The Detroit Lions sit in third place in the NFC North as they head into a bye week in week five.
Lions coach Matt Patricia told the Detroit Free Press on October 1st that the bye week is a good time for the Lions to go back and really examine the games they’ve played.
Patricia knows his team has plenty of room for improvement with a 2-1-1 record, but he noted that the improvement of the team’s mental and physical resilience has kept them going forward.
The Lions blew a 24-6 lead in the fourth quarter of the season opener and tied the Arizona Cardinals 27-27.
The next week, they beat the Los Angeles Chargers 13-10, and the week after that, the Lions beat the Philadelphia Eagles on the road 27-24, proving the resiliency Patricia spoke about.
The Lions even showed their fortitude during their game this past Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Although they fell to the Chiefs 34-30, they fought back and retook the lead twice before suffering their first loss.
The Lions’ bye week comes early in the season, leaving the team with 12 straight games without rest.
While some critics find aspects like these unfavorable for the Lions’ schedule, ESPN’s Brian Burke said in April that the Lions appear to have the most favorable schedule in the league.
Burke said that because the Lions have the greatest rest differential over any other team, it’s a meaningful predictor of the team’s success this year.
It also helps that the Green Bay Packers, i.e. one of the Lions’ biggest rivals, have the fourth worst rest differential in the NFL.
The Lions will meet the Packers at Lambeau Field after their bye week on October 14th.
While a favorable schedule might boost the Lions’ chances of a successful season, their true success will lie in their continued resiliency as they learn and grow as a team.