Three Key Games in Lions 2017 Schedule
In an attempt to distract us all from the upcoming draft, the NFL released their 2017 schedule. Next year, the Detroit Lions will face the NFC South and AFC North outside of their division, as well as opening their season against the Cardinals and Giants. Here are a few games that stood out as pivotal matchups in 2017.
Week 3: vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Lions get the downtrodden Cardinals as their season opener, so that’s nice. And after a playoff-caliber Giants roster in Week 2, they have to host the reigning NFC champs. Knocking off Matt Ryan and Co. will be a huge test for this defense. The Falcons ultimately should serve as a litmus test for their improvement. Atlanta finished second in total offense last year, behind only New Orleans, another team on Detroit’s schedule. And aside from Chris Chester retiring, the unit returns largely intact. A blowout at home would raise a red flag for Detroit’s defense going forward.
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Week 10: vs. Cleveland Browns
Sometimes life cuts you a break. Take it; it’s a gift. Despite optimism surrounding their future, many would agree that Cleveland boasts arguably the worst roster in the league. After a Week 7 bye, the Lions will play the Steelers at home, travel to Lambeau Field for the Packers, and then host the Brownies. A tough stretch followed by an easy win on paper. Taking care of business here would give the team momentum into the last half of the season.
Week 17: vs. Green Bay Packers
Every Superman needs a Lex Luthor. And last year, Detroit’s kryptonite wore a number twelve on a green jersey. Aaron Rodgers threw eight touchdowns in his two games against the Lions. Losing to a division rival is never good, but it’s much worse at home to end the season. Strangely enough, the Lions have not beaten the Packers at Ford Field since 2013. Whether or not they make the playoffs at this point, the Lions need to end their 2017 season on a high note.