With offseason camp work winding down and the preseason still well into the future, the Detroit Lions are no doubt looking ahead to the 2018 season, and thinking about their chances of making a run to the postseason for the first time since 2016. But it certainly won’t be easy.
Detroit’s schedule, statistically, is a beast top to bottom. It’s long been considered one of the second hardest slates in the entire league given the quality of teams the Lions play. Detroit got hit with a second place schedule by virtue of their finish there in the NFC North during 2017, so they will be getting to play the tough competition this season as a result, and be challenged by that. Many have assumed the Lions would have around eight wins and miss the postseason, so predictions about playoff games might still be futile.
Will the Lions be able to make a run with this particular slate in both the NFC and the division race? It will be a significant challenge given the variables listed above, but there’s no telling what could happen if the team jells and gets comfortable with their new boss Matt Patricia given the additions they have already made this offseason. Detroit figures to be improved along the offensive line and at running back, two spots they have struggled the most in recent years. That could give them a shot at breaking through.
The Lions have 18 wins the last two seasons, but have not won the division either time and have only been to the playoffs once. Those are pretty ominous statistics as it relates to the team perhaps making a run, but the hope is that Patricia’s eye can help them over the top and make them elite.
If they do, which games should the Lions want to see the most? Here’s a look at several of the most appealing potential matchups the Lions could face in the playoffs if they made it for your summer daydreaming pleasure.