A Look at the 2017 Lions Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out, and here’s a look at the Lions slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 PM

Sep. 18 at New York Giants (Mon) 8:30 PM

Sep. 24 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM

Oct. 1 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM

Oct. 8 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM

Oct. 15 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM

Oct. 22 BYE

Oct. 29 Pittsburgh Steelers * 8:30 PM

Nov. 6 at Green Bay Packers (Mon) 8:30 PM

Nov. 12 Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM

Nov. 19 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM

Nov. 23 Minnesota Vikings (Thu) 12:30 PM

Dec. 3 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM

Dec. 10 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Dec. 16 Chicago Bears (Sat) 4:30 PM

Dec. 24 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM

Dec. 31 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: Two of the first three and three of the first five at home for the Lions, as they will look to get off to a quick start opening day vs the Cardinals and then with games two weeks later against the Falcons, two NFC teams also looking to make a playoff push.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: From November 19th to December 10th the team will play three of four on the road, with the only break a mid-week game on Thanksgiving Thursday against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford Says Injured Finger Just Needed Rest

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford injured the middle finger on his throwing hand late last season, which contributed to a sharp decline in his performance down the stretch. But Stafford says all is well with the finger, Justin Rogers of Detroit News reports.

“(It) just needed rest,” Stafford said. “No surgery, no procedure, anything like that. It feels good, threw with it today. It feels fine. Been throwing with it for a month, month and a half, now. It just took some rest. It wasn’t until after the Super Bowl that it started feeling better.”

In the 12 games before the injury, Stafford completed 67.2 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and five interceptions. Over the final five games, including a playoff loss to Seattle, he completed 59.6 percent with three touchdowns, while doubling his interception total.

Stafford didn’t miss a snap last season, despite the injury. After hurting the digit, he played with a custom single-finger glove to improve his grip. The highly durable quarterback has started a franchise-record 96 consecutive games.

2017 NFL Draft: 7-Round Mock Draft **Detroit Lions**

Aaah!!! It’s that exciting time of year where we get to add a few new young additions to our team. This 7-Round Mock draft comes with plenty of optimism and high expectations. I will provide a more realistic mock in the the coming weeks. For now, here is an early preview of talent we should look to snatch should they make our respective draft boards for the given rounds:

1st Round Pick 21: Derek Barnett- DE Tennessee

Look no further than this video! The Lions struggled getting to the QB last year. We need all the help we can get on the pass rush.

2nd Round Pick 53: Tim Williams- OLB Alabama

Did I mention we need pass rushers? Especially at the LB position.

3rd Round Pick 85: D’Onta Foreman- RB Texas

The Lions need a power back in the worst way! This is a bit of a stretch that he will make it to the 85th pick, but given the league history with RBs one can hope.

4th Round Pick 127: Cordrea Tankersley- CB Clemson

Having a young CB with huge upside may go along way just in case DJ Hayden under performs.

5th Round Pick 165: Bucky Hodges- TE Virginia Tech

Anytime we can add an extra weapon for Matt Stafford in the late rounds we need to pull the plug. Hodges is a red zone nightmare for defenses!

6th Round Pick 205: Ben Boulware- LB Clemson

You can’t teach heart! Boulware has plenty of it and would be a wonderful addition to our special teams!

6th Round Pick 215: Quincy Adeboyejo- WR Ole Miss

Big WR with big play written all over him. Lacks some of the intangibles needed at the next level, but I think the Lions would be a perfect fit to bring him up to speed.

7th Round Pick 250: Cooper Rush- QB Central Michigan

There’s no debating, Stafford is the best QB we have had in Honolulu blue in the modern era of Lions football. With that being said, grooming a young stud never hurt any team. Especially if you can get another team to give up future draft picks.

 

AP to the Lions? Makes sense!

Make no mistake, Adrian Peterson is a future Hall of Famer. He has made a career dominating defenses to the tune of 11,747 career rushing yards and 97 touchdowns. The lions have given up 1,490 of those yards and 11 touchdowns. All of this through 14 games spanning 8 seasons (minus any season Peterson was hurt). YIKES!!!

Although I am happy at the thought that Peterson may vacate our division and hence, “Stop the Bleeding”, he has inflicted on the Lions over the years, I’m not entirely convinced this will happen. That relish and mustard team in our division may take a flier on AP. With the loss of Eddie Lacy and the sheer dominance of Aaron Rodgers why not?

That brings to question with the newly upgraded Lions offensive line and cannon armed Matthew Stafford, why would AP NOT be a good fit in Detroit? Outside of cost (and a winning tradition as other fans love to remind us) the Lions would be a perfect fit. A deal would be a win-win for both sides. AP wouldn’t have to be the only option on offense, we can have a running backfield by committee with Theo Reddick and Ameer Abdullah, and we can do it all for a one season trial period.

This formula has proven to be valuable in the past with Stafford and our passing attack. Look no further than the 2013 season when Reggie Bush blessed the organization with more than a 1000 yards rushing and over 500 receiving yards out of the backfield. Plus our front office believes he can still be effective. Lions GM Bob Quinn stated, “I think AP definitely has plenty left in the tank.”

Waiting until the draft may be a great tactic to get the asking price down, but AP is a once in a lifetime game changer. Even though Peterson is 32, he demands game planning from defensive coordinators around the league. Outside of Stafford, we don’t have anyone like him on our roster (still mourning the retirement of MEGATRON).

The roar found restoration in the final minutes of most games last season. That is until the last four games when we were silenced completely. And though we made the playoffs, I for once want the Lions to continue to build on the success. Grabbing proven locker room leaders and extraordinary players that can help put an end to the ‘Same Ole Lions’ talk. AP would be a great addition to an already stellar offseason.

Lions RB Theo Riddick Had Surgery on Both Wrists After the Season

Lions running back Theo Riddick underwent surgery on both wrists after the end of the season according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

The injuries cost Riddick the final four games of what was an otherwise breakout season for the former sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame. Riddick is expected to be a full participant in OTAs and is expected to once again be the primary pass-catching back in Detroit in 2017.

Under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, the Lions have embraced a quick-pass offense that suits Riddick’s skill set. The rest of the Lions’ backfield remains in flux with Ameer Abdullah coming off two injury-riddled seasons and having issues with ball security while the rest of the RB corps is a collection of pedestrian and mismatched parts. It would not be a shock if the Lions looked for more running back help in the upcoming draft.

Lions Chatting Today with Panthers FA WR Corey Brown

The Lions have been quiet thus far in free agency, but that doesn’t mean they are sitting still. The team today will be chatting with a wide out – Corey Brown of the Carolina Panthers.

Last year Brown had 27 grabs for 276 yards with one score. He was undrafted when inked by the Panthers in 2014. In his career he’s got 79 catches for 1019 yards and seven scores.

Lions Fail to Clinch Playoff Spot; Fall to Cowboys in Dallas 42-21

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys

Matthew Stafford lost to his hometown team again, and the playoff plans are on hold for the Detroit Lions.

Dez Bryant threw his first career touchdown pass between a pair of scoring catches, Ezekiel Elliott ran for two TDs and the Dallas Cowboys kept the Lions from clinching a postseason spot with a 42-21 win Monday night.

Despite a second straight loss following five consecutive victories, Detroit (9-6) still controls its postseason fate. The Lions will be at home against Green Bay (9-6) with the NFC North title at stake in the finale Sunday.

“It’s a one-game season,” Stafford said. “If you told me in Week 17 we would have a game at our place and got a chance to win the division, I’d take it all day.”

Stafford, a championship-winning high school quarterback in the Dallas area, had a 1-yard scoring plunge , but was sacked four times — matching a season high — almost two years after losing a wild-card game at the Cowboys.

He was 26 of 46 for 260 yards, including an interception that set up Elliott’s 1-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to break a 21-all halftime tie.

With home-field advantage already wrapped up, the Cowboys (13-2) didn’t let up in their seventh straight home win while matching their franchise record in victories, reached two other times.

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Bears at Lions NFL Week 13 Capsule

CHICAGO BEARS (3-9) AT DETROIT LIONS (8-4)

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  BEARS LIONS
SERIES LEADER 97-71-5  
STREAKS   6 of past 7
COACHES VS. OPP. John Fox: 5-3 Jim Caldwell: 4-1
LAST WEEK W 26-6 vs. San Francisco W 28-13 at New Orleans
LAST GAME 10/2/16: Lions 14 at Bears 17. Chicago QB Brian Hoyer passes for 302 yards & 2 TDs for 120.1 rating. Bears WR Eddie Royal has 7 catches for 111 yards & TD.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/18/15: Lions 37, Bears 34 (OT). Detroit QB Matthew Stafford passes for 405 yards & 4 TDs for 117.7 rating. Lions K Matt Prater has 27-yard GW FG in OT.
REFEREE Jeff Triplette
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots. SIRIUS: 135 (Chi), 81 (Det). XM: 383 (Chi), 225 (Det).

STATS

PASSING Matt Barkley: 45-87-589-3-4-65.7 Matthew Stafford: 291-433-3224-21-5-100.5
RUSHING Jordan Howard (R): 181-883-4.9-5 Theo Riddick: 92-357-3.9-1
RECEIVING Cameron Meredith: 38-516-13.6-2 Golden Tate: 65-762-11.7-3
OFFENSE 348.2 337.3
TAKE/GIVE -9 +6
DEFENSE 326.8 354.8
SACKS Willie Young: 7.5 Kerry Hyder: 7
INTs Tracy Porter: 2 4 tied: 2
PUNTING Pat O’Donnell: 43.5 Sam Martin: 48.6 (2L)
KICKING Connor Barth: 64 (22/23 PAT; 14/18 FG) Matt Prater: 101 (23/25 PAT; 26/29 FG)

NOTES

BEARS: QB MATT BARKLEY had career-high 97.5 rating last week. Has 508 pass yards (254 per game) in past 2…Rookie RB JORDAN HOWARD rushed for 117 yards & 3 TDs in Week 13 & became 5th rookie in Bears history with 3 rush TDs in single game. Ranks 2nd among rookie RBs with 883 rush yards & 5 rush TDs. Had 111 rush yards in last meeting…WR JOSH BELLAMY had career-high 93 rec. yards last week. WR EDDIE ROYAL had 7 receptions for 111 yards & TD in last meeting. TE ZACH MILLER had TD catch in last game vs. Det…DE AKIEM HICKS has 4 sacks & FF in past 4. LB LEONARD FLOYD leads NFL rookies with 7 sacks. Had 2 sacks & safety in Week 13. Has 3 sacks & FF in 2 career games vs. NFC North. LB WILLIE YOUNG has 6.5 sacks in past 8. Rookie LB NICK KWIATKOSKI had career-high 9 tackles last week. CB HAROLD JONES-QUARTEY aims for 3rd in row vs. Det. with 7+ tackles…LIONS: QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has 916 pass yards (305.3 per game) & 7 TDs in past 3 vs. Chi. Has 14 pass TDs vs. 1 INT for 104.2 rating in past 8…RB THEO RIDDICK had rec. TD in Week 13. Since 2014, leads NFL RBs with 12 TD catches & ranks 3rd with 167 receptions…WR GOLDEN TATE has 628 rec. yards (89.7 per game) & 3 TDs in past 7. Since 2013, ranks 3rd in NFC with 318 receptions. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN has 4 rec. TDs in 6 home games with Det. Since entering NFL in 2003, ranks 3rd with 13,627 rec. yards…DE KERRY HYDER has 4 sacks in past 4 vs. NFC North. DE DEVIN TAYLOR has 6.5 sacks & 2 FFs in past 7 at home. CB DARIUS SLAY aims for 8th in row with PD. Has 12 PD & sack in past 5 vs. Chi. S GLOVER QUIN has 2 INTs in past 3 at home vs. Chi. Since 2013, ranks 2nd among NFL safeties with 16 INTs. S TAVON WILSON has INT in 2 of past 3. Rookie S MILES KILLEBREW had 1st career INT last week.