Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 4/17/12
Here is a way-too-early, week-by-week prediction breakdown of the Detroit Lions' schedule, released Tuesday night, with the opponents' 2011 records in parenthesis: WEEK 1 SEPTEMBER 9 VS. ST. LOUIS (2-14) The Rams, who ended the season on a seven-game losing streak, hired a new coach, Jeff Fisher, and signed 10 free agents. Not going to matter here. WIN WEEK 2 SEPTEMBER 16 AT SAN FRANCISCO (13-3) It's a big-time Sunday night matchup between one of the league's most prolific offenses (Detroit) and one of the top shut-down defenses (San Francisco). LOSE WEEK 3 SEPTEMBER 23 AT TENNESSEE (9-7) Toss-up game against a team that somehow won nine games in coach Mike Munchak's first year. Decent opportunity for a road win. WIN WEEK 4 SEPTEMBER 30 VS. MINNESOTA (3-13) The Vikings are a rebuilding team that seems certain to finish last in the NFC North, especially with the uncertainty over star running back Adrian Peterson, who suffered a late-season knee injury. WIN WEEK 5 OCTOBER 7 - BYE Way too early. Most teams prefer the off week later on when bodies are more beat up and need the rest. WEEK 6 OCTOBER 14 AT PHILADELPHIA (8-8) The Eagles were a major disappointment after putting together a so-called dream team. But they did finish with a four-game winning streak and should be a serious threat this year. LOSE WEEK 7 OCTOBER 22 AT CHICAGO (8-8) The Bears would have threatened the Lions for a playoff spot a year ago if not for injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte. All of Chicago will be ready for some Monday night revenge. LOSE WEEK 8 OCTOBER 28 VS. SEATTLE (7-9) The Seahawks signed former Green Bay reserve quarterback Matt Flynn. Remember him? Flynn passed for 518 yards and six touchdowns in the season finale against the Lions. WIN WEEK 9 NOVEMBER 4 AT JACKSONVILLE (5-11) The Jaguars had the worst passing offense in the league. This might be one the Lions can't afford to lose to make the playoffs because the rest of their road schedule is very challenging. WIN WEEK 10 NOVEMBER 11 AT MINNESOTA (3-13) The Lions snapped a 13-game road losing streak to Minnesota last year. They'll make it two straight at the Vikings' dome against an inferior opponent. WIN WEEK 11 NOVEMBER 18 VS. GREEN BAY (15-1) If the Lions want to win their first division title since 1993, they have to find a way to break through against a Packers' team that has won 12 of the last 13 meetings, and 20 of the last 23, in the series. WIN WEEK 12 NOVEMBER 22 VS. HOUSTON (10-6) Lions will try to break an eight-year losing streak on Thanksgiving, but it's a tough spot coming off an emotional game with the Packers. Texans are a contender in the AFC. LOSE WEEK 13 DECEMBER 2 VS. INDIANAPOLIS (2-14) The Colts, 0-8 on the road, will have a totally different look with expected No. 1 pick Andrew Luck at quarterback. WIN WEEK 14 DECEMBER 9 AT GREEN BAY (15-1) The Lions have lost 20 straight road games to the Packers. That's going to end ... one of the decades. But not on a chilly Sunday night. LOSE WEEK 15 DECEMBER 16 AT ARIZONA (8-8) The Cardinals missed out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton is likely to lead them very far. WIN WEEK 16 DECEMBER 22 VS. ATLANTA (10-6) A payback game. The Falcons, who have new offensive and defensive coordinators, were one of three teams to beat the Lions last season at Ford Field. WIN WEEK 17 DECEMBER 30 VS. CHICAGO (8-8) The Bears committed nine false starts in a 24-13 loss to the Lions on Monday Night Football last year at Ford Field. WIN FINAL RECORD: 11-5 The Lions take another step forward, finishing 7-1 at home but losing four tough road games. They'll make the playoffs for the second straight year, again as a wildcard while Green Bay wins the division.
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