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Did The NFL SCREW the Detroit Lions Again?!?! You Be The Judge

The Detroit Lions have their bye week early in the season

In a detailed and insightful piece for Pride of Detroit, John Whiticar dissects the recurring issue of early bye weeks in the Detroit Lions’ NFL schedules, particularly highlighting their 2024 schedule. The article titled “2024 Detroit Lions Schedule Repeats Frustrating Trend of Past Decade” explores the implications of the Lions repeatedly receiving an early season bye, something that has become a pattern over the last ten years.

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Early Bye Week: A Recurring Issue

Whiticar points out that the Detroit Lions are set to have their bye in Week 5 of the 2024 season, continuing a trend where they frequently receive their rest weeks earlier than many other teams. Since 2015, Detroit has not had a bye week later than Week 10, often finding themselves resting earlier in the season around Week 5 or Week 6. This observation is contrasted with teams like the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, who have enjoyed later byes, which can be more advantageous as they allow teams to rest and recuperate later in the season when players are more likely to be fatigued or injured.


Statistical Analysis and League Trends

Whiticar supports his analysis with data visualization, using box plots to show the distribution of bye weeks for NFL teams since 2015. Through these, he confirms that the Detroit Lions, on average, do indeed have the earliest bye week in the NFL, with a mean bye week of 7.1. This is in stark contrast to teams like the Colts, who average a bye week at 10.6. The author suggests that the NFL’s scheduling logic might be influenced by the Lions’ annual participation in Thanksgiving games, hypothesizing that this could be why Detroit and the Dallas Cowboys (another Thanksgiving staple) tend to have earlier byes.

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Impact on Team Performance and Fairness

Whiticar articulates his frustration with the early bye week, especially given the physical demands of a 17-game NFL season. He argues that an early bye might be less beneficial, as the rest period comes at a time when players are less worn down compared to later in the season. He also raises a valid point about the scheduling fairness, questioning why teams like the Minnesota Vikings have their bye weeks strategically placed near their Thursday night games, allowing for adequate rest, while the Lions do not enjoy such scheduling benefits.

TL;DR (too long didn’t read)

  1. Despite widespread expectations from reporters that Justin Jackson would become the Detroit Lions’ RB3 for the 2023 season, Jackson, at 27, has announced his retirement from the NFL.
  2. In the 2022 season, Jackson stood out for his performance as a kick returner, rusher, and receiver. Despite his contributions, the Lions had not re-signed him earlier this offseason.
  3. Jackson’s sudden retirement leaves the Lions RB3 position open, with Craig Reynolds, Jermar Jefferson, and Mohamed Ibrahim now competing for the spot.
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Concluding Thoughts: You Be The Judge

While Whiticar acknowledges that an early bye is not a catastrophic setback, he underscores that it does not help a team like the Lions, who could benefit more from a later bye week. His analysis suggests that the NFL’s scheduling does not favor the Lions, impacting their ability to perform optimally in the latter and more crucial parts of the season.

Lions fans, it is time for YOU to be the judge. Do YOU believe the NFL is screwing the Detroit Lions by giving them such early bye weeks? Personally, I am not buying that at all. In fact, according to Jon Jansen from 97.1 The Ticket, who played in the NFL, younger players would rather get their bye week out of the way early in the season. Guess what, the Lions have a pretty young roster, so an early bye week may actually be what they want.


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W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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