Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/2/11

The Detroit Lions’ week nine bye comes at a great time for the team.  They are coming off a 45-10 blowout of Denver on the road, and will have an extra week to get healthy before travelling to the not-so-friendly confines of Soldier Field.

The film study from their most recent game will be fun for the Lions on both sides of the ball, as they were able to effectively move it on offense and stop Denver from doing the same.  Matthew Stafford was able to pick apart Denver’s secondary and defensive end Cliff Avril earned NFC defensive player of the week honors for his outstanding performance that included two sack-fumbles and a touchdown.

However, the Lions won’t play another easy game for the rest of the year.  Head coach Jim Schwartz and the rest of the coaching staff now have to get the Lions ready for a four game stretch that not only includes the Bears, but also the Packers and Saints.  The fourth game is no joke either- a test against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have proven to be a dangerous squad that can breakout for huge plays at any time.

While the coaches and players take a much needed week off to prepare for a tough second half, I will personally shed a tear on Sunday without my Lions.  The team has been so thoroughly exciting this year that I don’t know exactly what I’ll do without them.

That said, I’ve been brainstorming some ideas that might help us Lions fanatics get through this long bye week without going insane.

NFC defensive POW Cliff Avril sacks Tim Tebow causing a fumble

1. Manage my fantasy team.

Hey there is still football on!  Just because it isn’t the Lions doesn’t mean I’m going to turn off the TV on Sunday and clean.  There are several great games worth watching this weekend, which I will talk about in my next point.

2. Watch the Steelers and Ravens 2nd annual bloodbath.

The Sunday night bout this week features an age-old rivalry between the Steelers and Ravens.  If this is the first sports column you have ever read, I’ll inform you that those two teams like each other about as much as Rick Perry likes Mitt Romney.  The last matchup was a 35-7 drubbing in favor of the Ravens, and I’d be willing to bet that head coach Mike Tomlin has his Steelers in revenge mode.

3. Watch Red Wings vs. Ducks.

Ok, I know the Wings have dropped five straight after winning their first five, but don’t panic.  This team is better than it was last year in my opinion, and Jimmy Howard has started the year playing some good hockey.  After all, this is Hockeytown and it’s hockey season!

4. LSU vs. Alabama.

It’s being called the game of the century for good reason; this game alone is going to help me forget about the lack of a Lions game very quickly if it lives up to half the hype.  Doesn’t get much better than Saban vs. Miles in a good ole fashioned SEC slugfest- don’t miss this one.

Might not be such a bad weekend after all.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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