Schedule favouring the Lions?

Gosh darn that Aaron Rodgers. Immediately following the Lions win, it would have been nice to go a game clear at the top of the NFC North. The Pack were down in Miami and an upset was on the cards.

Then Rodgers did his Rodgers thing. The Lions still lead the division by way of tie-break.

Scouring the power rankings, it seems everyone has Green Bay above Detroit. My first reaction is ‘why is Detroit not getting any love?’ We beat them and we’re both 4-2! Then I started to look at who we’ve beat and we’ve still got to play.

This is a bit crude, but I’ve broken down the season so far and how each opponent is by record and by ESPN’s power rankings.

Wk Opponents Result Record Ranking

1 vs Giants        WON       3-3         20th
2 @ Panthers    LOST      3-2-1     14th
3 vs Packers     WON        4-2        9th
4 @ Jets             WON       1-5        29th
5 vs Bills            LOST      3-3        21st
6 @ Vikings     WON       2-4        27th
7 vs Saints                          2-3         17th
8 @ Falcons (London)   2-4         24th
10 vs Dolphins                 2-3        23rd
11 @ Cardinals                4-1         6th
12 @ Patriots                   4-2        10th
13 vs Bears                        3-3       16th
14 vs Bucs                         1-5        30th
15 vs Vikings                   2-4       27th
16 @ Bears                        3-3      16th
17 @ Packers                   4-2       9th

With an objective, rational analysis (which is never me at 3:45pm ET on Sundays in Autumn/The Fall!), the Lions have 3 out of their 4 wins against teams ranked 20th or below. And, in the next 10 games, only 3 (Packers, Patriots and Cardinals) will be against teams currently ranked above them (according to ESPN). This schedule favours the Lions.

How has this come about?

The Lions are playing two weaker divisions this year, the AFC East and the NFC South. In the AFC East, the Patriots are the only team who are strong this year. We should have beaten the Jets (and the Bills for that matter) and we should beat the Dolphins. The NFC South is a mess of a division this year, benefitting the Lions’ schedule again.

Again, this is just a bit of analysis and the reality is this season has a long way to go.

Just look at last year.

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