one of the few teams that Detroit can overcome if they do everything right. Their most recent reward was in 2017 when they defeated the Cardinals 35-23. In 2019, they tied in overtime, so the Lions must stay on their toes to retain their edge.